Read Genesis 41:37-57

37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38So Pharaoh asked them, "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?"

39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."

41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt." 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, "Make way!" Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt." 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh's presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

50Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." 52The second son he named Ephraim and said, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

53The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph and do what he tells you."

56When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world. (NIV)


We see that Joseph has now gone from enslavement to 2nd in all of Egypt. It is a fascinating transformation.  Joseph was somewhere between 17 and 20 when he was sold into slavery and he is 30 when Pharaoh makes gives him this new position over all of Egypt.  So for over 10 years, Joseph suffered, but kept his faith in God.  There are times when we endure things for a long time in this world.  Joseph had to learn to be patient and continue to trust God.  When we do, I truly believe God remembers that and rewards us for it. There are time the rewards come in this life and there are times the reward is for the next life.

But God is setting up not only to save Joseph from his misery, but to safe the people he called to be his people.  Jesus came to suffer so that others might be saved.  Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver.  Jesus never defended himself.  Joseph never defended himself.  Jesus was seated at the right hand of God.  Joseph was seated at the right hand of Pharaoh.  Jesus suffered so that others might be saved.  Joseph suffered and others were saved through his faithfulness during suffering.  We see many similarities in the two stories because both are a story of God’s grace and mercy.

It is interesting the use of names in the Bible.  Joseph is given the name Zaphenath-Paneah which people have translated as follows:  Targum Onkelos (1st century AD) gives the meaning of the name as "the man to whom mysteries are revealed". Targum Pseudo-Jonathan says it is , "one who reveals mysteries". And Josephus interprets it to be (c. AD 94), "a finder of mysteries".

Pharaoh is acknowledging that Joseph is able to unlock deep mysteries.  This is why Jesus came, to help us to see the Father – to pull back the veil of the curtain that kept us from seeing.  And we see that Joseph names his children to reflect his joy.  Our names have meaning.  And what is wonderful is that God knows our names.

So the question is have you had to endure a long trial and yet kept your faith?  Not everyone has.  But all have had to walk into the unknown trusting that God is already there to lead us through it.  We are in a great unknown today.  But God knows the path out and we must trust that he will lead us through it.

Keep the faith always.

Blessings and Peace

Pastor Harry