Friday, October 8, 2010

OTC Day 19: Genesis 40-41

Are you willing to wait on God’s timing? Are you prepared to act when the opportunity presents itself?

Joseph’s story teaches us to trust God’s sovereignty. This means we have an unshakeable trust that God is in control of not only the outcome, but also the timing.

Joseph continued to trust God in the middle of a horrific span of years. Since we know the story, we tend to read it like a fairytale. It sounds like, “On Monday, Joseph was sold into slavery. On Tuesday, he was ruling Potiphar’s house. Wednesday brought prison, on Thursday came the dreams, etc.” We ignore the timeframe. Joseph started out as a slave in a foreign country. He had to learn the language and start from the bottom. He worked his way to the top, only to get knocked back to the bottom again. It’s possible that 13 years elapsed from the time His brothers sold him as a slave until Pharaoh promoted him.

Are you willing to wait for God’s timing? His timing is different because His plans are different. Joseph wanted out, but God wanted him as second in command. Joseph wanted to save himself, but God wanted to save millions through him. God’s plans are better, but to have them, you have to wait for His timing.

Trusting God does not mean passively waiting. Joseph was not sitting around twiddling his thumbs. He was doing the little things, faithful to the task at hand. God was using present assignments to prepare Joseph for future responsibilities.

When opportunity presented itself, Joseph was prepared. He told his story to the cupbearer, in case that was his opening. When Pharaoh had a dream, Joseph was ready to interpret it and offer a plan. Where did he learn to interpret dreams and administrate? From his earlier experiences at home, in Potiphar’s house, and in prison. He was faithful with each increasingly complex step. God was training him.

When God’s timing comes, will you be ready? Your past experiences and present circumstances are vital steps toward God’s future.

1. In what ways do we witness God’s unseen hand of providence in the life of Joseph?

2. What do the insights of godless people in Genesis 39:3, 23 and 41:39-40 reveal about the evidence of Joseph’s close relationship with God?

3. What do we learn about God from this story?

4. What do Pharaoh’s words in Genesis 41:55 reveal to us about the degree of trust Joseph had earned through God’s blessing and obedience? What lessons can we learn from Joseph’s life to apply to our own work?

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