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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Tide Turns for Joseph (Genesis 41)

Eventually, the time came for Joseph to begin to ascend. Not only was the actual timing in the Lord's hand, so was the individual he would use to bring it about. It was no more difficult for the Lord to use Pharaoh than it is for him to use anyone. Pharaoh was the most powerful human in the world at that time, but he was still under the control of God. This is a reminder that the most unlikely ruler can be used by God to further his kingdom.

Not only was the Lord able to use Pharaoh when restoring Joseph, he was also able to silence all his potential rivals at one go. The dreams that troubled Pharaoh silenced his advisers to such an extent that they would not even venture a guess. From one point of view, this response was strange because, since Pharaoh did not know the meaning of his dreams, they could have suggested anything to him. But God's Word has the power to silence people.

Moreover, the Lord can stimulate people's memories and do it in such a way that they confess their faults. The cupbearer did not have to reveal his sin in forgetting Joseph. All he had to say was that Joseph had helped him in the prison. Yet he publicly confessed the wrong he had done to Joseph. The power of God's message spoke to the heart of the cupbearer.

Pharaoh was very impressed by Joseph's dignified explanation and application of God's message. Joseph stressed clearly the sovereignty of God and therefore did not draw attention to himself. The striking fact about Joseph is that despite his years in obscurity he was ready to speak to the sovereign. I suspect he could speak so appropriately to the earthly ruler because he was accustomed to speaking to the heavenly Sovereign.

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