Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.
During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”
When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?”
He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.
As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”
Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.
And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.’”
Sometimes the least likely of scenarios happen to us.
The last thing Joseph expected was for his brothers to come and ask him for food. He had them in his grasp. He could have them sold into slavery, thrown into jail, tortured or sent away to be killed.
However, Joseph extends incredible grace because he understood what God was doing through his whole story.
The very thing used against him (their betrayal) results in his exaltation so that he can now save the brothers who betrayed him.
We see the central truth in verse 8: “It was not you who sent me here, but God.”
Those are either the words of a madman or a man of faith.
He mentions God five times in six verses so his brothers won’t miss the point.
“I know what you did. I haven’t forgotten your treachery, but that’s not the issue. You did what you did because you wanted to hurt me, but God allowed it to happen so that I would end up a ruler in Egypt so that at the exact moment when you needed me, I would be here to save you and your family.”
His vision of God was so great that it trumped the sin of his brothers.
Joseph was able to see God’s plan at work in his own life.
The Big Question
When have you seen God’s plan at work in your own life?
What can you do to surrender to God’s plan even when you don’t see Him working?