Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.”
When Pharaoh’s servants came to get Joseph out of the prison, he “shaved himself and changed his clothes” (v. 14). Joseph had respect for Pharaoh, and he had respect for the position.
Pharaoh said to him, “I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it” (v. 15). But Joseph corrected him. “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer” (v. 16). Joseph gave all the glory to God. So Pharaoh shared his dream. Joseph said, “God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do” (v. 25). Now, Joseph was taking a big risk in saying that. In Egypt there was only one God, and his name was Pharaoh. But Joseph was saying, “Pharaoh, there is a God greater than you, and He is telling you what you are to do.”
How do you account for that boldness? I believe it’s because Joseph had come to a point in his life where he had a holy detachment from this world. He was like Paul, who said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). That was Joseph’s attitude. I think one reason we find it hard to do what God is telling us to do is we are afraid of what it will cost us. We think, “God, if I do what You are telling me to do, I might lose my position. It may cost me popularity. It might cost me financially.” Don’t be surprised if God’s plan for your life is to strip you of possessions, popularity, or position so that He can use you effectively. That’s what His plan for Joseph was. Only after Joseph had lost everything was he willing to do God’s will.
Joseph told Pharaoh that through his dream God was saying that Egypt would have seven years of bountiful harvest followed by seven years of famine. So Joseph suggested a plan. During these seven years of harvest, Egypt should store 20 percent of the grain so that when the years of famine came, they would have grain for the people. Pharaoh loved that plan. He said, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” (v. 38). Even Pharaoh recognized that the Spirit of God dwelled in Joseph. He told Joseph, “I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Twenty-four hours earlier Joseph had been in prison: forgotten, forsaken, he thought, forever. The next day he was raised up to be the second in command to Pharaoh.
Why is this chapter in the Bible? Certainly it reminds us that God is in control of everyone and everything. But this story also reminds us that God exalts His servants in His way and in His time. If you are in the waiting mode, never forget that just as Joseph’s day of deliverance came, so God has already marked on His calendar the day of your deliverance.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Day of Deliverance” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.