Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Reading the Bible 33 Genesis 41: 1-36 – Dreams of Things to Come
There are times in our lives that it doesn’t seem that things will ever get better. We hope that the trials and tribulations of our lives will end and better times will finally arrive. However, days turn into weeks and the weeks pile up and nothing seems to change. For those of us who believe that God is with us we wonder if He or She has forgotten about us. All our prayers and efforts seem to amount to less than nothing; they seem to be a waste of time.
Reading the account of Joseph in prison I can’t but think that Joseph must have felt that way in spades. God seemed to be with Joseph from his earliest years. God had given him the gift of dreams – big ones that seemed wonderful. However, the way he used and misused that gift led him to his exile and a prisoner in a foreign land. That gift had stood him in good stead while in prison and he had predicted the fates of his two cell mates to the despair of one and the joy of the other. However, even that blessing did not appear to do him any good. When this chapter in his story opens we find that Joseph has been languishing in prison for two years.In my imagination Joseph would have pretty much given up hope when a minor miracle happened. The Pharaoh was visited with disturbing dreams which none of his magicians and other assorted wise men could interpret for him. This jogged the memory of Joseph’s former cell mate who had benefited from Joseph’s ability in dream interpretation and tell the Pharaoh about it.
The rest as they say is history. Joseph successfully interprets Pharaoh’s dreams predicts the good times and bad times ahead – seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Joseph shows that he has gained wisdom from his trials and knows that his ability to interpret dreams is a gift from God. Joseph advises the Pharaoh to make hay while the sun shines and as we shall see the Pharaoh is wise enough to know wise advice when he encounters it.Those two years as I say must have seemed like an eternity to Joseph sitting in his prison cell with no rescue on the horizon. And it is a valuable lesson for us when we are in the midst of a dark period in our lives. God is with us whether it seems that way or not. Good times or bad; feast or famine; God is with us.