In The Message, Genesis 42:9 states, “Joseph, remembering the dreams he had dreamed of them…” I don’t know for sure but it sounds like Joseph didn’t dwell on the dreams. As I read this verse, I began to think that maybe he had let them go but due to the circumstances he recalled the dreams he had.
It almost sounds like the dreams he had as a teen allowed him to understand the circumstances that he was living in many years later while serving Pharaoh. God was there all of the time in the middle of it all. Psalm 1:6a, “God charts the road you take.” (The Message). There is comfort knowing that no matter where we find ourselves God is there. He is in the middle of all we experience.
In Psalm 23 we read that God is our Shepherd. W. Phillip Keller states in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23,
To think that God in Christ is deeply concerned about me as a particular person immediately gives great purpose and enormous meaning to my short sojourn upon this planet. (17).
Yet the staggering fact remains that Christ, the Creator of such an enormous universe of overwhelming magnitude, designs to call Himself my Shepherd and invites me to consider myself His sheep – His special object of affection and attention. Who better could care for me? (19).
Job has always fascinated me. I still have a difficult time grasping his life and the things that transpired. After-all he was a man totally devotedto God. Yet through all of the circumstances in his life there was so much pain, disappointment, heartache, and gut-wrenching questions. At the end of all of it all Job answers God.
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.” (Job 42:1-8, The Message).
Job – a man totally devoted to God – came to know God in a way he would have never known had the road he traveled not had a life changing struggle. He got to know God firsthand through the devastation, pain, loss, and struggles he experienced in his life.
In Genesis 42:7, Joseph’s brothers bow to him – not knowing at the time that he was there brother. His brothers sought food to take back to Canaan. When Joseph reveals to his brothers who he is – he tells them not to despair over what they had done- that it was all in God’s plan.
“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8, The Message).
My take away from reading these chapters is that Joseph remained true to who he was in loving God. He stayed true to the purpose for his life… despite his circumstances… despite the things that had happened to him that made him a slave in Egypt…
Ultimately, Joseph’s circumstances were the result of the road God had prepared for him to travel. Many times we blame others, ourselves for “bad” decisions, and we blame God for the circumstances in our lives (especially when the circumstances are less than desirable).
When I was young I thought of growing old,
of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road,
or only wished what I could be
Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light