The Exaltation of Joseph

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 41:1-57

INTRODUCTION:  The time that Joseph had sought for so long finally came.  He is exalted in this chapter as second ruler of Egypt.  “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:  Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.  He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom” (Psalm 105:17-22).

  1. PHARAOH’S DREAMS (Genesis 41:1-8)
    1. The Dream of the Cattle (Genesis 41:1-4)
      1. NOTE: The “two full years” (Genesis 41:1) are how long the butler forgot Joseph.  These must have been very disappointing years.
      2. NOTE: The dreams in Joseph’s life always come in two’s.  Joseph dreams the two dreams about his future glory (Genesis 37:5-10).  In prison he interprets the dreams of the butler and the baker (Genesis 40).  Here, Pharaoh has two dreams – one of the cattle and the other of the corn.
      3. Seven well favoured kine (Genesis 41:1-2)
        1. Seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed came up out of the river (Genesis 41:2).
        2. The seven well favoured kine fed in a meadow (Genesis 41:2).
      4. Seven ill favoured kine (Genesis 41:3-4)
        1. Seven ill favoured kine and leanfleshed came up out of the river and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river (Genesis 41:3).
        2. The seven ill favoured kine ate up the seven well favoured kine (Genesis 41:4).
    2. The Dream of the Corn (Genesis 41:5-7)
      1. Pharaoh slept and dreamed a second time (Genesis 41:5).
      2. Seven good ears (Genesis 41:5)
      3. Seven thin ears (Genesis 41:6-7)
        1. Seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them (Genesis 41:6).
        2. The seven thin ears devoured the seven good ears (Genesis 41:7).
    3. The Search for an Interpretation (Genesis 41:8)
      1. The dream troubled Pharaoh’s spirit.
      2. Pharaoh sent for the magicians and wise men of the land of Egypt.
      3. Pharaoh told them his dream, but none could give the interpretation.
  2. JOSEPH’S INTERPRETATION (Genesis 41:9-32)
    1. The Butler Remembers Joseph (Genesis 41:9-13).
      1. The butler remembers his faults (Genesis 41:9).
      2. The butler remembers his imprisonment (Genesis 41:10).
      3. The butler remembers his dream (Genesis 41:11).
      4. The butler remembers the Hebrew (Genesis 41:12).
      5. The butler remembers his restoration (Genesis 41:13).
    2. Joseph is Called before Pharaoh (Genesis 41:14-16).
      1. Joseph is retrieved from the prison cell (Genesis 41:14).
        1. They brought Joseph hastily out of the dungeon.
        2. Joseph shaved himself.
        3. Joseph changed his raiment.
        4. Joseph came in unto Pharaoh.
      2. Pharaoh tells Joseph of his dilemma (Genesis 41:15).
        1. He dreamed a dream.
        2. There was none that could interpret it.
        3. Pharaoh heard that Joseph could understand dreams to interpret them.
        4. Note:  Pharaoh’s statement contains two big mistakes.  First of all, he says that Joseph can understand the dreams.  Secondly, he says that Joseph can interpret them.  Pharaoh saw Joseph as a powerful man rather than a servant of a powerful God.  This is why the next verse is so grand.
      3. Joseph tells Pharaoh of the solution (Genesis 41:16).
        1. It is not in me.
        2. God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
    3. Pharaoh Recites His Dreams (Genesis 41:17-24).
      1. Pharaoh recites the dream of the cattle (Genesis 41:17-21).
      2. Pharaoh recites the dream of the corn (Genesis 41:22-24).
    4. Joseph Interprets the Dreams (Genesis 41:25-32).
      1. An overview of the dreams (Genesis 41:25)
        1. The two dreams are actually one.
        2. The dream is revelatory (Genesis 41:25, 28).
      2. The interpretation of the dreams (Genesis 41:26-31)
        1. The seven good kine and seven good ears of corn are seven years (Genesis 41:26).
        2. The seven thin kine and seven empty ears of corn are seven years of famine (Genesis 41:27).
        3. There shall be seven years of plenty throughout all the land of Egypt and then shall seven years of famine arise that will be so bad that the years of plenty will be forgotten (Genesis 41:29-31).
      3. The explanation of the duplication of the dream (Genesis 41:32)
        1. It is because the thing is established by God.
        2. God will shortly bring it to pass.
  3. JOSEPH’S EXALTATION (Genesis 41:33-44)
    1. Joseph Advises Preparation (Genesis 41:33-36).
      1. Joseph advises Pharaoh to appoint a man over the land (Genesis 41:33).
      2. Joseph advises Pharaoh to take up the fifth part of the land in the seven years of plenty (Genesis 41:34).
      3. Joseph advises Pharaoh to lay up the corn under his hand during the seven years of plenty (Genesis 41:35).
      4. Joseph advises that the stored food will be for the time of famine which shall come after the time of plenty (Genesis 41:36).
    2. Pharaoh Exalts Joseph (Genesis 41:37-44).
      1. The counsel of Joseph pleased Pharaoh and his servants (Genesis 41:37).
      2. Pharaoh determines that Joseph is the man for the job (Genesis 41:38-39).
      3. Pharaoh promotes Joseph to second in command (Genesis 41:40-44).
  4. JOSEPH’S LIFE AND WORK (Genesis 41:45-57)
    1. The Seven Good Years (Genesis 41:45-52)
      1. The gathering of grain (Genesis 41:45-49)
      2. Sons born to Joseph (Genesis 41:50-52)
    2. The First Years of Famine (Genesis 41:53-57)
      1. The dearth was in all lands (Genesis 41:54).
      2. There was bread in the storehouses of Pharaoh (Genesis 41:54-56).
      3. All countries came to Joseph to buy bread (Genesis 41:57).

CONCLUSION:  Joseph shows us how important it is to be faithful to God.  He will always be faithful to us.  We may not understand His ways, but we must always rest assured that He is working in our lives for good (Romans 8:28).

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 1:30

They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.