Today's Lectionary Text
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.”
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priestof On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
These particular verses in Genesis refer to a plan. The plan was to collect food in advance before a famine that was dreamt. Pharaoh had vivid dreams and needed an interpreter. The man with the ability to spiritually interpret dreams is the imprisoned Joseph. God has made himself known in a unique way to Joseph and Pharaoh is curious. Joseph’s words are powerful to Pharaoh and it is the spiritual discipline of hearing from the Lord and listening to his commands that go unnoticed. Pharaoh gave Joseph the earthly kingdom power, but the Lord granted Joseph to be a heavenly kingdom worker.
The Holy Spirit guided Joseph. Pharaoh “dressed him up” and gave Joseph the best for the mission and execution of the plan. Typically when I think of going out in mission, I think of “dressing down” to get dirty and ready for what might come. Pharaoh continued to be the known person in charge, but the shift was that people started listening to Joseph because of his leadership in the land of Egypt. Joseph was sent and therefore he went to lead the people amongst them.
While Joseph was young, Joseph understood the long-term plan and provided stability in leadership. A series of collections and storing become bigger than his leadership and impacted generations to come after him. The abundance blessed them beyond measure and the Lord worked through the people in the present and into the future where uncertainty lurked. Through listening to God, and then interpreting the work of the Spirit, comes great (and even greater) responsibility then we, and our dreams, could ever imagine.
Coordinator of Lay Leadership
Prayer for Reflection
Father God, we praise you for the Holy Spirit who grants us wisdom, fills us with life, guards our hearts, and illuminates our mind to comprehend the good news of Jesus Christ. Let us settle for nothing less than the truth that you have revealed to us in your Holy Word.
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