Joseph was sold by his brothers, sent to a foreign land, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and his grandfather Isaac dies without knowing that Joseph is still alive. As harsh as Joseph’s life appears, it is always too soon to assess someone’s situation because the Lord is always at work behind the scenes. We see God working on Joseph’s behalf when He gives Joseph the ability to interpret the dreams of two prisoners, Pharaoh’s cupbearer (or butler) and baker. Joseph gives all the credit for the interpretations to the Lord when he says, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” One thing about Joseph is that his life always points others to the Lord.
So the Lord’s interpretations of the dreams, that the cupbearer would be restored to his previous position and that the baker would be killed, come true. However, the cupbearer forgets about Joseph once he is released from prison. But God has not forgotten Joseph! In the Lord’s perfect timing, two years later, He brings Joseph out of prison and gives him insight regarding Pharaoh’s dreams. Joseph says to Pharaoh, “God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land.” Then Joseph advises Pharaoh to store up food during the years of plenty. Pharaoh recognizes that God is with Joseph and that there is no other man as wise Joseph. Therefore, Joseph is promoted as ruler over Pharaoh’s house and all of Egypt.
This is a drastic change in Joseph’s circumstances. Joseph was seventeen years old when he was sold by his brothers as a slave, and now he is a thirty year old man, ruler of Egypt, and married to Asenath. Joseph and Asenath have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph is appointed by the Lord to carry out His plan to save the nations from a great famine. Keep reading because a family reunion is coming up next! (Genesis 40:1-23, Genesis 35:28-29, Genesis 41:1-57)