The water dumped on Joseph’s head cooled the burning sensation from the shave. As the last of the water rinsed the soap off he felt renewed–like he was no longer a prisoner. The clean robe they placed on him was almost as colorful as Abba’s robe had been.
The man in charge clapped his hands twice. “Come now. We must not keep Pharaoh waiting.”
The morning sun blinded Joseph when he exited the jail. He closed them as he followed the footsteps in front of him. His squint finally gave way to a view of his surroundings. The men were walking too fast for Joseph to dare look back.
He tried to gather his thoughts. Am I leaving the jail for good? Or shall I return in a few minutes? Will I finally get a chance to plead my case and get released? Will I be allowed to return home, or will I have to go back to Potiphar’s house?
Joseph had never seen a door as large as the one entering Pharaoh’s palace. A short corridor led to a shorter, wider door. The room it led to was long. A throne was at the far end.
Pharaoh stopped his pacing and sat in the throne when he saw the group enter. His hands gripped the armrests.
Joseph mimicked the bow of the other men, then looked at the sweat on Pharaoh’s brow.
Pharaoh leaned forward. “I had a dream last night. Nobody in my court can tell me what it means. I’ve heard it said of you that you can interpret dreams. Is that right?”
Joseph cleared his throat and did his best to maintain eye contact. “God is the One who gives dreams. He may choose to use me to tell you what they mean. He is in control of everything.”
There’s nothing like a good baptism to get a person ready to lead a new life. The washing and new set of clothes must have been a pleasant feeling for the bedraggled Hebrew, Joseph.
The men who were sent to bring him before their leader would do their best to make sure the stench of the prison didn’t follow Joseph into the palace.
Do you remember your baptism, if you had one? Were you too young to realize the full significance of it?
Baptisms are a grand public display of our decision to leave our old lifestyle behind us as we enter into our new relationship with God at the center of it.
Have you ever thought about why Jesus was baptized? He didn’t need to repent of any sin like the rest of the Jews of His day were told to do.
Jesus’ baptism was His public declaration the He was washing off the sawdust of the carpenter shop in Nazareth to begin His earthly ministry Father God had set out for Him to do. A forty day fasting solitude immediately followed.
Joseph didn’t know his washing would be the last he’d see of the prison, but it was a type of baptism for him. His days of confinement were soon to become a lifetime of freedom and leadership.
God didn’t let Joseph know his times of testing and preparation were nearly completed. Joseph simply followed the men who came to retrieve him. His faithful obedience was soon to be rewarded.
Two more tests awaited Joseph before he ascended to the throne. One came quickly. The other one we’ll look at next time.
The first question Pharaoh asked tested Joseph’s allegiance. “Are you the one who interprets dreams?”
Joseph could have listed all the dreams he had and the ones he interpreted as an impressive resume. He could have simply said yes as a short answer to alleviate Pharaoh’s concerns.
Both of those options would have put Joseph at the center of the equation. That’s not the caliber of man we’re dealing with here.
Pharaoh’s heart may have sunk when Joseph shook his head and said, “it’s not me.”
Fortunately Joseph was quick to point to the real source of the dreams and their meanings. “God is the giver of dreams and their interpretations.”
[Tweet “Without God’s intervention in our life we’re useless. With Him we’re unstoppable.”]
How quick are you to take the credit for something God blessed you with?
Do you think about all those long hours you practiced a musical instrument and put your trust in that for your reason you’re so good at it? As grand as that is in the equation God still gave you your innate love of that tool to worship Him.
Have you basked in the limelight at work because of your seemingly easy way of reading people that lets you home in on their problem while others are still trying to remember their name. God blessed you with that ability.
Are you like the woodpecker who was on the tree that was struck by lightning? After he picked himself off the forest floor and witnessed the devastation he stuck out his charred breast feathers and exclaimed, “Wow! I didn’t know I had that in me.”
Everybody else knew he didn’t do that work. It came from an outside source.
Are you more like the gloves I bought many years ago? Every fall I’d invest in a good pair of leather gloves to withstand the harsh Michigan winters on the farm. Once when I was trying them on after I got home my dad walked in the room and asked what I had.
I said, “the tag says their work gloves.”
“Do they work?”
“I don’t know. Let’s see.” I plopped the empty gloves on the table.
After about thirty seconds my dad spoke up. “Looks like you better get your money back.”
Those gloves needed a hand in them to accomplish any work.
It’s the same for you and me. Without God’s intervention in our life we’re useless. With Him we’re unstoppable.
Often when I read something I just wrote I feel like I get the distinct privilege of being the first person to read it.
I’m a glove.
I’ll see you later. Wade