Redemption Story: Return to Power


Genesis 40-41

Questions for Reflection

  • Has something that got you into a bad situation ever been the same thing that helped get you out of that situation?
  • What's the longest you've had to wait to get credit for something you did? What did you do during the time leading up to that?
  • If you were to be put into power over someone who had wronged you, how would you treat them?


Remember back when Joseph was a young man and he dreamt meaningful dreams and interpreted them? That skill is going to come in handy in the next part of Joseph’s story. The very thing that got all of his trouble started is going to be used as the thing that lifts him out of the trouble.


At this point in the narrative, Joseph is still locked away in prison, but he’s been given power even in that situation. Then, as God’s plan unfolds, two men are set before Joseph who have dreamt dreams. Both of these men at one point had important jobs in the Pharaoh’s household, but for some reason both had found themselves out of favor with the king. Joseph interprets each of their dreams, one is going to be restored to his position and the other is going to be executed - and Joseph nailed it. He was exactly right.


The pharaoh’s cupbearer was not grateful for Joseph’s interpretation and forgot all about him, letting him remain in prison. A word from him could have brought Joseph back to favor, but now was not the right time. Remember that part.


Two years passed as Joseph stayed in the prison, and then it was Pharaoh himself who dreamt a dream that was in need of an interpreter. Hearing about the dream made the cupbearer finally remember what Joseph had done for him and he told the Pharaoh that he “knows a guy” who can tell him what his dream means. Joseph was brought up out of the prison to tell Pharaoh what his dreams were all about, but he was quick to inform the Pharaoh that it was not he himself who could interpret dreams, but God. After all he had been through, Joseph hadn’t forgotten who it was that was at work in his life.


Even Pharaoh himself acknowledged God’s power working through Joseph and gave Him praise. Joseph was then placed in power over everyone in Egypt except for the Pharaoh. I don’t know if Potiphar was still alive at this time, but this means that if he was, he too was bowing before Joseph. The one who had imprisoned Joseph would now be among those over which he presided. Talk about redemption.


And yet, that’s not the end of the redemption story. As great of an ending as that would make, God isn’t done restoring Joseph just yet. There’s a famine coming and Joseph is in charge of preparing so that all of Egypt can be spared. And Joseph is about to come face to face with the brothers who sold him off into Egypt so long ago.