Genesis: A coming crisis

Genesis 41:1–36

When we last left our hero, he was stranded in Egyptian prison. Just when we thought he had a ticket out, he’s forgotten about it. Left to rot.

Two years pass.





And now we’re introduced to another character having a dream. This time it just so happens to be the most powerful person in the known world: Pharaoh.

The contrast between Egypt and Israel from these stories leading into the book of Exodus could not be more extreme. Egypt is the most significant civilization on earth. They have cities, government, culture, science, religion, medicine, military. Israel is a shepherd with 12 shepherd sons and no permanent home. One is powerful. One is not. One is significant. One is not.

So when the king seeks advice from one of the sons of Israel/Jacob, and not just any son, but one currently residing in Egyptian prison, the significance shouldn’t be lost on us. This is a big deal.

So Joseph gets his big moment before Pharaoh. This is his get-out-of-jail card and his vindication. And the first thing he says is, “It is not in me.”

It is not in me.

That’s a bold statement of humility. Joseph has the undivided attention of mighty Pharaoh, and Joseph’s opening move is to brag about his God. He’s either crazy or a genius.

I’m leaning towards genius, because Joseph goes a step beyond just providing an explanation to Pharaoh’s dream. He also provides a plan. He names the problem and offers a solution.

Maybe there’s a lesson in that for anybody bold enough to point out problems to those in charge. It’s not enough to predict a crisis. It’s a pretty good idea to show up to that meeting with a plan, too.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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