The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” -Genesis 41:52 (NIV)
In our last installment, Joseph was appointed by Pharaoh to rule over all of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. Well, that escalated quickly after languishing in prison for over two years!
Pharaoh gave Joseph the very signet ring off his finger, clothed him in fine garments, put a gold chain around his neck (sounds a lot like the fine tunic Jacob gave him as a boy, doesn’t it?)…and gave him a chariot, a wife, and such great power that no man could lift a hand or foot without Joseph’s approval!
At the time, Joseph was 30, and over the next seven years of plenty, he fulfilled his charge to store up grain and food to the point where he could not count any more. In the fifth year of that time, his wife bore him two sons:
Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” -Genesis 41:51-52 (NIV)
After the seven years of plenty came the famine, just as God planned it. People of all nations came to Egypt to buy food, because the famine struck the entire world.
Meanwhile, Jacob told his sons to go to Egypt to buy food so the family wouldn’t die of starvation. His sons went, but Jacob kept back Benjamin, the youngest, to avoid something possibly happening to him.
So, Joseph’s ten brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him…he was significantly older, dressed in Egyptian garb, and speaking Egyptian through an interpreter.
You won’t believe what happens next!
No matter how things look, and no matter what your situation is, trust in the Lord to carry and even prosper you where you stand. But also trust that where you are now is on the way to where God wants to take you.
Be sure to live for Him first, in faith and obedience, and even when circumstances are tough, trust that He is using those times for a future blessing…and step back to find the blessings where you are now. They’re there.
Chris Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God” proclaims the magnificence of the One whose faithfulness continues through all generations…whose love endures forever (Psalm 100:5).