Genesis: The Beginning
Dream Pharaoh Dream 2-6-16
Yesterday, we read about Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker being in prison under Joseph’s care. He comforts them and interprets their dreams; all is fulfilled. Joseph asks the cupbearer, when he is reinstated into Pharaoh’s staff, to remember him to Pharaoh and put in a good word, but two years have gone by and Joseph is still in prison. Today, we will read about how in one divine appointment, Father God connects Joseph’s ability to interpret with two strange dreams of Pharaoh for the purpose of providing food for His human family.
In his first dream, Pharaoh is standing on the bank of the Nile. Some things in his dream are very familiar, but some things are very strange. The Nile River is extremely important to Egypt; the river causes the land to be fertile. The Egyptians consider the Nile the father of life; a god. It is common for cows to find coolness in the Nile; the Egyptian sun can be unbearable and bugs irritating. As far as the dream about grain, vegetation is subject to the scorching hot winds. These things make sense to Pharaoh. But some aspects of his dreams are troublesome. For some reason, Pharaoh senses it has something to do with the future and he becomes relentless in his quest for an interpretation.
Pharaoh calls together all of his professional interpreters, astrologers, and occult priests to see if they can interpret the dreams; they cannot because God does not release Truth to them. Pharaoh continues to be troubled. It is at this appointed time the cupbearer has an epiphany about Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams; so the cupbearer speaks up and relays the information to Pharaoh. Joseph is in prison and suddenly he finds himself summoned, bathed, shaved, dressed, and standing before Pharaoh in the palace. Pharaoh says, “I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph’s answer is so amazing, because he humbly spins the light of Truth back to God, “It is beyond my power to do that, but God can tell you what it means and set you at ease” (v.16).
Joseph listens carefully to the two dreams of Pharaoh; then, he responds. Both of the dreams have the same meaning, but told using different symbols. Two dreams is simply confirmation of what God will bring about in the land very soon. The seven healthy cows/grain represents seven years of prosperity. The seven scrawny cows/thin heads of grain represent seven years of famine. Seven years of prosperity for Egypt will be followed by seven years of lack which will destroy the land. It’s one thing to be able to see a need, but it is another to come with a plan to meet the need. Joseph is wise and discerning in God’s hands; he comes with a plan. Joseph then recommends Pharaoh place a wise man in charge of collecting 1/5 of the crops grown in the land during the plentiful years; food collected will be placed in Pharaoh’s storehouses and guarded. The food will then be distributed as needed during the time of famine.
Pharaoh has the assurance of God the words spoken by Joseph are true; Pharaoh senses the presence of the Spirit of God resting on Joseph. He appoints Joseph the new ruler of Egypt—second in command over the land. At the age of thirty, Joseph is dressed in fine linen and gold chains, given Pharaoh’s signet ring (authority) and royal transportation, and issued a new name, Zaphenath-paneah. But wait, it gets better. Joseph is given a beautiful wife to begin a new life. In God’s timing, Joseph goes from being a slave who leads slaves in Pharaoh’s prison to being the governor of Egypt who calls all the shots for the land. Wow, that is a leadership jump that only God could implement, isn’t it? From the prison to the palace in one day.
The seven years of plenty arrive and Joseph gathers provision; it is so great in volume it is hard to find enough storage. During this time, Joseph has two sons: Manasseh (translates “forget”) and Ephraim (translates “fruitful”). The seven years of famine immediately follow and spread throughout Egypt; Pharaoh instructs the people to speak with Joseph who distributes the food and meets the needs of people.
Joseph becomes the vessel of God needed at that moment to bring hope to the world; God loves His family and will always be our Provider. Because of God’s goodness, Joseph is able to forget (Manasseh) his past of suffering and move forward to bear much fruit (Ephraim) for God by loving His people. Yes, Joseph names his sons so that when he says their names he is reminded of the goodness of God. Joseph would have never made it if God’s Spirit had not been with him and filling him. We can learn much from Joseph about drawing near to God and being continually filled with the Spirit. Honestly, if we choose to be filled to overflowing with the Spirit, we just never know where God will place us next….a suddenly for our lives exists in our future. So, be filled…