"It Is Not in Me" [Genesis 41]

14Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."16Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer."

28"It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29"Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land. 31"So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe. 32"Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.

Joseph was 17 when he had his dreams that made his brothers so angry.  When he was brought before Pharaoh to interpret his dream he was 30 years old.  What had God been doing in Joseph's life in the last thirteen years?   Sometime around 17 he had been sold into slavery by his brothers but God gave him favor with Potiphar and he became a leader/administrator in his house.  When Potiphar's wife falsely accused him he was thrown in prison.  There once again God put him in a position of leadership. "But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.The chief jailer committed to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph's charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper." (Genesis 39:21-23)

It probably felt like a very long thirteen years for Joseph.  I am sure he was wondering if there was any meaning to his life but it is clear that He knew his God.  He was so keenly aware that he could not do anything, it was only God who gave the answer to dreams.  I am particularly struck by the fact that even after giving the interpretation Joseph took none of the credit.  "It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do."  At the close of this chapter the plan for Joseph's life was beginning to unfold.  God had been preparing him to be His leader over the whole nation of Egypt.

We praise You, God, that You are patiently working in each of our lives.  You are using each seemingly meaningless segment to draw us closer to You and to prepare us for the next part of Your plan.  Not one minute of our lives escape Your notice.  You are with us and You are at work. Cause us to remember that it is not in us but it is You who works through us.

Verna McCrillis, 1/20/2010