“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” – Lamentations 3:21-26 NIVUK
God’s timing is not our timing but when it is time, things move fast! Joseph must have been completely overwhelmed: the one moment he is a prisoner, the next moment he is the second-in-command of one of the biggest countries in the ancient world. And he is relatively young for the position too: only thirty years old! I am just a little older than that, and I cannot imagine being the prime minister of my country right now.
- May the Lord help us to be faithful to Him in the little things, just like Joseph is in his father’s household, his Egyptian master’s house, and in prison. This often prepares us for the plans He has for us in the future by giving us skills, and developing and strengthening our character.
- May the Lord remind us to give Him the glory in all things, like Joseph does when Pharoah comments on Joseph’s ability to explain dreams. This will help us to view the world with a proper perspective, and enable us to resist the temptations power and wealth might throw our way if the Lord chooses to use us in an area of leadership.
- May the Lord help us to be patient when it seems as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. When we are trying our best to walk with God, and give Him honor and glory for all things, He will work things out for our good at the right moment (Romans 8:28).
- We should never say we are too young, under qualified, or have the wrong background to accomplish what the Lord has called us to do. Just look at Joseph . . .
Joseph was a remarkable man. Despite being sold by his brothers to traders, so becoming a victim of human trafficking, and despite being thrown unjustly into an Egyptian prison, he still holds on to God. The first words out of his mouth when the cupbearer and the baker tell him that they have had disturbing dreams are ‘Do not interpretations belong to God’. It is much easier when something bad happens to us to blame God for being unjust and unfair. Not Joseph. He seems to accept his lot humbly. However, he is a normal human being because the text shows us that he is unhappy about being in prison for the wrong reasons. May the Lord helps us to have this healthy attitude to the challenges we will face in life that we have no control over: patiently accepting and enduring but expecting God to work everything out in His time for His glory.
I find it interesting that the captain of the guard, Potiphar, assigns Joseph to take care of these two officials while they are in prison. Perhaps Potiphar knew the truth about Joseph’s innocence, but he couldn’t favor Joseph above his wife. Who knows . . .
In conclusion, the NETBible mentions ‘the dreams were fulfilled exactly as Joseph had predicted, down to the very detail. Here was confirmation that Joseph could interpret dreams and that his own dreams were still valid. It would have been a tremendous encouragement to his faith, but it would also have been a great disappointment to spend two more years in jail’. God’s timing is not our timing. May He helps us to be patient during the waiting periods of our life.
Obedience cultivates patience . . . or does patience cultivate obedience . . . mmm . . . one thing is clear from this Scripture: Noah was a patient, obedient, thankful man. I wonder what he would have thought of our ‘instant everything’ culture. I think that this culture makes it hard for us to wait on God in obedience. If God doesn’t answer us or act on a request right away, we may think that He probably didn’t hear us, or we are not important enough, or He just doesn’t care . . . However, most of the time He is probably working out an answer to our request in a grand, glorious manner but when, because of our impatience, we take matters in our own hands, we may miss the marvelous answer He intended.
Noah is perfectly human. He makes his own investigation into the state of the post flood earth by sending out a raven and a dove. Then when the dove doesn’t return, Noah removes the covering from the ark, and see that the earth is dry. He still doesn’t leave the ark though. He waits on God’s command. Wow! Can you imagine the temptation to leave the ark after all of the months stuck inside?! From this I learn that it is ok to wonder whether God is finished working out His plan, as long as we don’t try to rush that plan into completion. Perhaps obedience cultivates patience then . . . 🙂
Noah knows how to say thank you. The first thing that He does after God sees him, his family, and all the living organisms on the ark through this trial is to thank God. God is so pleased by his thankful, humble response that He promises never to “curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done” as long as the earth exists. God extends His grace, giving humankind what we do not deserve, and His mercy, not giving us what we deserve.
It is important to remember that the Bible teaches that there is a day when the earth will cease to exist. One of the commentaries on biblestudytools.net ties Genesis 8 with this passage from 2 Peter: “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” Christians are looking forward to the day when everything will be restored to its proper order. Are you ready for it?