The story of Joseph takes the turn we all hoped it would in today’s reading. We left Joseph as a forgotten slave rotting away in prison. Today’s reading in Genesis has him promoted to second in command, saving the entire world, teaching his loser brothers a good lesson, and reconciling with his family. It’s a crazy, feel good story at the end.
As I read these passages, I think Genesis 41:16 is the turning point. Joseph is remembered and brought up out of the dungeon to meet with Pharaoh. He goes from the bottom of the pile to the top in one giant step. The Pharaoh is god, he is worshipped as god, and revered as god by everyone in Egypt. To not do so is to lose your life. He brings Joseph in, and tells him that he has heard Joseph can tell him the meaning of his dreams.
Joseph answers: “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
Sounds good. Unless Pharaoh thinks he is god. Joseph puts it all on the line. Why not just answer, “Yes Pharaoh, the spirits will guide me”, or something safe like that. But no, Joseph goes all the way with pointing to his God, and giving Him all the credit.
He has one shot at being saved, and He risks it all to be sure that God alone gets credit.
This is the crux of life for those of us who follow Christ. Everything we say and do needs to point back to Jesus, just like Joseph risked everything to point back to Jehovah. Whenever we fudge an answer, or hide our faith a little, we miss out. What if, when a friend wants your advice, your answer was “I can’t, but God will provide you an answer.” You think it’s crazy; admit it. But is it? What IF we live like that?
What might happen?
The whole world might be saved.