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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine . . . And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt . . . The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’ Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’”—Genesis 41:25–27, 33, 37–40 (NIV)
I love this passage . . . Yesterday, we saw Joseph brought to Pharaoh to interpret his troubling dreams. When asked about his ability, Joseph made it clear that it was the Lord who was the giver of dreams and the revealer of mysteries.
So, Pharaoh tells Joseph the dreams about the cows and grain, and Joseph tells him that God is warning Pharaoh of what is to come—seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. And Joseph advises Pharaoh to appoint a discerning and wise man who could prepare the kingdom during the plentiful years for the coming famine, so the people would be taken care of. And Pharaoh replies: “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
This is one of my favorite questions asked in the entire Bible! It reminds me of Daniel 6:3 (NKJV): “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him.” That’s what happens when the Spirit of the Lord works through surrendered servants . . . astonishment and amazement as people cease to see us and begin to see Him! And Pharaoh appointed Joseph to that role—from the pit to the palace!
Every circumstance in Joseph’s life was all to bring him to this moment. And all along, in every trial he was put in—the pit, in Potiphar’s house, in the prison cell, and when he stood before Pharaoh—God was with him, building his perseverance, character, and hope (Romans 5:3), guiding his steps, giving him favor as he served the Lord and remained faithful, and pouring His Spirit into Joseph.
As Joseph stood before Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the world, all Pharaoh could see was the Lord! You see, when we live to honor the Lord and we open our eyes, hands, and hearts to be used by the Lord, even in trials, tribulations, and tragedy, people see it! They notice, and they’re moved and drawn to the same God who saved us, sustains us, and strengthens us, the God who comforts us in crisis, who reveals truth, and blesses the work of our hands.
As a believer, I promise you your palace moment is coming. It may not be like Joseph’s. You may not become second in command of an empire or reach the top of the earthly ladder of success, but whatever God has planned for you, whatever His purposes are for every pit and prison you experience, it will be far beyond what you can ask, think, or imagine. And it will all be in service of conforming you to the image of His Son!
DIG: What caused Pharaoh to utter the words, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” What would it take for others to say that about you?
DISCOVER: Think about the most difficult situations in your life. What has God taught you in them? How has He revealed Himself? How have you seen His favor and blessing in them? How has He used you in the lives of others in similar circumstances?
DO: What can you do today to be more open and available to the work of the Holy Spirit? Consider and pray about it, asking the Lord to open your heart for the work He has prepared for you.