Joseph Part Two

 

Part Two
Cartoon Of Man with a key and Bible The complete story is in the Old Testament of the Bible, Genesis Chapters 37 to 46

On to Joseph and the Special Coat Part 3 or go back to Part 1

Picture Of PyramidsAll this while, Joseph, securely roped, was being pushed and dragged along the road to Egypt, but, God was still with him.

When the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, they took Joseph to the slave-market, where he was put for sale. A strong healthy young slave like him would fetch a good price and a man called Potiphar bought Joseph. He was an important officer of the Pharaoh, in charge of the palace guard.

Joseph worked well and was able to plan and organise work for himself as well as obeying orders. He was honest and did not grumble or shirk his duties.

Potiphar soon made Joseph his own personal servant and began to leave more and more of the running of the household in Joseph’s hands. Potiphar could tell that there was something very special about this young man. It was because God was with Joseph, even though he was far from his home and family.

Picture Of An Egyptian ServantGod helped him to do his work and made Joseph successful.

He must have been content in Potiphar’s home as a slave can ever be. Joseph was a loved and trusted servant in an important man’s household. He knew, too, that God was still with him.

Joseph was soon in trouble again through no fault of his own. Potiphar’s wife had taken a great liking to this handsome young man and soon was trying to persuade him to make love to her while Potiphar was at work.

Joseph would not listen to her.

“My master trusts me with everything he has,” he told her. “How could I deceive him by taking his wife? Besides, it would be a sin against God whom I love and serve.”

Picture Of Egyptian WomanPotiphar’s wife would not take no for an answer. She followed Joseph around, wheedling and pleading with him. He tried to keep out of her way, but, one day she found him on his own. When she put her arms around Joseph, he took to his heels and ran.

Potiphar’s wife was furious and told her husband lies about Joseph.

Potiphar ordered Joseph to be put in prison. His feet were put in chains and an iron collar fixed around his neck. He was no longer the trusted slave.

But God was with Joseph, even in the dark prison. He had not forgotten him. or the great plan He had for Joseph’s future.

It was not long before the jailer in charge of the prison found out how helpful Joseph could be. He began to give him all kinds of little jobs to do, looking after other prisoners and arranging the prison routine. Whatever Joseph did was well done.

Picture Of Joseph in Prison.One day two very important prisoners arrived. One was the Pharaoh’s wine-steward and the other, his chief baker. Both men were high in the Pharaoh’s service but somehow they had displeased their royal master.

There they must wait for the Pharaoh to pass sentence on them. The jailer gave Joseph the job of looking after them.

One morning, when he brought in breakfast, Joseph noticed that they were looking very miserable.

“What’s the matter?” he asked kindly.

“We both had dreams last night and we don’t know what they mean,” they told him.

Like all Egyptians, they believed that every dream had a meaning, but in prison, there was no one to explain them.

“God can explain dreams,” Joseph said. “Tell them to me.” He listened as first the wine-steward and then the baker recounted their dreams.

The steward dreamt of a grape-vine with three branches from which he squeezed grapes for the Pharaoh’s wine cup giving it to the Pharaoh to drink.

The baker had dreamed that he was carrying three baskets of delicious pastries to the Pharaoh, but the birds flew down and pecked at them.

God helped Joseph to understand what the dreams meant.

“In three days’ time,” he told the steward, “you will be called by the Pharaoh and given back your job.”

But he had to tell the Baker, “In three days’ time you will be put to death on the Pharaoh’s orders.”

Everything happened as Joseph had said and then three days later, it was the Pharaoh’s birthday. He ordered the chief baker to be put to death, but he called the steward back into his royal service.

When the grateful wine-steward left prison, Joseph asked his help.

“Please don’t forget me,” he pleaded. “Tell the Pharaoh that I have done no wrong and do not deserve to be in prison.” But, the wine-steward had forgotten Joseph.

Sheaves Of WheatTwo years went passed and Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing by the River Nile when out of the river came seven cows, sleek and fat and grazed among the reeds. Later, seven more cows, ugly and thin came out of the Nile and ate the seven fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.

He fell asleep again and had a second dream. Seven healthy and good ears of corn were growing on the one stalk. Next to them were seven thin and scorched ears of corn which turned and ate up the healthy ears of corn.

None of his wise advisers could explain the dreams to him.

On hearing this, the wine-steward remembered his own dream in prison and the wise, kind help that Joseph had given to him.

Sheaves Of Wheat“I have been wrong,” he told the king. “I had forgotten until this moment the young man who explained my dream to me in prison. He told me that I would be taken back into your service, and his words came true. Joseph could help you too.”

Orders were given, and servants rushed to the prison to bring out the astonished Joseph. He was hastily washed, shaved and dressed in clean clothes. Then he was ushered into the king’s presence.”I am told that you can explain dreams,” the king said.

“I cannot do so, your majesty,” Joseph answered, “but God can.”

“In my dream,” the king went on, “I saw seven fat cows coming up out of the river to feed on the grass. Seven thin, bony cows stood beside them. The thin cows ate up the fat ones. After that, I had another dream. I saw seven full, ripe ears of grain beside seven thin, withered ears. The thin ears ate up the full ones. What can these dreams mean?”

“God is telling you what is going to happen, so that you can be prepared,” Joseph explained. “The two dreams mean the same thing. There are going to be seven years of good crops, when everyone has plenty. But seven years of bad harvests will follow. Those seven years of shortage will use up all the plenty of the good years. That is the meaning of your dreams.”

Picture of an Egyptian on a chariot.When the king of Egypt heard Joseph explain his dreams, he was horrified. He knew that in spite of seven years of plentiful harvests, the seven years of shortage that were to follow would bring famine and death. But Joseph had something more to say.

“Your majesty,” he went on, “may I suggest what you should do? Choose one of your men and put him in charge of all food supplies. He can supervise the storing of grain during the years of bumper crops, so that there will be enough to feed everyone during the years when crops fail. Then the people won’t starve.”

The king was pleased with Joseph and his wise advice.

“You shall be that man!” he announced. “You have shown how wise you are, so I shall put you in charge of everything that needs to be done in the whole of Egypt. You shall be my new Prime Minister.”

On the king’s orders, Joseph was given a fine chariot, servants of his own, and rich clothes and jewels.

On to Joseph and the Special Coat Part 3 or go back to Part 1

Cartoon Of Man with a key and Bible The complete story is in the Old Testament of the Bible, Genesis Chapters 37 to 46

 

 

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