The Journey of Joseph: Service!

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh King of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48 and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. 49 And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.” (Genesis 41:46–49 (ESV)

It is at this moment in the historical narrative of Joseph that Moses provides his readers with a timeline into Joseph’s life. When the Joseph narrative began, he was seventeen years old (Gen. 37:2). Today’s text indicates that he was thirty years of age when he entered into the service of Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46). Joseph spent thirteen years in prison or confinement. After spending over a decade as a slave, he is not only a free man but also a powerful and respected leader.

Psalm 105:16-22 says, 16 When he (the LORD) summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, 17 he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron; 19 until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. 20 The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free; 21 he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, 22 to bind his princes at his pleasure and to teach his elders wisdom.”

For seven years Joseph implemented God’s plan for survival. This means Joseph was 37 by the time the seven years of plenty concluded and the seven years of famine began.

Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Pharaoh’s dreams were then fulfilled. The land produced abundant, even immeasurable crops for seven years, and Joseph gathered them into storage in the Egyptian cities, exercising absolute authority throughout the land.”

It is hard for us in today’s culture to perhaps grasp and comprehend the LORD taking thirteen years before He elevated Joseph to a position of leadership in Egypt. However, we should remember that Joseph did not become a leader when Pharaoh promoted him. Rather, he had been a leader not only in Potiphar’s house (Gen. 39) but also in prison (Gen. 40). Joseph was willing to serve the LORD wherever He placed the young Hebrew. Where Joseph served was not as important as who he served: the One, True God of heaven and earth.

Believers in Christ do not have to wait until they reach a place of prominence in order to serve the LORD. Believers can serve wherever they are to whomever they meet. Leadership is not so much about a title but rather using the God given gifts and abilities you have to serve the LORD who has you.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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