Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream Sermon – Genesis 41 – Part 2
26 “The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one and the same.
27 “The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.
28 ” It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do.
· Just in case any of us missed it in V 25 when Joseph first disclosed that God was revealing what He would do in the future, He mentions it again here. “God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.”
· Since God made us, He knows us pretty well. We need to hear things more than once for them to sink in. Isn’t He good to repeat in Scripture many of the really important truths. I think maybe we’ve got it this time Lord.
1. God has made a perfect plan for human history.
2. He is sovereignly carrying out His plan.
3. He has graciously revealed the important details of His plan to us in the Scriptures.
29 “Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt;
30 and 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.
· At this point, Joseph had completed his assignment. Pharaoh had called him in to interpret his dreams. Joseph related to Pharaoh accurately and in detail the interpretations of his dreams. End of story, right?
· Definitely not! For the last several years, Joseph had been involved in God’s training program. God had been preparing him under his father’s instruction, preparing him as he served as Potiphar’s household manager, and most recently preparing him in his imprisonment. All this preparation readied Joseph for this very moment. No, after providing the dream’s interpretation, Joseph wasn’t about to just turn and walk away. God had prepared him for something much greater.
· Look at what Joseph does next.
Joseph Submits a Plan
33 “Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34 “Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance.
35 “Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it.
36 “Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine.”
· After relating the crisis that will be confronting Egypt, Joseph boldly submits a wise plan that will save the nation during the coming seven years of famine.
· Note several aspects of his plan that demonstrated how well he had learned from God’s training program.
a. He took initiative. Pharaoh had not requested a plan to deal with the coming crisis.
b. He formulated it quickly. In the few brief minutes it took to hear the dreams and give their interpretation, Joseph formulated the plan to deal with the upcoming crisis.
c. He presented it with confidence. Though Joseph, just a few hours earlier, had been a prisoner in the dungeon, he speaks to Pharaoh with the authority of a prime minister.
d. His plan was specific and wise. He says what percentage of the grain should be set aside in the seven years of plenty, where it should be stored and that is should be guarded to keep it secure.
e. Finally, his plan worked. As will be seen in subsequent chapters, Joseph’s plan not only supplied the needs of Egypt, but it was so effective that the surplus also alleviated the shortage in neighboring countries also affected by the famine.
· It seems apparent that the entire amount of time that Joseph had been before Pharaoh up to this point was less than 10 minutes and maybe even as little as 5 minutes. Yet in that very brief time, Pharaoh was profoundly impressed with Joseph. Look at the historic decision he made based on this few moments with Joseph!
Results of their meeting
37 Now the proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants.
38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?”
39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.
40 ” You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.”
41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42 Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.
43 He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
45 Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.
46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.
1. Pharaoh and all his servants liked Joseph’s plan.
2. They also approved of Joseph.
3. It was recognized that God was the One who revealed this and He received the glory!
4. They see that Joseph is special because God has revealed these things to him.
5. Joseph is elevated to a position equivalent to prime minister of Egypt
6. Joseph was rewarded with costly gifts.
7. Everyone in Egypt was required to honor Joseph and obey all his commands.
8. Joseph was also honored by giving him a new name.
9. Asenath was given to him as wife.
God is not only sovereign on a global scale, He is also sovereign on an individual scale!
· Hundreds of Bible prophecies speak of God’s plans for the nations. Hundreds more speak of His plans for individuals.
· Since we are studying Joseph, let’s look at some events in his life.
· Let’s suppose for just a minute that you were Joseph. Here’s a brief recap of some of the events in your life
1. Though you’ve done no harm to your brothers, they hate you and conspire to murder you.
2. They have a change of heart and instead of killing you, they decide (since you’re their brother) to sell you into slavery!
3. As a slave, you work hard to do a good job for your master only to be falsely accused by your master’s wife of raping her.
4. Because of her false accusation, you’re thrown into prison.
5. While in prison, you interpret a fellow prisoner’s dream and only ask him to remember you to Pharaoh so you can get out of prison, For your act of kindness to him, he forgets you for two years while you’re left to rot in the dungeon.
· Remember now that you’re putting yourself in Joseph’s position.
· My question for you is this, “Given these events, do you feel like God has a good plan for your life and is sovereignly carrying it out?”
· Some would reply, “Are you kidding? Of course not! These are terrible injustices that happened to me! I didn’t deserve them. Either God doesn’t care about me or He just isn’t able to help me”.
· Before you jump to that conclusion, let me share with you Joseph’s read on these events since after all he is the one who suffered through them.
20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
· At the time, some of the things that happened in Joseph’s life didn’t seem like a good thing, but when he sees the whole picture it all comes into focus for him and he realizes that God had planned all of these events and they were all for his ultimate good as well as for the benefit of many people.
· Remember one of our original questions. Why do “bad” things happen to “good” people? The answer is that they don’t. They might seem bad at the time, because, like Joseph, we don’t see the entire picture. In reality God plans everything that comes into His children’s life. It’s all for our good and His glory! We just need His perspective. We have to look at events in our lives through the eyes of faith.
God makes good plans for each one of His children. If you are a true believer, He has good plans for your life.
· Jer 29:11
11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
· Eph 2:10
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
· Ro 8:28
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.