Today’s Tasting: Genesis 41-42: Joseph has been in prison, forgotten by those who promised to help him, thought by his family to be dead. Then he is called by Pharaoh to interpret his dreams. Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men had failed, but his chief cupbearer remembered that when they were in prison together Joseph had interpreted his dreams correctly. So Pharaoh sends for Joseph to appear before him. Joseph tells Pharaoh that it is not he, but God who will interpret the dreams. He tells Pharaoh the dreams foretell seven years of abundant harvest, followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh appoints Joseph to be in charge of preparing for the famine. The predicted famine arrives and its impact is felt far beyond Egypt. Joseph’s brothers come to him, asking to buy food. He recognizes them but speaks to them harshly, without revealing who he is, and sends them home with the food they asked for, and the money they brought to pay for it. But he keeps his brother Simeon with him, and tells them to return with their brother Benjamin. When they get back home and tell Jacob what has happened he refuses to allow them to take Benjamin, although Reuben promises to guarantee his safety through offering his own sons in exchange.
Today’s Nourishment: In today’s reading, we learn that Pharaoh listened to what God was telling him about the coming famine and prepared for it. Pharaoh did not know Israel’s God, but still listened to the warning and took the steps God advised to prevent his people starving. His actions saved the lives of many people, including Joseph’s family. If someone who was not initially a believer in God could follow His direction, how much more willing should we be to follow where God is leading us? When we read in the Bible about how we are supposed to live our lives, we need to take seriously those messages and do our best to follow them.
Do you always listen to what God is telling you to do, or do you sometimes do things your own way? I know that part of the problem for me is figuring out what God is asking of me. There are times I wish it could be as clear as it was for many people in the Bible, so I am told directly what to do. Yet there are also many examples of people in the Bible who were told exactly what to do and still found it difficult to obey. Think for example of Adam and Eve, and Jonah.
When was the last time you found it difficult to follow what God was commanding you to do, or even to be sure what that was?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Genesis 43-45