Thursday, May 27, 2021

From Dungeon to Throne

  From Prisoner to the Protector of Egypt


Joseph was a handsome young lad when God gave him dreams. The essence of his dreams, which God gave him, foretold that his brothers, father, and mother would bow down before him. The brothers were envious of Joseph because of his dreams. Even his father, Israel, rebuked him because of such dreams. It would be unthinkable, especially in that culture, for a father to bow down to a son. What could Joseph do? These dreams were given by God, who knows the future. Who knows the beginning from the end. Although his father rebuked him yet, being a godly man, he "kept the matter in mind" (Gen. 37:11). 


Sometimes people want to fight against God and His plans. Joseph's brothers tried to kill him and said to one another, let's kill him. "We shall see what will become of his dreams!" People think they can thwart the plans of God. But it is hard to fight against God, His plans, and His people. In the New Testament, Saul was one such fellow who wanted to fight against God and His people. Jesus confronted him and said,"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads" (Acts 26:14).


Joseph's brothers thought they could get rid of his brother. So, they sold him to Ishmaelites, and they sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard in Egypt. His brothers thought Joseph's story was over. But, the Bible records, "The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority" (Gen. 39:2-4).


When you are in the perfect will of God, you do not have to fear because God will be with you, as He was with Joseph. God will give you peace even in the midst of calamity. 


Joseph was a handsome young man. Potiphar’s wife started to tempt Joseph and asked him to sleep with her. "So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her" ( Gen. 39:10). Joseph responded to her by saying," "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:8-9).


One day, his master's wife saw Joseph alone in the house, and she grabbed him and forced him to lie with her. Joseph left his garment in her hand and fled and ran outside. When his master came home, she accused Joseph of attempted rape and showed him Joseph's garment that he left with her when he fled.


I do not think, Potiphar believed her story. If he had believed in her version, he would have Joseph killed, for he is the chief executioner. Instead, he sent him to prison to save his face.  


After Joseph was thrown in prison, the Bible records again, "the Lord was with Joseph" (Gen. 39:21). Joseph stayed in prison for years. 


One day Pharaoh had a couple of dreams which perturbed him greatly. He called for help to interpret the dreams, and no one in all his kingdom could interpret his dreams. The chief butler informed Pharaoh about Joseph how he interpreted his dream when he was thrown in prison. 


Immediately, Pharaoh sent for Joseph in the dungeon. Probably a band of soldiers when to the prison and pulled Joseph out of prison. They probably might have taken him straight to "The Great Clips" and gave him a nice haircut, shaved his beard, put nice robes, brought him, and presented him before Pharaoh. All the while, Joseph did not understand what was going on. 


Joseph stood before Pharaoh. After Pharaoh revealed his dreams to Joseph, he answered to Pharaoh and said, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace" (Gen. 41:16). 


Joseph interpreted the dream and explained how there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of severe famine, and God has warned Pharaoh to save during the time of plenty so they can survive during the time of famine. 


And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning

 and wise as you.  You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you" (Gen. 41:38-40). 

God pulled Joseph out of the dungeon and set him up on a throne, second in command in all of Egypt. Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand. He clothed him with royal garments, put a gold chain around his neck, and gave him a "Rolls-Royce" for travel. He proclaimed, without Joseph's permission, "no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." Pharaoh gave him a beautiful wife, Asenath. 


I can only imagine; Potiphar went home and probably told his wife, "Guess what?, from now on, I am going to report to that guy whom you accused of rape". 


Later, when the famine was so harsh in every country, Joseph's father, brothers, and families were all moved to Egypt. They all came and bowed down before Joseph. Joseph's brothers thought they got rid of their brother and his dreams with him. But they did not realize those are God's dreams, and no one can nullify those God-given dreams. 


When the brothers were terrified to see Joseph in such an elevated position, they fell before him to the ground. Joseph said to his brothers, "you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good."


Dear reader, I do not know what situation you are going through. But, if you honor God and run away from sin, He will be with you even in the dungeon. He took Joseph out of the dungeon and set him up on a throne. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20).


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