Forgetting, then Planning

Posted 10/19/2002 9:17:34 PM

The cupbearer forgot Joseph. Life was so good after being in prison, it just escaped him mind. In the same way, the abundant 7 years would be forgotten in the face of the hardship of the years of famine.

A quick study of "forgetting"

This kind of forgetting isn't always a matter of not remembering. It's ignoring, not caring anymore. It's an active process of not remembering.

Two other kinds of forgetting are particularly prevalent in the Scriptures:

  1. God warns repeatedly that we not forget Him and His commandments Deu 8:19. Just like the butler forgetting Joseph because of his good life, or the people forgetting the good times because of the hard, we easily forget God and His wonderful works Pr 30:7-9, Ps 103:2
  2. He will not forget his promises Deu 4:31, even more than the extremely unlikely possibility that a mother would forget to take care of her child Is 49:15

Not to mention

Back to the story

A quick overview of the passage Gen 41:1-57:

We mentioned last time that God gave Joseph favor in the eyes of the chief jailor. Do you really believe he does that. How about God's control of the earth? The whole point of this dream is that there will be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine Gen 41:28-29. No more, no less; and guess what, it happened exactly that way. God knew in advance what the years would be like, and it told Pharaoh in a dream interpreted by Joseph that it would be so. Yes, God knows what will happen, and causes it to be so. The Bible doesn't say what caused the famine, and doesn't usually, but what are some reasons: drought, insects, fire, etc.

All these are thing we think we have control over: we dam rivers and drill wells for our water supply, we apply pesticides, and we carefully prevent fires. And yet look at the US right now: much of the country is in a drought of some severity or another (not to mention what other areas of the world are experiencing), we have an uncontrollable West Nile Virus making us wary of the ubiquitous mosquito, and huge fires have scorched miles and miles of our country. All the care and prevention in the world cannot stop the will of God.

Joseph was put in a unique position. He had seven years' warning of a seven year-long famine, and was also guaranteed that those first seven years would be record-breaking years. So he stored up all the extra grain that was grown Gen 41:48, and then sold it during the famine Gen 41:56. He's also the only one who got the warning, because everybody else had to come to Egypt to buy food Gen 41:57 - and Egypt had enough! There was so much the couldn't even measure it Gen 41:49. And it's not like these people couldn't handle big things - they built the pyramids! I wonder if others heard of Egypt's food storage program, and scoffed it, just like Noah's contemporaries Luk 17:27.

So Joseph has reached the top. He has yet to get his family back together again (why didn't he send for them; why did they have to come for food first?), but look at how he's doing now:

  1. He's well-respected by Pharaoh Gen 41:39
  2. His testimony is clear to Pharaoh: it is God who is in him Gen 41:38
  3. He's in charge of Egypt Gen 41:41, and practially Pharoah himself Gen 41:42-44
  4. He gets a wife and two sons Gen 41:50-52, named in gratitude to God and His blessings.

Joseph is so remarkable. He's reached the top, by any wordly estimation, and yet he's still at the top spiritually, giving God all the glory.

All verses in this article