Today’s Reading: Genesis 40-42
Today’s Reflection: Genesis 41:15-16
15) And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16) Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
If anyone could have had a good excuse for disobeying God, it might have been Joseph. First sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, then sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Joseph had spent 13 years in captivity without cause. And yet his faith did not waver. Joseph was diligent with every task given to him, as if he were doing it for God rather than for man (Colossians 3:23). Joseph’s faithfulness had led him to this moment, standing before Pharaoh of Egypt, arguably the most powerful man in the world. How Joseph handled this situation is a perfect example of how to give God the glory, no matter your circumstances.
Perspective: Joseph had legitimate claims both to his innocence and his freedom, and now had an audience with a man who could set him free. But he had the perspective to understand what was happening around him. If he, a mere prisoner, was being brought before Pharaoh, clearly something very serious was happening. Joseph saw this and knew he needed to pay attention and see how the Lord could use him in this situation rather than worry about his own concerns.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our own problems and issues we miss the opportunities God is giving us to serve and minister to others. If we want to glorify God, the first thing we have to do is have the right perspective so we can be available to be used by God.
Truth: Clearly Pharaoh thought Joseph possessed the ability to interpret dreams. Joseph was quick to correct Pharaoh, leaving no doubt that any supernatural power came from God, not from Joseph.
We cannot glorify God if we are not operating inside His truth. We have to be honest about ourselves—we have no power in ourselves, but can do all things in Christ (Philippians 4:13). We also have to be honest about the instruction God has given us for our good. This may mean proclaiming God’s way in contrast to the ways of man, but this must be done without judgment or condemnation.
Authority: Despite the persecution Joseph had experienced he had no doubt that God would interpret Pharaoh’s dream. He recognized God’s authority and completely trusted in His providence.
Many of us say we want to serve God, but do we even trust Him? When things go wrong in our lives do we trust God’s authority over all things and believe all things are working together for our good (Romans 8:28)? Or do we withdraw from God, question His faithfulness, and even slip back into old, worldly, sinful ways? We cannot glorify God without complete acceptance of His authority and trust His ability and willingness to provide what we need.
Assurance: Pharaoh was deeply troubled by these unsettling dreams and this must have been obvious to Joseph. Before even hearing the dreams, Joseph assures Pharaoh that God will give ‘a favorable answer’. Joseph trusted that if God was speaking to Pharaoh, His intent was for good.
Despite the trials and challenges we may face in life, God’s ultimate intent is to do us good (Jeremiah 29:11). To glorify God we must believe this, assure others of this truth, and help them to see God’s grace and mercy in all of life’s circumstances.