Scripture Reading: Genesis 41:1-57

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.” (Genesis 41:14)

Two long years passed after Joseph asked the chief cupbearer to tell Pharaoh about his situation. Pharaoh had two dreams that troubled him greatly. He could not find any one who could interpret his dreams. The chief cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about him. It must have been quite a scene when Joseph was brought out of prison and into the presence of the most powerful man on earth.

Pharaoh stated his problem to Joseph — “I 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” (v. 15). Joseph immediately corrected Pharaoh — “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer” (v. 16). Joseph’s primary concern was God’s glory. After hearing Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph gave the interpretations of them to him” (vs. 25-36).

On that very day, Pharaoh appointed Joseph to be second in command over all of Egypt — “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards to the throne will I be greater than you” (v. 46).

There is not a character in all the Bible who experienced such sudden and radical reversals of fortune as Joseph did. One day he was his father’s favorite son who was destined to inherit his authority and wealth. The next day he was cast into a cistern and sold as a slave. In Egypt Joseph rose to a position of authority in Potiphar’s household, but in an instance he found himself in prison. One day he had hopes of deliverance through the chief cupbearer, but that day was followed by two full years of disappointment. Then one day he was brought out of prison and was standing before Pharaoh.

The emphasis of this chapter is on how quickly Joseph was released from prison, brought to Pharaoh, and established as Prime Minister over Egypt. Sudden reversals are difficult for most of us. When we experience a sudden reversal for the worse, we can become despondent. When we experience a sudden reversal for the better, we can easily forget about God and claim the credit for ourselves. Joseph, however, remained firm in his faith during the sudden reversals of his life. When he was in prison, he didn’t forget God. When he was before the most powerful man on earth, he said, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” Joseph kept his eyes on God in adversity and he also kept his eyes on God when he was prosperous.

Many of us will experience sudden reversals during the course of our lives. Some will be for our betterment, while others may be for the worse. In both cases, we should be prepared to remain faithful to our God. He will lead us through them if we keep our eyes on Him.

Sovereign God, I know that You are in control of all things. When I have experienced sudden reversals in my life, I have seen Your hand at work. You have always been faithful to me. I know that I can trust You no matter what I have to face.


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