Land of my Affliction

“For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house…For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”   -Genesis 41:51, 52

I was reading in Genesis chapters 40 and 41 yesterday. As I began to read I was overcome about thinking of Joseph’s life. His brothers wanted to kill him, but instead they sold him as a slave in Egypt, where he was thrown into prison because he wouldn’t lay with Potiphar’s wife. Things are looking pretty grim for Joseph.

He then sees a glimmer of hope. Two men, the butler and the baker get thrown into prison with Joseph. They both have dreams, which God gives the knowledge of the meanings of the dreams to Joseph. Joseph knows that this is a gift that God has given him. He takes no credit for the gift. He interprets the dreams. The butler’s dream turned out pretty good. He would be released in three days and be restored his position. The baker’s dream, however, wasn’t so good. He would also be released in three days, but instead of getting his job back, he would be hanged. It amazes me that Joseph didn’t sugar-coat the baker’s interpretation of the dream. I am sure it would not be easy news to give to someone that they were going to die. Yet, he told the truth. A lesson for me to remember. If God gives me something to say to someone, even if it’s harsh, I need to obey.

The next part is what really spoke to me. When those three days were up, Joseph told the butler to remember him. He said, “Remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.” Joseph at this point had hope! He must be thinking, surely he will remember me. When will I get news that I am released? Days pass. Weeks pass. Months pass. No news. Where is God? He trusted God, but where was He? Heaven was silent.

Two long years go by. Pharaoh then has two dreams and doesn’t understand the meaning of them. The butler finally remembers the man in the dungeon – Joseph. He wasn’t forgotten by God. It had to be in God’s timing. He is sent for and once again, does not take credit for being able to interpret dreams. He gives the glory to God. He told Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” (Geneseis 41:16)

Pharaoh recognizes something different in Joseph. I believe it was the Holy Spirit in him. He then puts Joseph in charge over his house, and all the people, second to Pharaoh. Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife and she bore two sons to Joseph. The first Manasah: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the second son named Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

God sees you! He loves you! Regardless of what you are going through, he knows exactly where you are, especially in your “tomb” moments, where all hope seems lost. He is there watching, waiting for the right moment to set you free!

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