Joseph and Pharoah's Dreams

God has not forgotten Joseph and he knows that. When Joseph interpreted the dream for the Chief Butler and he was restored to his position of pouring the wine into Pharoah's glass which is akin to being in the inner circle of a powerful organization, he may have thought, "Here is a possibility. If this Butler will put in a good word for me maybe I can be delivered out of this prison." But he was forgotten for two years. So Joseph waits patiently. Joseph was still not negative or bitter, his heart was still right before God.

Then Pharaoh had a dream, actually two similar dreams, and his astrologers, philosophers, crystal ball gazers and the like couldn't interpret it. Then the wine steward remembered Joseph and mentioned him to Pharaoh. So he was cleaned up and brought before him.

Genesis 41
:15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
    I have dreamed a dream,
    and there is none that can interpret it:
    and I have heard say of thee,
        that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
:16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying,
    It is not in me:
    God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

God must have told Joseph that the interpretation of the dream will bring 'an answer of peace,' Pharoah hasn't even told him the dream yet.

:17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
    In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
:18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine,
    fatfleshed and well favoured;
    and they fed in a meadow:
:19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them,
    poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed,
    such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
:20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine
    did eat up the first seven fat kine:
:21 And when they had eaten them up,
        it could not be known that they had eaten them;
        but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning.
    So I awoke.
:22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold,
        seven ears came up in one stalk,
            full and good:
:23 And, behold, seven ears,
        withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind,
        sprung up after them:
:24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears:
    and I told this unto the magicians;
        but there was none that could declare it to me.
:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh,
    The dream of Pharaoh is one:
    God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
:26 The seven good kine are seven years;
    and the seven good ears are seven years:
    the dream is one.
:27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them
        are seven years;
    and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind
        shall be seven years of famine.
:28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh:
    What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
:29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
:30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine;
    and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt;
    and the famine shall consume the land;
:31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following;
        for it shall be very grievous.
:32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice;
    it is because the thing is established by God,
        and God will shortly bring it to pass.
    [Very important point, when God says something twice it is established, 
     there is nothing you or I can do to change things]

:33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise,
    and set him over the land of Egypt.
:34 Let Pharaoh do this,
        and let him appoint officers over the land,
        and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
:35   And let them gather all the food of those good years that come,
        and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh,
        and let them keep food in the cities.
:36   And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine,
         which shall be in the land of Egypt;
        that the land perish not through the famine.
:37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh,
        and in the eyes of all his servants.
:38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants,
    Can we find such a one as this is,
        a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
    Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this,
    there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
:40 Thou shalt be over my house,
    and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled:
    only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
    See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand,
    and put it upon Joseph's hand,
    and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen,
    and put a gold chain about his neck;
:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had;
    and they cried before him, Bow the knee:
    and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
:44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
    I am Pharaoh,
    and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot
    in all the land of Egypt.
:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah;
    and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On.
    And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
:46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.
    And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh,
    and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

After Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dream he sets him up to be the steward over all of Egypt. This took 13 years to get from slavery to being in charge over all of Egypt. Joseph is now clean shaven and in robes on a throne and very official, the only one with more authority than he, is Pharaoh.

The next seven years are years of abundant harvest and Joseph arranges to have one fifth of the harvests stored in the cities of Egypt. The quantity of corn was so great that it was "as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number." (Gen 41:49) That is a great deal of corn.

Genesis 41
:53 And the seven years of plenteousness,
        that was in the land of Egypt,
    were ended.
:54 And the seven years of dearth began to come,
        according as Joseph had said:
    and the dearth was in all lands;
    but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. [because they had stored corn]
:55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished,
        [when the families were finished with their personal stores]
    the people cried to Pharaoh for bread:
    and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians,
    Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
        [Joseph is the steward, Pharoah recognizes that Joseph is tapped into God]
:56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth:
    And Joseph opened all the storehouses,
    and sold unto the Egyptians;
    and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
:57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn;
because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

Joseph did not give away the food. He did not feel sorry for everyone and try to take care of them. God told him to sell the corn. Not only did the Egyptians buy corn from the kingdom but also the neighboring nations brought in their money and possessions to buy food. After the seven years of plenty and two years of famine the surrounding nations are in very bad shape, no one told them to store one fifth of their harvest against the seven years of famine. You can imagine how quickly word would get around that Egypt has food and hundreds of people go there to buy grain. This brought great wealth to Egypt. Later on we will see that this wealth ended up in the hands of the Israelites. When Moses led them out of Egypt the Egyptians were so glad to get rid of them that they gave them their jewels and stock, basically the majority of their wealth.

Joseph is 39 now and the steward over all of Egypt. There is a famine throughout all of the earth and it is so grievous that those seven years of plenty will not be remembered. Joseph knows the stores in Egypt are limited-merely a fifth of the harvest of the plenteous years and this must last seven years. With the other nations knocking at his door he must be very wise in dealing with storehouses. Stop and think about being in Joseph's position. Just take a few minutes and put your self in his sandals. He must rely on God's guidance. Once again his circumstances are stressful but he relies on God for his strength and wisdom.