Joseph was thirty years old when he entered into the service of Pharoah and spent the first seven years of abundance collecting and storing food and grain in preparation for the upcoming seven years of famine.
At the end of Genesis 41 we read that when the famine hit, Egypt was the only place that had food and that all the countries of the world came to Joseph to buy grain.
Genesis 42 begins with Jacob telling his sons to go down to Egypt and buy some grain “so that we may live and not die.” Interestingly, Jacob sends tens of his sons down to Egypt but keeps Benjamin, Joseph’s youngest brother home for fear “that harm might come to him.”
Here’s what we read in verse 6-8: “So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them” but in verse 8 we’re told that although Joseph recognized them, “they did not recognize him.”
And then we read a pivotal turning point in the story in verse 9. “Then he [Joseph] remembered his dreams about them…”
We miss the significance of this statement unless we have been calculating time. Remember, Joseph was 17 in Genesis 37 when he first tells his brothers and his father of his dreams. He is now 39, and has been serving Pharoah for 9 years.
Before we go on in the story, I want you to pause and think about this time period for a moment. It has been 22 years since God gave Joseph that dream of his brothers bowing down before him. Think about all that Joseph has been through in those years. What must that realization been like for him?
I wonder if you have ever waited for a prayer to be answered over a long period of time? Or had a dream that seemed to be inspired by God that has yet to come true. After months or years with no answer or fulfillment in sight, what has happened in your heart? Can you see any evidence of what God has been doing in your heart during this time?
Take a few moments to talk to God about this waiting season in your life. Maybe you need to ask Him some questions or share your feelings with Him. Maybe you might want to praise and thank Him for the way you’ve seen His Spirit at work. Maybe you just want to tell Him you love Him even though you have yet to see that prayer answered or dream fulfilled.
Joseph waited a long time. But he trusted in the One who promised.