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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ ‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’”—Genesis 41:15–16 (NIV)
What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had? I have this recurring nightmare where I’m riding a bicycle backwards down the street where one of my friends from high school lived, being chased by a Godzilla-like cobra. Weird, huh?
Now, as weird as that is, Pharaoh’s dream about seven healthy Kobe beef cows being eaten by seven rotten, skinny cows may be weirder. His second dream about the healthy grain being eaten by the scorched and skinny grain isn’t as weird—unless the grain had faces, then it would be super weird.
These dreams troubled Pharaoh, and none of his “wise” men could interpret them. At that point, the chief butler remembered how Joseph interpreted dreams with incredible accuracy. So, Pharaoh sends for Joseph!
Two years later, Joseph’s actions were recalled by a nonbeliever, which led to “the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV). What’s my point? As believers, what we do, both big and small, can leave a lasting impact on someone who isn’t a believer! Our words and deeds can stick with them and lead to a moment where, in crisis or difficulty or uncertainty, they remember your witness and reach out for help, guidance, or even prayer. In Matthew 5:16 (NIV), Jesus says, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” That light is His light shining through us! Friends, the gospel seeds you plant are never in vain or forgotten because God uses our faithfulness to draw people to faith according to His good pleasure and will.
So, Pharaoh asks Joseph to interpret his dream. And look at Joseph’s response, which was filled with humility, maturity, and understanding of who God is and who he was in light of God: “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
That’s wisdom and truth! Because apart from Him, we can’t accomplish anything good, worthwhile, or valuable. And I’m not talking about “good” or “valuable” in the world’s temporary, quickly-changing, easily-fading economy, but in God’s eternal economy.
Jesus says, “Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit” (John 15:5 NLT). Joseph understood that “it is God who is working in [us], enabling [us] both to desire and to work out His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 HCSB).
I pray we never lose sight of this . . . that we would never begin to see the work God does in and through us as the result of our effort, will, or intelligence; that we embrace humility, which opens us up to being used by God to accomplish the good works He’s prepared for us to walk in!
DIG: How does God use the things we say and do to impact and work in the lives of others?
DISCOVER: How are you walking in humility like Joseph today?
DO: What dreams in your life need interpreting? Ask the Lord to give you clarity through prayer, His Word, and the work of the Holy Spirit today!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.