Our previous lesson was on how Joseph overcame loneliness. If you studied with us, you saw that in order to overcome loneliness, Joseph did not focus on himself. He remained connected to God. Since he had a personal relationship with God, he continued to communicate with God and God continued to communicate with him. Since Joseph was faithful to God, he was given favor in the eyes of the head jailer and was given total control over the jail. Joseph had a desire to serve the people around him because as we have learned, when a person is connected to God, he wants to connect with others so that he can help them connect with God. Because Joseph serves the other prisoners, God gives him a chance to help them connect with Him. The head cup-bearer and the head baker end up in jail, have strange dreams, and look for help. They look to Joseph because they have seen him helping others. Joseph helps to connect them with God. Even though things did not work out the way that Joseph wanted, he remained faithful to God and God’s plan/calling.
This lesson is going to focus on how God is in control and carries out His plan. Joseph gets to join Him and see amazing things happen. In the midst of all of this, we see that Joseph shows that he is connected to God by the fact that he works hard to serve and help the people around him. The lesson is based on Genesis 41.
I. God is in control, unfolding His plan
The story picks up with Joseph in prison. He has been there for 2 years. Joseph served the cup-bearer and asked the cup-bearer to remember him. The cup-bearer gave his word yet did not keep it. Although he had a chance to connect with God, he did not do it because God keeps His Word and those who have connected with Him do the same. God works things out to where Pharaoh has a dream that he cannot understand. No one can give him an answer and he is furious. The cup-bearer, in order to calm Pharaoh’s anger, remembers Joseph and tells Pharaoh about him. Joseph is called in Pharaoh’s presence and has a chance to serve Pharaoh. What will Joseph do now? Has he changed his view on life
II. Joseph connects with Pharaoh
Joseph uses his chance and service to connect Pharaoh with God. This is a way of life for Joseph. Since he is connected to God, he connects with others to connect them with God. After introducing Pharaoh to God, Joseph continues to try and serve Pharaoh by giving him godly advice. As a result, Pharaoh honors Joseph by raising him to the number 2 position in the land. He also gives Joseph a wife and blesses him with a great job. God has been giving Joseph glimpses of what was to come. There was a glimpse in his father’s house, a glimpse in Potipher’s house, and a glimpse even while he was in prison. Now a large part of God’s plan has come about. How will Joseph respond? Will he abandon the principles that he has lived by his entire life? He is now 30 years old and accountable to no one other than God.
III. Joseph works hard
Joseph continues to do the same things as before. Joseph was a hard worker in his father’s house. Joseph was a hard worker in Potipher’s house. He was even a hard worker while in prison. Now that he has been given a position and power, he still remains the same guy because he is connected to God. The first thing that Joseph does is to survey the land. You would think that after about 10-12 years of slavery and prison, Joseph would want to sit back and put his feet up for a while. This is not what Joseph does. Joseph goes to work right away. Joseph is not lazy. He takes advantage of the 7 good years. He stores up food for the people in their cities. He works with the people as a team for their own good. Not only did he help the people of his land (the Egyptians) but he was willing to help people from all over the world. He uses his position to serve and help people.
What about you my dear friend, do you realize that God is in control of all of your circumstances and wants to use them for your own good and His glory? Are you ready to wait upon the Lord patiently no matter what, yet while waiting, seek to serve people and help them connect with God? When God does unfold His plan, how will you respond? Will you continue to serve Him by serving the people around you or will your ways change once your position and authority change? Do you work hard in everything that you do? If not, what does that say about you and your connection with God? May the Lord help us to learn from the life of Joseph so that we can connect with God, connect with others, and help others connect with God.