Greetings! My name is Cameron Funk. When Tammy asked if Jeannine and I would join the team I thought it would be good to read through the bible in a "group" setting. After sitting here and staring at a blank screen, I am not as excited. I pray that this blog will help people in their own study of the Bible.
Today I want to look at two aspects of Joseph's life. His leadership and his family life.
Joseph remained imprisoned for two years AFTER the cupbearer was released. He is then whisked out of his cell, given a bath and shave, and stands before Pharaoh himself!
God unveils the meaning of the dreams and Joseph explains things to Pharaoh. Joseph then shifts into solution mode and presents a plan to survive the famine. He was still a prisoner at this time. He held no formal position that would allow him to speak his mind. He didn't owe Egypt anything. He could have provided the interpretation and waited for Pharaoh's court to address the issue. Instead, he took advantage of the opportunity and provided wise counsel. In the span of a day, Joseph went from the outhouse to the penthouse and was promoted above all but Pharaoh.
As an aside, I found Joseph's plan interesting. He could have suggested a seventh or a sixth of the produce to be stored up for the seven years of famine. A seventh portion would have been enough, especially when rationed with the foreknowledge of a coming famine. A sixth portion would have ensured more than enough produce was stored. But by storing a fifth of all produce, Egypt had the opportunity to become very wealthy.
In the end and with more than enough resources, we read that people from other nations were coming to Egypt and purchase food. Historically, this led to a stabilization of the 12th dynasty in Egypt's Middle Kingdom and the start of Israel's time in Egypt. The hardship of famine became the gateway to prosperity.
A great leader in the history of Egypt.
Yet like so many of us, family can bring out the worst in our personalities. Joseph's brothers arrive and instead of greeting them he decides to mess with them for a time. He speaks harshly to them, throws them in prison for three days, then demands they return with Benjamin before they can do further business in the land. To further torment his brothers, Joseph hides the money in their food stuffs as they return to Israel. We see the brothers lamenting their wrong doings but Joseph is set on extracting some level of revenge upon them and he sends them home without declaring who he really was.
How often do we focus on our work, honing our skills to be used in the workplace, only to neglect applying the same principles to our own families?
There are many good things to emulate in Joseph's life but his inability or unwillingness to apply the same wisdom that helped a nation thrive to dealing with his own family is not one of them.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 43 - 45