January 13th, Genesis 41-42

To me, the most important part of Joseph’s story is the timeline. We know he was in prison for at least two years because that’s the amount of time that passes after he interprets the cup-bearer’s dream, but we don’t know how long he was in prison before that. Even if it was just two years, that’s a long time to be in prison. He must have wondered constantly if God would ever save him. Sometimes God doesn’t work as quickly as we would like, but we can trust that God’s plans are good, even when it seems like they aren’t.

  • 41:1- Joseph has now been in prison for at least two years, and probably longer. Sometimes God doesn’t remove us from bad situations as quickly as we’d like, even though he’s always faithful in the end.
  • 41:16 – The Lord has been with Joseph throughout his ups and downs and even though he has experienced some pretty low lows, he continues to give the glory to God and to rely on him.
  • 41:17-32 – As Joseph makes clear in yesterday’s reading in verse 16, Joseph is not responsible for the interpretation, God is. Joseph is just the vessel.
  • 41:32 –when things are repeated, it means it’s important and should be paid attention to. This is no different with Pharaoh’s dreams.
  • 41:37- This isn’t a prescriptive tale- God will not always reward faithfulness this lavishly. Nonetheless, it’s often true that God’s blessings, even when they take longer to get here than we’d like, are greater than we can imagine.
  • 41: 45 – Potiphera is not the same as Potipher whose house Joseph served in and was falsely accused in.
  • 42:1 – This is Jacob, Joseph’s father.
  • 42:4 – Benjamin was still young and Jacob had already lost the only other son of his favorite wife, Rachel.
  • 42:6-10 – Joseph’s dreams that frustrated his brothers when they were young, were now coming true. Joseph recognizes his brothers but they don’t recognize him because there is no way they could have imagined this scenario.
  • 42: 12-17 – Joseph uses this ruse because he wants to see his younger brother.
  • 42:21-22 – Joseph’s brothers are still haunted by the evil they did to him so many years ago.
  • 42:28 – They assumed they would somehow be accused of stealing. They felt like God was repaying their evil.
  • 42:38 – Joseph and Benjamin were the only two sons from Rachel.

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