Meditation: Genesis 41

Reading: Genesis 41:14-49

In Genesis 40 Joseph interprets the baker and butler’s dreams. Two years later Pharaoh has two dreams. Joseph tells Pharaoh and his court there will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph also wisely adds: “let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man” to reserve enough food during the plentiful years for the famine. Joseph is appointed for this, elevating him to the highest position in Egypt under Pharaoh.


The Lord is working in the Egyptian court. First God humiliates Pharaoh’s wise men (“the magicians”). These men claim to have contact with Egypt’s gods who give them secret knowledge. But Pharaoh admits that they cannot explain the dreams.


Second, Joseph says he cannot interpret the dreams; instead he gives God great honour: “God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (vs 16) and adds “God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do” (vs 25). Third, God gives Joseph the wisdom to preserve Egypt from the coming famine. Pharaoh acknowledges God’s work when he says “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” (vs 38). Fourth, God shows His power by elevating one of His children from prison to the second highest position in the land in one day.  God is pleased to use Joseph not only to save Egypt, but also the church, from the coming famine. God’s power is revealed and He receives honour, even from the unbelieving Egyptians.


God’s Word here also teaches us to take good care of our money and possessions in times of plenty, so that we are covered in difficult times.


Key text: Genesis 41:38 “And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?’ ”


Question: Joseph’s wisdom to store up grain for seven years is blessed. In Luke 12:16-21 Jesus tells a parable about a man who also had good years and stored up his crops. But Jesus calls him a fool because the man “lays up treasure for himself, [but] is not rich toward God. What do you learn from this?