Last week's Torah Portion came from Genesis 41:1 - 44:17.
Joseph had asked the chief butler to remember him to Pharaoh when he was released from prison and returned to his court duties, but as we found out at the end of our last Torah portion, the chief butler had totally forgotten about Joseph. Chapter 41 begins with this:
Genesis 41:1 (KJV)
And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
TWO YEARS of waiting! Joseph's discouragement must have been extreme, yet God had not forgotten Joseph. He had plans for His servant!
Pharaoh dreamed two dreams and none of the magicians could tell Pharaoh the dreams, nor interpret them. Finally, the chief butler remembered Joseph and recommended him to Pharaoh. Although Joseph was able to interpret the dreams for Pharaoh, he quickly credited God for the interpretation.
Genesis 41:16 (KJV)
And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Pharaoh took Joseph's suggestion to appoint a vizier, or a high government official, to oversee the collection and distribution of food for the people during the upcoming seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Pharaoh chose Joseph for this role. With this decree, Joseph permanently left the prison and became second in command over Egypt.
God had certainly rewarded Joseph for his faithfulness, but as Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food, we see that God was not yet finished. The brothers face Joseph, the brother that they had sold into slavery. They bow down to him without recognizing that he is their brother. They were now to be tested. Had they changed in any way or were they the same self-centered brothers that Joseph had known? More on this next time!
There are some who believe that it is God's will for His people to be wealthy. After all, even though Joseph spent many years as a slave or in prison, he was eventually raised to an almost unbelievable status. Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham all had great wealth, but is this the norm? When we examine the entire Bible we find that Yeshua, His parents, and His disciples were not wealthy. Consequently, there is no reason to automatically assume that wealth is a given for God's people. Some are wealthy and some are not. A person's bank account is only dependent on what God plans. Wealth may be God's will for some, but it is not for all. If wealth would bring glory to God through a believer's life, then wealth may be the result. However, wealth can also bring great sin, often in the form of idolatry.
Are you wealthy? Thank God and use it responsibly for God. Don't let it become a god. Are you poor or somewhere in between? Be thankful for what you do have and be thankful that wealth has not become an added difficulty. Don't yearn for wealth, for that is also idolatry.
God is trustworthy! Trust Him in all the things of your life!