All the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
Today’s reading involves the dramatic events of dreams, famine, marriage, and birth. The narrative quickens in pace and deepens in detail. But with all this, we might miss the main event. Behind all of the excitement lies something—and Someone—greater.
The chapter begins with Joseph still in prison, with events out of his hands. Pharaoh’s dream not only caused his release, it also propelled Joseph to the heights of power in Egypt. Within a few years, “all the world” came to Egypt because of Joseph’s actions. Joseph had gone from slavery to become the most important man in the known world.
But this story is not really about Joseph. Instead, God is moving behind the curtain. To begin, Pharaoh’s dream (sent by God) not only “saves the world,” it also secured Joseph’s release from prison. The cupbearer forgot him, but God did not. However global the scale of God’s actions, He never forgets a single one of His children.
The Egyptians celebrated and honored Joseph (vv. 41–43, 55), inadvertently giving credit to the God he worshiped. Joseph never schemed his way to the top. Both the dreams and their interpretation belonged to God (vv. 16, 28). Joseph was in charge of everyone on earth except Pharaoh, but the names He gave his children show that power had not gone to his head (vv. 51–52). He knew the source of all His blessings.
Now “all the world” came to Egypt. But they were not coming because of Pharaoh, but because of Joseph. We saw in Genesis 39 how in these latter chapters, God follows Joseph wherever he goes. They may not know it, but “all the world” comes to Egypt for God’s blessings. His glory continues to spread.
Apply the Word
Often we go about our lives unaware of God’s presence. Today, reflect on your life and see how God has worked through situations. You may want to record some of these events in a journal, or even share these stories with your loved ones. Give God the glory for His work in and through you that demonstrates His providence and blessing.