Genesis 41* Pharaoh's dreams. (1-8) Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dreams.(9-32) Joseph's counsel, He is highly advanced. (33-45) Joseph'schildren, The beginning of the famine. (46-57)1-8 The means of Joseph's being freed from prison werePharaoh's dreams, as here related. Now that God no longer speaksto us in that way, it is no matter how little we either heeddreams, or tell them. The telling of foolish dreams can make nobetter than foolish talk. But these dreams showed that they weresent of God; when he awoke, Pharaoh's spirit was troubled. 9-32 God's time for the enlargement of his people is thefittest time. If the chief butler had got Joseph to be releasedfrom prison, it is probable he would have gone back to the landof the Hebrews. Then he had neither been so blessed himself, norsuch a blessing to his family, as afterwards he proved. Joseph,when introduced to Pharaoh, gives honour to God. Pharaoh haddreamed that he stood upon the bank of the river Nile, and sawthe kine, both the fat ones, and the lean ones, come out of theriver. Egypt has no rain, but the plenty of the year dependsupon the overflowing of the river Nile. See how many waysProvidence has of dispensing its gifts; yet our dependence isstill the same upon the First Cause, who makes every creaturewhat it is to us, be it rain or river. See to what changes thecomforts of this life are subject. We cannot be sure thatto-morrow shall be as this day, or next year as this. We mustlearn how to want, as well as how to abound. Mark the goodnessof God in sending the seven years of plenty before those offamine, that provision might be made. The produce of the earthis sometimes more, and sometimes less; yet, take one withanother, he that gathers much, has nothing over; and he thatgathers little, has no lack, #Ex 16:18|. And see the perishingnature of our worldly enjoyments. The great harvests of theyears of plenty were quite lost, and swallowed up in the yearsof famine; and that which seemed very much, yet did but justserve to keep the people alive. There is bread which lasts toeternal life, which it is worth while to labour for. They thatmake the things of this world their good things, will findlittle pleasure in remembering that they have received them. 33-45 Joseph gave good advice to Pharaoh. Fair warning shouldalways be followed by good counsel. God has in his word told usof a day of trial before us, when we shall need all the grace wecan have. Now, therefore, provide accordingly. Pharaoh gaveJoseph an honourable testimony. He is a man in whom the spiritof God is; and such men ought to be valued. Pharaoh puts uponJoseph marks of honour. He gave him such a name as spoke thevalue he had for him, Zaphnath-paaneah, "a revealer of secrets."This preferment of Joseph encourages all to trust in God. Sometranslate Joseph's new name, "the saviour of the world." Thebrightest glories, even of the upper world, are put upon Christ,the highest trust lodged in his hand, and all power given him,both in heaven and earth. 46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim,Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget hismisery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction.The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to lookforward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and ofour opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, norslothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty willend; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gatheringtime. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, butin other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while theplenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, whenthe famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and importantlabours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that hisfather Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of ourtroubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Letthese events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread oflife throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bidsyou, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open histreasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of everyage and nation, without money and without price. But those whoslight this provision must starve, and his enemies will bedestroyed.
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