No comments yet

God’s Provision

We continue our journey through the series Grace and Brokenness with a look at God’s provision, entering the story where Pharaoh has two dreams filled with strange images of cows and corn. He wakes up extremely disturbed, but has no idea what the images might mean. Pharaoh gathers the dream-experts from his kingdom, but no one is able to solve their meaning. As the situation unfolds, the cupbearer finally remembers his encounter with Joseph two years earlier and has the courage to recount the incident to his leader even though it might place his own life in jeopardy. Pharaoh sends for Joseph to seek his insights into these strange visions.

Unaware of Pharaoh’s dreams, and how they might impact his life, we learn that Joseph has spent two more years in prison hoping for his release, yet continuing his trust in God’s provision for his life. Can you imagine the potential for Joseph to give up hope as he waits and waits for the cupbearer to remember what he did and share this with Pharaoh? Joseph’s hope seems like a really unusual response to a set of very difficult circumstances, yet he remains faithful during this season of his life.

Difficult Questions

His experiences raise a difficult question for us. How do you continue to have hope and remain faithful when hope seems really foolish?

We find ourselves in dark places, perhaps through our own choices or the choices of others, and we choose to allow our circumstances to shape our thinking, emotions, and actions. Joseph chose to live out of his trust of God and his goodness and presence, even though his circumstances told him otherwise.

How do you and I respond in the midst of our own dark moments?

Do we continue to hope in God’s provision for our lives or do we give into despair and allow our circumstances to be an excuse to make broken choices?

God’s Provision

Joseph is brought before the king and listens to the dreams as told by Pharaoh. Joseph explains that God is speaking to Pharaoh to warn him of a future cycle of plenty and famine that will be experienced by Egypt. God chooses to reveal these future events to Pharaoh, rather than someone else at this time. Not sure about you, but incidents like this always make me slow down and meditate on what God is really like.

As you read the biblical narrative, are you surprised at times the type of people God uses to bring deliverance/salvation to other people/nations? I would think God would be sending dreams to His followers and people who believe and trust in Him, but in this story, God chooses the polytheistic, pagan, ruler who knows nothing of the true God. Isn’t that so much like God? You see, God really does love the world and all the people in it. He will speak to, and through, people that we might want to dismiss or ignore in order to get His plan fulfilled. Sadly, it is quite often the culture around us, and people who do not believe in God, who have a better grasp of God’s Kingdom than his church does.

Joseph provides a practical plan to address the future challenges facing the empire that is embraced by Pharaoh and his court. Pharaoh elevates Joseph out of the pit and gives him new garments and adornments, power, prestige, and he is married into a powerful, priestly family in Egypt. Joseph experiences restoration and is blessed by the birth of two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, whose names express his gratitude to the gracious God who never abandoned him.

Eventually, Pharaoh’s dreams come true and Joseph’s plan provides salvation for the land of Egypt, as well as the rest of the known world as word gets out that grain is available in Egypt.

Personal Reflection

Throughout the story of Joseph we learn that God continues to be present in our lives even when our circumstances may tell us something different. In the midst of all the ups and down experienced by Joseph, he continues to have hope and believe that God is working out some greater plan that he is not always going to know or understand.

Are you on a similar journey as Joseph?

Do you trust in God’s provision for your life?

Are you living in dark places and cannot imagine any potential light or hope of deliverance?

May I encourage you to continue to seek the God who is present and remain faithful to His Kingdom message because He will continue to be faithful to you and will eventually bring about restoration.

God Bless

 

grace and brokenness

 

Interested in hearing the full message?

Click here for the sermon podcast.

 

 

Post a comment