These dreams were a sign from God. They were a hint of how God would save HIS people one day. But human carnal flesh do not see God's ways. The carnal nature does not know God's thoughts. We look at the physical and we become prideful. We must put down our pride and selfish ambitions and know HE is God. Joseph's brothers did not attempt to discern the meaning of the dreams. They were full of pride unwilling to submit to God's authority, especially through their younger brother. Any thoughts of bowing down the their youngest brother was ridiculous to them.
Envy, jealousy, and hate had planted the seed of murder into the hearts of Joseph's brothers. One day, when they saw him, they were committed to murdering their youngest brother. They were blinded by hate. God knows what is in our hearts. But God loves all of us so much that HE continues to pour down HIS mercy and grace upon all of us including those who are wicked and evil. Joseph brothers had evil in their hearts. Although man may use their evil to destroy one another, God will use man's ill intention and HE will turn it around for good and for HIS Glory.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28
Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers and then to Egypt and placed under Potiphar's authority. At first, Joseph, as a slave, probably had to clean the out houses (bathrooms) and perform all the menial jobs. When he proved himself to be loyal and a good worker, Joseph was placed to manage all of Potiphar's business within the house. Scripture says the Lord was with Joseph and God blessed Potiphar's house for Joseph's sake. The Lord had blessed Joseph and Potiphar's household because Joseph did not complain about his situation. In fact, he was also tested through Potiphar's wife as she attempted to seduce him.
Just when things were getting much better and Joseph was managing Potiphar's affairs, his situation appeared to have gotten worse rather than better. Although a slave but by God's grace, he had worked his way to the top administration position for Potiphar but because of Potiphar's wife, he was now in prison. How did he react? How would you have reacted after waiting all those years for God to rescue you but the situation appeared to have become worse? Joseph was now thrown into prison for false accusation.
We must learn to discern our situations as HIS ways and HIS thoughts are higher than ours. We must always be grateful and not give into complaints or hopelessness. We must always praise and thank HIM in all situations. Joseph had to wait for about 12 to 13 years before his time had come. Those years were years of testing and for him to die to himself. They were years of testing to determine if bitterness or resentment would grow or if he would become humbled and continue to be faithful to God. Joseph at a young age had to endure slavery and then prison while his brothers who had sold him were enjoying life. His brothers had families, they were tending their flock, and enjoying their freedom. Their lives appeared blessed even though they had committed a grave sin against Joseph. They lied to their father about his death and they had almost murdered him but at the end decided to sell him.
From top slave to now a prisoner in Pharaoh's jail, Joseph continued with his attitude of gratefulness and faithfulness to God. He served even in prison and was even promoted to assist the warden. In fact, he was placed in the King's prison where other dignateries were incarcerated. Although Joseph was in prison, he had access to good food and environment since it was where dignitaries were held. Joseph was passing his tests as he waited for God. We can be in our wildernesses and when we do not complain and as we are obedient to God, HE will allow us to go through it in the "King's prison" where we will not lack but be abundantly supplied.
God had to place Joseph in prison so that he could meet the baker and cup bearer of Pharaoh. It would be through the interpretation of their dreams that one day Joseph would meet Pharaoh. After two years in prison, Joseph's time had come as the cup bearer remembered Joseph when Pharaoh had his dream.
Joseph at the young age was betrayed by his brothers and he had spent most of his young adult life as a slave and prisoner. He did not have much of a young adult life. Even during the seven fat years, his brothers prospered and further more enjoyed their lives. They were not punished for betraying Joseph but the betrayal was used to save them. How ironic! For Joseph, God used those years to humble, test, purge, teach patience, teach obedience, and mold Joseph to a position and calling to glorify God.
Joseph, his brothers, and Jacob their father are God's people. Joseph was the point man who had to sacrifice himself for his family. His family wanted him dead but nevertheless, Joseph was chosen by God. Joseph did not have any material wealth as a slave and prisoner. When he became appointed 2nd to Pharaoh, God used Egyptian money, wealth, and labor to provide for God's people. Then Jacob and his family came to Egypt to live and they were given the best land to settle. They didn't have to do a thing to be well fed and protected under Egyptian rule. It was the Grace of God!
When the famine struck, the famine was used by God to humble Joseph's brothers. They had lived many years in prosperity but famine brought them to their meek level. The famine brought them to confess about Joseph. The famine had brought the family back together as all of them were humbled. The years in exile and famine had taught Joseph to give mercy and grace to his brothers. Joseph knew at the end that it was God who had sent him ahead of his family to save them. There are only two roads from our wildernesses, we will either come out changed more humbled and obedient or we will die in our complaints and misery. We must endure and pass our tests.
God did not use Jacob, his sons, nor Joseph's resources to save them. God used the world's system, the world's labor, and the world's wealth to provide for His own people during the famine. God's people had not stocked up nor were they prepared for the famine. Our financial resources are to be used for HIS Kingdom by utilizing such resources for proper tithes and offerings and not for stocking up. Scripture promises that if God will take care of the sparrow, will HE not take care of us?
What is the Joseph anointing? The Joseph anointing is a calling on His people who will spiritually go through what Joseph went through so we can be prepared to rule the nations with Christ. We do not need to worry about what we will eat, drink, or be clothed. You do not need to worry about the calamities that are coming to the world as God has already prepared our safe places with provisions to those who obey. We need to be stocking up our spiritual barns with wheat, new wine, and oil. Wheat is the new souls for the Kingdom, new wine is new spiritual gifts, and oil represented wealth and prosperity. Therefore, spiritual oil is to accumulate our spiritual wealth, spiritual prosperity, and spiritual health. Then as your spirit prospers, your body shall prosper.
Some may feel like they are in Joseph's situation as brothers and sisters in Christ may have hated and betrayed them and they may even be living prosperous lives at this moment just as Joseph's brothers. But as Joseph, we must not hold anything against them as God loves all HIS children. We must just thank God in all our circumstances and we must focus on passing our tests and overcoming temptations. Those who endure temptation will recieve a crown of life. We must even thank God for helping us learn from our mistakes. We must know His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours and our focus must be to know HIM more so we can persevere and endure as HIS Will is done.
Jacob or Israel and his seventy family members did not do a thing to be put in the best land of Goshen and be treated like royalty. But Joseph on the other end had to forgive, endure, and suffer for their sake and his own sake. When he passed his tests enduring to the end, all of God's people were saved. They did not have to use their money or investment. In fact, when the brothers had come to buy wheat, the money was given back to them. Glory to God!
The children of the Most High do not need to worry about their future nor participate in the worries of the world. We do not need to worry about its politics nor judge our leaders. We just need to pray and pray for our secular leaders and nation. The bible says not to store up where moth can eat at it. We are not to store our resources as back up lacking our trust in God. We are to invest it into the Kingdom in proper obedient tithes and offering sowing on good ground. We must sow into ministries which are enduring, praying, and persevering as Joseph had done. Such churches will one day be raised up to rule the nations and help God's people when the famine comes.
All the Glory to God!
Pastor Steve Yong Kim
Fire of God Church
Fremont, CA USA