In the time after the cupbearer’s release, Joseph ran the prison like a well-oiled machine. He cared for the prisoners, the guards and even the accounting and record books. Indeed, no other prison or business for that matter, ran so smoothly, for the Lord continued to be with Joseph and bless him.
While he toiled in prison, a full two years later, Pharaoh had two dreams one night, that deeply troubled him. When day broke, Pharaoh arose, and immediately sent for all of Egypt’s magicians and wise men to seek an interpretation of his disturbing dreams. However, not one of them was able to interpret the dreams’ meaning to him, which caused him even more anxiety. “Is there no one in this entire land that can help me?” he cried out.
“Your majesty,” the chief cupbearer finally spoke up. “Forgive me, for today, I am reminded of my failure. Do you remember when you were angry with your officials, and arrested the chief baker and me, sire?” At Pharaoh’s impatient nod, the cupbearer quickly continued. “One night, while we were in prison, both the baker and I had dreams, which greatly disturbed us. The next morning, a young Hebrew man, who was a servant of the captain of the guard, came to care for us, and asked why we were so downcast. So we told him our dreams, and he interpreted each one of our dreams individually, for us. What’s more, those dreams came to pass, just as he had prophesied. I was restored to my office, and the baker was impaled.”
“This is true?” Pharaoh asked. At the cupbearer’s solemn nod, Pharaoh summoned Joseph to court.
Joseph, meanwhile, was in the midst of his morning prayers, before beginning his duties as the warden’s assistant.
1 How long, Adonai?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long must I keep asking myself what to do,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long must my enemy dominate me?
3 Look, and answer me, Adonai my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death.
4 Then my enemy would say, “I was able to beat him”;
and my adversaries would rejoice at my downfall.
5 But I trust in Your grace,
my heart rejoices as You bring me to safety.
6 I will sing to Adonai, because He gives me
even more than I need.
Then, as he finished his prayers, guards from the royal palace came and led him quickly out of the dungeon. After Joseph shaved himself and changed his clothes, he was led into Pharaoh’s presence, where he respectfully knelt, his heart pounding frantically. “O Adonai,” he silently prayed. “Protect me and deliver me from my foes. Give me wisdom, to know when to speak and when to be silent. Adonai, let me speak Your words, and not my own.”
“Last night, I had two dreams,” Pharaoh told Joseph, “and there is no one here, who can interpret them, but I was told that you are an interpreter of dreams. Is this true?”
“Pharaoh, I am not the interpreter of dreams. El Shaddai is the giver and interpreter of dreams. If you will share your dream with me, El Shaddai will give you an answer that will give you peace,” Joseph said gently.
“Very well,” Pharaoh responded. “In my dream, I stood at the edge of the river, and I saw seven fat and sleek cows emerge, and they fed on the swamp grass. After they came, seven more cows emerged from the river, but these cows were sickly and emaciated. I’ve never seen such a sorry group of cows in all of Egypt! Then, the scrawny, miserable cows ate up the seven fat cows, but even after they’d devoured them, you would never guess they’d had anything to eat at all. For they were still as miserable and sorry looking as they were before they ate.
“At this point, I awakened, but I quickly drifted off to sleep again, and I had another dream. In this dream, I saw seven full ripe ears of grain growing out of a single stalk, and after that, I saw seven more ears of grain spring up, but they were thin and shriveled up by the east wind. And then, right before my eyes, I saw the shriveled ears swallow up the seven ripe ears of grain!
“This morning, when I awakened, I summoned my magicians and wise men, and I shared these dreams with them, but not one of them could explain them to me. Are you able to interpret these dreams?” Pharaoh questioned Joseph.
Joseph listened intently to what Pharaoh shared, while also listening to what the Spirit of the Lord spoke to his heart. Now, he felt the peace that only comes from ‘Elyon, as he drew in his breath and began to speak. “Pharaoh’s dreams are the same. God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do.”
Joseph spoke with the authority that only comes from God, and Pharaoh and his counselors all leaned forward, to hear every word he uttered. “The seven healthy cows and the seven good ears of grain represent seven years. Likewise, the seven scrawny cows and the seven blighted ears of grain also represent seven years of famine. This is what ‘Elyon, has shown Pharaoh He is about to do.
“There will be seven years of abundance throughout the entire land of Egypt, but afterwards, there will be seven years of famine. Indeed, the famine will be so dreadful, that Egypt will forget all of the abundance from the previous seven years. Indeed, the famine will consume the land, and it will be truly disastrous.
“Do you wonder why this dream was doubled for Pharaoh? It is because the matter has already been decreed by Elohim, and it will happen according to His word very soon.
“Therefore, Pharaoh should look for a wise and discreet man to put in charge of the land of Egypt, so that he can appoint supervisors over the land to receive a twenty percent tax on all of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. All of the food produced during the coming seven years of abundance should be gathered. Some should be used for food in the cities, and the rest should be stored. This will be the land’s food supply for the seven years of famine that will follow the seven years of abundance, so that the people do not perish as a result of the famine.”
Joseph’s demeanor and his wise suggestions impressed Pharaoh and all of his officials. Pharaoh looked at his officials and asked, “Can we find anyone else like him? The Spirit of God lives in him!” His officials agreed wholeheartedly with Pharaoh, so Pharaoh released Joseph from his position as a slave and prisoner that day, and placed him in command of all of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself.
“There is no one as wise and discerning as you,” Pharaoh told Joseph. “Therefore, today, I am placing you in charge of my entire household. You will rule over all my people, and they will obey what you say. Only when I rule from my throne, will I be greater than you.” Then, removing his signet ring from his finger, Pharaoh placed it on Joseph’s finger and continued, “This day, you will not only rule my household, but the whole land of Egypt. I, Pharaoh, decree that without your approval no one is to raise his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. Furthermore, your name shall henceforth be Zaphenath-paneah.”
Pharaoh then called his servants to bring him fine linen clothing, and a gold chain, which he placed around Joseph’s neck. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a wife, whose name was Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. So, at the age of thirty years, Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt, serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
Afterward, Pharaoh sent some of his servants to the royal stables, to bring his second best chariot to Joseph, telling him ride the chariot throughout the land of Egypt. As Joseph rode the chariot through the streets of Egypt, his servants ran before him, shouting, “Bow down!” to the citizens of the land. Thus, when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.
In the midst of all that was happening around him, Joseph found time to give thanks to Almighty God. For though others may have forgotten him, the Lord had not forgotten him.
Beloved reader, do you think the Lord has forgotten you? Do you feel as though you are alone in your circumstances? Fear not, for though a woman may forget her child, God will not forget you. If you continually seek Him, you will find Him. He has a plan for you, His beloved child, even in the midst of the worst circumstances. You are not forgotten.
14 Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.”
15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!”
Cheryl A. Showers