Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Thirty-Four

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Thirty-Four – “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” – Pharaoh (Gen. 41: 38)
We left off yesterday with Joseph in Pharaoh’s prison. He got thrown in there after being falsely accused. I know. The cynical side of us might  say, “Everyone in prison says they didn’t do it.” But Joseph really didn’t. Heart searching question for us… “Do we just forget about people who are incarcerated?” I’m afraid we sometimes do. And we are talking about a lot of people just in the US.  According to prisonpolicy.org, about 0.7 % of the US population is incarcerated. That would be just under 1%, or one out of every hundred people. Let’s not forget about them! God doesn’t.
God remembered Joseph while he was in prison, and was WITH him – even in prison. Joseph had sympathy for the other prisoners, even though he could have just felt sorry for himself.  The king’s baker and cup-bearer had dreams that disturbed them.  Joseph was able to interpret their dreams, because God gave him that ability. The cup-bearer’s dream was good news! It meant that he would be back to his old job within three days. “Don’t forget about me when you get back before Pharaoh,” Joseph said. “Oh, I won’t!” the cup-bearer said.  But he did. “He forgot him.” (Gen. 40: 23)
TWO YEARS LATER… Pharaoh had a dream (actually two dreams) that disturbed him greatly. He called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, and told them his dreams, asking them to interpret them. They were unable to do it. All the time that this was going on, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer is standing there…um…holding Pharaoh’s cup.  And he remembered his promise to Joseph, two years earlier. He said to Pharaoh, “I know a guy…”
Joseph was cleaned up and given something besides an orange jumpsuit to put on, and brought before Pharaoh.  “Can you interpret my dream?” Pharaoh asked. (Gen. 41: 15) Test of integrity time… Will Joseph portray himself as the all-seeing Oz, who alone can tell the future? No. In fact, Joseph tells Pharaoh, “I cannot do it…but God can.” (Gen. 41: 16) Wow! I think that there is no way Joseph could have done that without the help of the Holy Spirit!
You may remember that the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams was that there would be seven good years of plenty, followed by seven terrible years of famine.  Joseph suggested storing grain during the good years, to prepare for the bad. (Gen. 41: 34-36). Did it take courage to speak before the Pharaoh? Yes! And Pharaoh said, “Good plan! I hereby put YOU in charge of the whole land of Egypt, Joseph.” (Gen. 41: 41) The Spirit at work…even Pharaoh sees it!
Reflection: Where do you see the Spirit at work in your life?
Action: Read Matt. 25: 31-46

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