PROVIDENCE IN HINDSIGHT
v.1 “(When Ya’akov had finished charging his sons, he drew his legs up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people. 49:33) Yosef fell on his father’s face, wept over him and kissed him.”
v.2-3 Egyptians perfected the art of embalming the dead because of their Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife. Physical preservation was key to the survival of death by the immortal soul, according to the long-established Egyptian cult of Osiris, the god of the underworld. The embalming was typically conducted by professional mortuary priests of Osiris. Here in this verse we see that
Yosef called on the physicians in his service to embalm his father. This wasn’t for religious reasons, but rather because Yosef was honouring his father’s instructions. Ya’akov’s body was embalmed to prepare for the long hot journey to Kena’an to be buried with his forefathers.
The embalming process typically took 40 days. The customary mourning period the Hebrews observe was 30 days. In total the Egyptians mourned him for 70 days.
v.4-6 Why do we see Yosef “begging” Pharaoh to let him go and bury his father? Imagine how anxious Pharaoh must have been knowing that Yosef would be leading this procession of all his primary adult family members to what was presumably their homeland. Pharaoh was concerned that Yosef might not return.
v.7-13 So while this was a funeral procession fit for a king, it was also a procession filled with high Egyptian government officials and sufficient military presence to both protect everyone on the journey and also to ensure that Yosef would return to Egypt. Remember, the current pharaoh was not an Egyptian; he was a Semite. The 7-year famine was over so Yosef wasn’t needed as overseer of the food project anymore, but he was still the pharaoh’s right-hand man and a valued Semite ally.
v.14-21 After the burial in Kena’an, everyone returned to Egypt. But on the way back the brothers got to talking and realized there was a chance that their
powerful little brother Yosef might still hold a grudge against them for their offences in the past. And now that their father was no longer there as a hedge of protection, they sent a message to Yosef claiming that their father gave them an order to tell Yosef “I beg you now, please forgive your brothers’ crime and wickedness in doing you harm.” And then they begged in fear and prostrated themselves before Yosef. Obviously, they still didn’t understand the condition of Yosef’s heart.
When the brothers confronted Yosef with their concerns, how did he respond? He was gentle and merciful and only had intentions to care for them, and not harm them. He believed that they were instruments in the hand of God, as he was.
No offence can be committed by another against us unless God allows it to happen.
He said to his brothers in verse 20:: “You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good—so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved.”
v.22-23 Yosef’s remaining years in Egypt were blessed. He lived to see Efrayim’s great-grandchildren, and the children of M’nashe’s son Makhir were “born on Yosef’s knees.” *When Scriptures say a child was born on someone’s knees, it simply means that those children were considered that person’s own.
v.24-26 54 years after Ya’akov died, Yosef died at 110 years old. (**See Sidebar:: Numbers in the Bible) Although Yosef was well-respected and lived well in Egypt, he definitely made it a point that Egypt was still a foreign land to him.
Who was Yosef speaking to in verse 24 when he says, “I am dying. But God will surely remember you and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya’akov”? The Hebrew word ach is used here for “brother”…but he was most certainly speaking to his children, grandchildren and nephews. He made his family
promise that when the day came that Israel would finally leave Egypt for the Promised Land, they would take his bones with them.
Yosef was embalmed per Egyptian custom, and his body was placed in a coffin to await the day that he, too, could join his ancestors in the land that God had promised to the Hebrews.
Shalom friends. Hey everybody. Welcome back to access. This is Timothy and I'm so grateful that you join me in studying the scriptures today. Quick question. Have you ever had really vivid dreams that troubled you? You know, the sort of dreams where when you wake up, you remember all the details. And it leaves you wondering, Well, what was that supposed to mean? I've had many of these dreams. Some of them seemed cryptic, but like it was supposed to mean something to. And sometimes there were recurring dreams where the details might have varied a bit, but the mood in the message seemed to remain the same. When I was still in my early teen years at about 12, or 13, I had a profound curiosity about dream analysis and dream interpretation. I'd share my dreams and speak with like psychiatrists and psychics, mentors and mediums, therapists and theologians. And I read several books and study dream analysis for myself. By my late teens and early 20s, I developed quite a knack for dream analysis. And a lot of people were coming to me so I could help explain their dreams to them. Now, just to be clear, I'm not a psychic, nor do I claim to predict the future and I am by no means a medium for the spiritual realm. What I do believe, is that sometimes dreams can be a way of helping us understand ourselves and the world around us, and how we might need to address certain things in our waking moments that we might unintentionally suppress. Sometimes dreams are just pictures in our minds that are influenced by our immediate surroundings. Like when you hear sounds going off, and you're sleeping, and it's entering into your dream, maybe from the television or the radio. Sometimes dreams are a way that God might communicate something important that he wants us to pay attention to. And then sometimes it might just mean that we ate too much pizza had too much soda and had a bit too much screentime. And our bodies are just trying to filter through all that unhealthiness while we sleep and our bodies are trying to get back to a healthy state of homeostasis. Those were the sort of dreams where I'm like, Well, that was crazy. So I try not to give it too much mind. Whatever my dreams might be, or whatever spiritual, emotional or mental condition I'm in. I'm just glad that I could talk to you Hovey God about all of it. If I find myself troubled or anxious, I can bring it to God and ask him for guidance, and for wisdom and discernment. And I absolutely love that God answers prayers. Whether the answer comes through his holy scriptures or through circumstantial Providence, I trust that he is hearing my prayers and that he is leading me on the path that I meant to be on. Our study today is called the dream whisperer. If you need a handout for today's access Lynch study, please visit our Facebook group connections ministries of Canada, you'll find all of our studies under the Files tab. Also visit our website at connections ministries.com. And if you haven't done so already, please subscribe to our podcast so you don't miss out on any of our studies. As you listen today, I do recommend having a Bible handy to follow along. And I encourage you to take some time with your own access communities, your small groups and review the study together. Now let's get started the dream whisper. Today my wife Beverly will be reading Genesis chapter 41 from the complete Jewish Bible. At the end of two years, Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing beside the Nile River and there came up out of the river seven cows sleek and fat, and they began feeding in swamp grass. After them there came up out of the river seven more cows miserable looking and lean and they stood by the other cows at the edge of the river. Then the miserable looking and lean cows ate up the seven sleek fat cows. At this point Pharaoh woke up but he went to sleep again and drove to second time. Seven full ripe ears of grain grew out of a single stock after them seven years then and blasted by the east wind sprang up and the thin ears swallowed up the seven full ripe ears. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it had been a dream. In the morning he found himself so upset that he summoned all the magicians of Egypt and all its Wiseman. Pharaoh told him his dreams, but no one there could interpret them for him. Then the chief cup bearer said to Pharaoh today reminds me of something wherein I am at fault. Pharaoh was angry with his officials and put me in the prison of the house of the captain of the guard. Me and the chief Baker. One night both eyed he had dreams at each man's dream had its own meaning. There was with us a young man, a Hebrew, a servant of the captain of the guard, and we told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us. He interpreted each man's dream individually. And this came about as he interpreted to us. I was restored to my office and he was hanged Then Pharaoh summoned yossef and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon. He shaved himself changed his clothes and came to the Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to yourself, I had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I've heard it said about you that when you hear a dream, you can interpret it. You also have answered Pharaoh, it isn't me. God will give Pharaoh an answer that will set his mind at peace. Pharaoh said to Youssef, in my dream, I stood at the edge of the river, and there come up out of the river seven cows fat and sleek, and they began feeding in the swamp grass. After them there came up out of the river, seven more cows poor, miserable looking and lean. I've never seen such bad looking cows in all the land of Egypt. Then the lean and miserable looking cows ate up the first seven fat cows. But after they had eaten them up, one couldn't tell that they had eaten them, because they were so miserable looking as before. At this point, I woke up, but I dreamed again and saw seven full ripe years of grain growing out of a single stock. After them seven years then and blasted by the east wind sprang up, and the thin air swallowed up the seven ripe ears. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me. Yosef said to Pharaoh, the dreams of Pharaoh are the same. God has told Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years and the seven good ears of grain are seven years, the dreams are the same. Likewise, the seven lean and miserable looking cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty years blasted by the east wind, there will be seven years of famine. This is what I told Pharaoh, God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Here it is, there will be seven years of abundance throughout the whole land of Egypt. But afterwards, they will come seven years of famine and Egypt will forget all the abundance, the feminine will consume the land and the abundance will not be known in the land because of the famine that will follow. But it will be truly terrible. Why was the dream doubled for Pharaoh because the matter has been fixed by God, and God will shortly cause it to happen. Therefore, Pharaoh should look for a man both discreet and wise to put in charge of the land of Egypt. Pharaoh should do this and he should appoint supervisors over the land to receive a 20% tax on the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should gather all the food produced during these good years coming up and set aside grain under the supervision of Pharaoh to be used for food in the cities, and they should store it. This will be the lands food supply for the seven years of famine that will come over the land of Egypt for that the land will not perish as a result of the famine. The proposal seemed good both to Pharaoh and to all his officials. Pharaoh said to his officials, can we find anyone else like him, the Spirit of God lives in Him. So Pharaoh said to yourself, since God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You will be in charge of my household. All my people will be ruled by what you say. Only when I will find my throne Will I be greater than you. Pharaoh said to yourself, here I place you in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on your son's hand had him closed and fine linen with a gold chain around his neck and had him ride in his second best chariot and they cried before him bow down. Thus he placed him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Pharaoh said to yourself, I Pharaoh decree that without your approval. No one is to raise his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh called yourself by the name itself not been a and gave him hit as his wife or snap. The daughter of pata Farah priest of own than Yosef went out through all the land of Egypt. yossef was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Then he left Pharaoh's presence and traveled through all the land of Egypt. During the seven years of abundance the earth brought forth heaps of produce. He collected all the food of the seven years in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities. The food grown in the fields outside each city he stored in that city. You also stored grain in quantities like the sand on the seashore so much that they stopped counting because it was beyond measure. Two sons were born to yossef before the year of famine came on. It's not the daughter of pot affair, a priest of olan bore them to him Yosef called the firstborn manassa. Because God has caused me to forget all the troubles I suffered at the hands of my family. The second he called a frame, for God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortune. The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt ended and the seven years of famine began to come just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but throughout the land of Egypt, there was food. When the whole land of Egypt started feeling the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. And Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, go to yourself and do what He tells you to do. The famine was over all the earth, but then he also opened all the store houses and sold food To the Egyptians, since the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all countries came to Egypt to yourself to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth. Before we get into observing this passage more closely, I would just like to take a moment to put this account in its proper historical context. Because yes, this is a historical account. Just a quick recap from my last study. During this time of yossef, Egypt was ruled by Semites, descendants from Noah, son Shem. The Pharaoh of Egypt at the time your stuff was made ruler in the land was not Egyptian. And for about a 150 year period, all the official government records seem to have like ceased recording Egypt's history. This would have made sense because kings and Pharaohs you know they didn't typically record defeats in times of subjugation for their histories. There were However, many accounts of these excess rulers written down and preserved by private Egyptian citizens. And one Egyptian historian named manetho. Born in third century BC had actually compiled many of these stories. One of them reads, we had a king called to the mayor's in his reign it happened. I do not know why God was displeased with us unexpectedly from the regions of the East Kamen of unknown race. confident of victory they marched against our land by force, they took it easily without a single battle. Having overpowered our rulers, they burned our cities without compassion and destroyed the temples of the gods. All the natives were treated with great cruelty for the slew some and carried off the wives and children of others into slavery. Finally, they appointed one of themselves as King. His name was politesse, and he lived in Memphis and made Upper and Lower Egypt pay tribute to him. And when he found a city in the province of SES, which suited his purpose Italy east of the boom site branch of the Nile and was called a virus. He rebuilt it and made it very strong by erecting walls and installing a force of 240,000 men to hold it. slightest went there every summer partly to collect his corn and pay men through wages, and partly to train his armed troops and terrify foreigners. So what I just read his a recounting of the conquering of Egypt, by the Semites in Asia, and we even learn the Arabic name of the king cellulitis in God's divine providence, this set the stage for yourself to assume a powerful position, and for Israel to be held hostage in Egypt for more than four centuries. Now that we have a little bit more information, and we've put the story in its proper historical context, let's continue our study. As we're getting into chapter 41, we know that two years have passed since the end of chapter 40. This was when the chief copier was released from prison and reinstated to serving Pharaoh, while the chief Baker was sentenced to his death, just as Joseph had said to them, after God had interpreted their dreams. Now yossef was about 30 years old and he was still prisoner in the house of captain of the guard. At the beginning of chapter 41, we see the Pharaoh had two vivid dreams that really disturbed him, and they seem more like a vision. So he he pursued the meaning of his dreams. And he does this by calling on all the magicians and wise men. Now these two groups of people, they formed his government, right, you see that the religion of Egypt was the center of their life, and it was filled with magic and sorcery, and they had many gods and goddesses. So naturally, these magician spiritualists, were a part of the pharaohs close advisers. The second group of people, the wise men, they did not represent the spiritual realm. These were Egyptian intellectuals that represented the worldly knowledge and science that had been developed to a high level in Egypt. So Pharaoh calls on all the magician's in Wiseman and tells them his dreams. Now imagine how frustrating this must have been for the pharaoh when none of them were able to understand the meaning of his dreams. This unsettling situations seem to somehow prompt the memory of the Chief cupper, who reluctantly steps forward and informs Pharaoh of a young Hebrew prisoner who two years earlier, had accurately interpreted the dreams of himself and the now executed chief Baker. As soon as he learns of this Hebrew dream whisperer, just wasting away in prison. Pharaoh immediately ordered Joseph to be brought to him. So without delay the release shows from the dungeons and he gets himself fixed up in price clean shaven Egyptian style, you know, after four years as a prison, He'll serve better have a proper appearance if he's going to stand before the Pharaoh. Let's look at verse 15. Okay, so your stuff is brought before Pharaoh and the meat. And Pharaoh says, Listen, I've had these dreams and nobody could tell me what they mean. But I've heard that if you hear a dream, you can interpret it. Okay, so this was the reason that Yosef was brought here. He could have easily claimed this reputation as a dream whisperer for himself. But once again, notice that Yosef is careful not to take any credit for himself. And he honestly replies, it isn't me, God will give Pharaoh an answer. You see, these dreams that Pharaoh had were prophetic dreams of holy truth. There was no way that the use of worldly knowledge and false religion from these wise men and these magicians could ever really reveal the meaning of this God given holy truth. Only the children of God in spiritual union with the father can know the truth. And here, Yosef is ready to lay out this truth for Pharaoh. The first thing is that these dreams they were from God. And the next thing was that both of these dreams were concerning the same matter of great famine. I find it interesting that there were two dreams where one concerned livestock and the other one crops. So both major food elements of the food supply were going to be affected by what was coming. No notice a pattern here that reveals the way that God operates. He didn't bring judgment without sufficient warning for those who would pay close attention and, and listen carefully to him. So he was allowing this exceptional abundance for seven years before the seven years of the extreme feminine. So after yossef relays the interpretation of Pharaoh's dream from God, we see in verse 33, that he's telling Pharaoh to look for a man that's discerning and wise and, and put him in charge over the land of Egypt. After that, he goes on to offer advice on how he should govern everything. Essentially, he's telling them Pharaoh make it a law, that in the next seven years that all throughout Egypt 20% of all the produce should be stored away for the day, seven years in the future, when it's going to be needed. Rather than living beyond our means. Now, during the years of unusual plenty, we need to be wise and use that time to prepare, prepare for what's to come. Now consider what this cmit then each option Pharaoh King man was facing in this moment, he had just received news that the next seven years would be great. But then the next seven years would be absolutely dreadful. And what are all the Egyptian servants thinking? A Semite ruler and a Hebrew slave scheming to take 20% of the crops during times of abundance? Where did this guy come from? I mean, was this some sort of conspiracy of the Hicks's rulers to just confiscate food from the people and and then enrich themselves? Well, it doesn't seem like Pharaoh was too concerned with what anybody else thought. He seemed most concerned with the interpretation he just received from God through yossef, about the dreams he had received from God. He was paying attention to what God was saying to him. Now, this is good point in the story to pause. The situation that God had created here with Pharaoh's dreams and their interpretation and their warnings, is very relevant to us today. Now, if you have your access, learn handouts handy. Take a peek at the sidebar, for some discussion questions about the last days. Would we have the faith to do with this haven Pharaoh was about to do? Would we have the faith to hear God warning that a time of terrible tribulation was nearing? And that we needed to prepare? By putting aside some of our time, our riches, our labors, our interests ourselves? Could we intentionally deprive ourselves when we were in the midst of abundance when when life was good? Could we do it on faith and not by what we see with our eyes? Could we do it when the best and the brightest minds and our most prestigious religious leaders tell us that the future is unknowable, except as they can discern it from their positions of authority? Friends, I believe that we're living in a time of abundance and plenty. And it's so easy for us to just go along and join in consuming the things that this world has to offer, right? I mean, we're just coming out of COVID lockdowns and so many people are excited to get back to normal, just consuming the world again. And we might think that all this COVID stuff is so bad, but friends, this is nothing compared to the time that we're told about in Matthew chapter 24, the time of tribulation before the return of Messiah Yeshua. It'll be a time that's just so terrible, we can't possibly comprehend it. And we ought to prepare ourselves by giving our lives to Him. But what does that look like? How do we do that? I like what Tom Bradford writes here, he says, prepare by following the wisdom that comes from God. living within our means getting out of debt, seeking him instead of personal pleasures, learning to rely on him and nothing else. Trust Him, believe him, and not what our fleshly senses and corrupted intellects tell us. Friends, those who don't prepare really experienced a lot more devastation than what Egypt was about to experience here. So back to the lesson, we got to give Pharaoh credit here for being a leader that takes action, right instead of sitting on the news and waiting until things get really bad before he does anything. And we see that he takes yourself very seriously and he follows his advice immediately. Of course, there's nobody better to carry out the plan than the man that God sent to deliver the message yourself. So this Hebrew slave, he's taken from the dungeons and he's anointed as a ruler of all Egypt, and the only higher authority in Egypt was Pharaoh himself. Man, what a journey Yosef has been on up to this point, hey, let's look back. First. his dreams got him into trouble as a teenager as it made him highly unpopular amongst his brothers who wanted to kill him, but God spared him and instead, his brothers sold them as a slave. Next, he rose to high position as chief steward and part of his house until a woman tells a lie about him and he gets thrown into prison. God was with him and he found favor with the prison guard and Yosef becomes overseer of the other prisoners. After being in prison for two years, God gave prophetic dreams to to fellow prisoners. And then God gave yourself the interpretation of those dreams, giving him an opportunity to be recommended to the Pharaoh. But he was forgotten about and left in prison for another two years. God gives Pharaoh prophetic dreams. And then God gave yourself the interpretation of those dreams. So your self goes from zero to hero, from a prisoner slave to the second command over all the land of Egypt. Why? Because God was with him, because God made it so this is God's divine providence at work. In order to make everything official, a ceremony was held so that all of Egypt but no of Yosef position over them, and their Pharaoh call Joseph by the Egyptian name Sef, not penair. Now Sef not means he who is called and Pioneer was common Egyptian word for life. So essentially, his new name was Sef napnap, meaning he who was called life, and it just made sense that the second in command over all Egypt would have any gyptian name right. And to seal his appointment and make it permanent. Pharaoh also gives him a wife named osnat. And all that first 47 tells us is that also that is the daughter of pata Farah a priest of own. Now, why is this significant? Well, own would later become known as Heliopolis, the city of the sun god Ray, and Ray was the highest Egyptian deity. So this union was a high profile union and wasn't to be taken lightly. After the ceremony, he also begins his travels across Egypt, and he sets up the grain storage system. And this was going to run over the next six years of abundance before the famine was due to hit. And so six years pass yossef has two sons biostat, his Egyptian wife. And we're told here in Scripture that their names are manassa and ifim. Now these are their Hebrew names, not Egyptian minassian means causing to forget and that would be because Yosef was putting his old life behind him and he had joined his new life here in Egypt. And he frame means fertile or fruit, as in abundance. Now, the custom in those days was that the mother's nationality would determine that of the children. It's interesting that were given their Hebrew names and not three gyptian names, but they must have had Egyptian names. Keep in mind that your steps father Yaakov had no idea that he had these two Egyptian grandsons. Now take a mental note here of all snots, manassa and Efrain they were all Egyptians considered Gentiles. They weren't Hebrews. And this is going to become obviously significant toward the end of Genesis when Yaakov gives his pronouncements and his blessings over all the tribes of Israel. Here we are at the end of chapter 41, where the seven years of abundance had ended, and the famine had begun. Just as the dream whisperer had said it would, were told in verse 56, said yossef, opens up the store houses, and sold food to the Egyptians. So all this stored up grain, it was rationed and sold, it wasn't just given away. Egyptian records have been found describing that the feminine the distribution actually agree with this biblical record. You see, as people ran out of money, they gave up their starving cattle to Pharaoh in exchange for grain. And then when they ran out of cattle, they gave up their land. And when they had nothing left to sell, they sold themselves into bond servitude to Pharaoh. So essentially, Pharaoh owned all the land and all the wealth of Egypt. And he was able to build up this enormous slave class that enabled him to construct you know, these massive temples and, and beautiful buildings and construct all these cities. Now, as cynical and hard hearted as this was, God's still use this situation to save lives, and to assure the survival of Israel. And that wraps up today's study, I hope the more we study through the story of yossef, that you're able to see more of how God's divine providence works, and how God reveals things progressively. Now, we might not see the whole picture of God's plans in our current situations, but we can learn to trust that he is always working out His Divine Will. Amen. Friends, I hope you prayerfully read through these passages again at your own pace, and ask God to reveal the message of his truths that He has for you to discover. I strongly recommend that you take time together with your own access communities and review the studies together and share what God's Spirit has been revealing as you read his holy scriptures. Now, before I let you go, just a few things that you could discuss with your own access groups this week. Do you think it was easy or difficult for Pharaoh to listen to yourselves advice? How do you respond to God's warning of a time of tribulation? See Matthew 24? And how will you prepare yourself for your issue a second coming? Friends, thank you so much for joining us for today's access, learn study. As always, it's such a joy to be able to get around God's word and learn more about his plan and his purposes, and about his amazing love and His promises. I'm so excited to see where he lead us next. We have the grace of our Lord Yeshua and the shalom of God our Father be with all Amen.