Go to Joseph: Introduction

INTRODUCTION This week we pick up the story with Joseph standing before the Pharaoh. How did he get here? We’ve been following the twists and turns of Joseph’s life and we’ve seen his life have some dramatic turns. Most of us can sympathize with Joseph. Joseph was a young man in Canaan, loved by his father but hated by his brothers. And then one day as he is obeying his father he finds himself a slave on the way to Egypt to be sold in the marketplace. In slavery, Joseph shows himself to be reliable and God’s blessings are poured out on him and Potiphar’s house but with one false accusation, Joseph finds himself in the Pharaoh’s prison. Joseph stands out as a model prisoner and is trusted with running the prison. One day two officials who have been incarcerated with Joseph tell him their dreams and God gives him the meanings. Three days later Joseph is shown to be a prophet of God but he is quickly forgotten about and remains in prison. Then God gave two dreams to the Pharaoh, two dreams which no one could interpret. No one except a Hebrew prisoner. The cupbearer remembered the Joseph gave an interpretation to his dream and the chief baker and he got both of the interpretations correct. Pharaoh, desperate to know what his dreams meant and since his wise men were not able to help, calls Joseph up from the prison. Joseph explained to the Pharaoh that interpreting dreams was not something that was in Joseph as if he had a special skill in this area. It is not by magic or by some mystical arts that Joseph arrives at the meaning. Joseph explains that God must give the answer. And God does. Joseph explained the dreams and then went on to give what Pharaoh’s response ought to be to the dreams. This is where we start the story today. What will the Pharaoh do? Will he believe Joseph? Will Joseph have to go back to prison? Will the Pharaoh respond in the way that Joseph said? All of these questions and more were probably swirling in Joseph’s head as he awaited the response of the king. In our time together there are three main ideas I want to point out to you. First, we are going to look at verses 38 – 45 where we find the response of Pharaoh and Joseph’s promotion. In 46-52 we find the theme of abundance, abundance in food, and the abundance of God’s blessings. We’ll finish our time together looking at 53-57 as we see God blessing the nations through Joseph as all the earth goes to him for food.

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