Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
I could have easily made the story of Joseph into three songs. However, while writing The Dreamer, I liked the angle of all the things happening to Joseph being more than he could ever had dreamed or imagined. Joseph grows up being the youngest of twelve. One night he has a dream that the sun, moon, and eleven stars are bowing down to him. He tells his family about his dream, and his eleven brothers are understandably offended that their little brother is prophesying that they, along with their father and mother, will one day bow down to him. This is the second of two dreams that essentially foretell how Joseph will rule over his entire family. As a result, Joseph’s brothers decide to kill him the first chance they get. They instead end up selling Joseph into slavery after one of his brothers feels guilty about killing him.
Joseph ends up in Egypt and becomes a servant to a man named Potiphar who was one of Pharaoh’s officials. He was the captain of the guard. Joseph was blessed and became Potiphar’s main attendant over his entire household until Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph. Joseph rejects her so she then frames Joseph by claiming he tried to rape her and Joseph ends up in prison. While in prison, Joseph accurately interprets the dreams of Pharaoh’s former baker and cupbearer. The Baker ends up executed and the Cupbearer gets reinstated to his position just as Joseph foretells. Eventually the Cupbearer remembers Joseph when Pharaoh begins to have troubling dreams that no one can interpret. The Cupbearer explains what Joseph had foretold and suggests that Joseph may be able to help interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Pharaoh calls for Joseph and he again, through God, accurately interprets the dreams. Pharaoh sets Joseph up as second in command over all of Egypt. With God’s help, Joseph is able to warn Pharaoh of a drought that lasts for seven years. During that time people from all over the surrounding area come to Egypt for food because they have wisely stored up supplies in anticipation for the drought. Among those people are Joseph’s brothers.
When Joseph recognizes his brothers he is filled with sorrow. Joseph reveals his identity and his brothers are all obviously shocked and terrified at what they probably have coming to them. However, Joseph was among the family standing with his father Jacob many years before. Joseph witnessed first hand what it meant to show mercy to those who did not deserve it. He instead recognized that it was through his brothers selfish intentions that God was able to provide for his family. If not for Joseph being sold into slavery and put into prison, he would never have been able to warn Pharaoh of the coming famine, which could have meant death for Joseph’s family.
Joseph probably questioned many times why these things were happening to him. He must’ve wondered how anyone would ever bow before him while he was nothing more than a slave and prisoner. He had those dreams while he was still a young man, and was still waiting many years later for them to come to pass. God’s timing is never easy to understand in the meantime. However, God had allowed all those things to happen to Joseph so he would be in the right place at the right time. If not for Joseph’s interpretations about the Baker and Cupbearer, Pharaoh may have never even heard Joseph’s name. Instead, Joseph was able to warn Pharaoh and save hundreds of thousands of lives including his own family who betrayed and abandoned him. The Lord always provides even when it doesn’t look or feel like it.