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January 14, 2023 - Genesis 40-43

God uses all sorts of means in order to accomplish his purposes. The cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker had angered the pharaoh and had been thrown into the same jail where Joseph was. Not a big deal, huh? Oh, a very big deal! God had given dreams to the cupbearer and baker, dreams that no one could interpret except, of course, Joseph. Eventually, the baker was hanged, the cupbearer was restored to his position, and Joseph was forgotten. End of story, right? Wrong! After two years, God gave dreams to the pharaoh, and the cupbearer remembered Joseph and recommended him to the pharaoh. Two long years Joseph languished in prison but let no one imagine that God was inattentive or inactive. Oh, no! And with Joseph’s interpretation of the pharaoh’s dream, he was elevated to the second-most powerful position in all the nation, only behind pharaoh.

Back in Canaan, as in Egypt, famine had come, and Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy grain. Found out by Joseph, they returned with payment surreptitiously slipped back into their luggage and one of their own having to remain in Egypt. Jacob, told that they must return with his youngest son, Benjamin, was heartbroken, afraid that he would now lose Benjamin as he thought he had lost Joseph. Jacob’s decision? “Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved” (43:13-14). “May God Almighty grant you mercy.” What to do in such a situation? Lean on God! Trust God! Cry out for mercy!

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform.

He plants his footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break

In blessings on your head. -- William Cowper (1774)

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