~~~~~Lesson: Genesis: Chapter 41 (part 1) (reading below lesson)
This story has so many great aspects to think about, along with the fact that it is beautifully written.
First, the patience that Joseph demonstrates. The story really skims over the two plus YEARS that Joseph spent in jail. Yes, God blessed his work at that time, but still, over two years without freedom, having to eat what was given to you, having to sleep where you were told, etc. Joseph demonstrates amazing patience, simply by the fact that it is NOT mentioned how he dealt with those years.
Secondly, the interpretation of dreams. It is common in our society today, as it was long ago, to believe in interpretation of dreams, those who could contact the dead, fortune-telling, etc.
Joseph says flat out: "It is not I, but God."
It is so easy in our society today, where being "open-minded" and "non-judgmental" are the keystones of the secular faith. Yes, being open-minded is good, Jesus was open to all sorts of people, and certainly didn't judge them. BUT, he also said "Go forth and sin no more." The secular view of proper behavior any more is that the only sin is to believe that people sin.
If you say, "I don't think that's right," imagine the looks you'll get. In fact, you've probably gotten them yourself.
We must remember in today's society that loving others does not mean condoning their sin; that being "open-minded" does not mean being "empty minded", and that not judging someone doesn't mean being honest about what sins they are committing.
And everything we apply to other people, we must doubly apply to ourselves. If we are going to have a moral opinion about something, we must constantly work on ourselves so that we are a shining example of a Christian, not someone who embarrasses the very term Christian.
When or where have you stood up and made a moral statement, no matter how small?
What do you wish you could change in our society? Is that something you've already worked on in yourself?
Is there a particular point in this story that makes an impression on you?
(As always, FEEL FREE TO COMMENT WITH YOUR ANSWER OR ANYTHING ELSE!)
~Reading: Genesis: Chapter 41 (part 1)
(1-16) After a lapse of two years, Pharaoh had a dream. He saw himself standing by the Nile, when up out of the Nile came seven cows, handsome and fat; they grazed in the reed grass. Behind them seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile; and standing on the bank of the Nile beside the others, the ugly, gaunt cows ate up the seven handsome, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
He fell asleep again and had another dream. He saw seven ears of grain, fat and healthy, growing on a single stalk. Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, thin and blasted by the east wind; and the seven thin ears swallowed up the seven fat, healthy ears. Then Pharaoh woke up, to find it was only a dream.
Next morning his spirit was agitated. So he summoned all the magicians and sages of Egypt and recounted his dreams to them; but no one could interpret his dreams for him. Then the chief cupbearer spoke up and said to Pharaoh, "On this occasion I am reminded of my negligence.
Once, when Pharaoh was angry, he put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the chief steward. Later, we both had dreams on the same night, and each of our dreams had its own meaning. There with us was a Hebrew youth, a slave of the chief steward; and when we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us and explained for each of us the meaning of the dream. And it turned out just as he had told us: I was restored to my post, but the other man was impaled."
Pharaoh therefore had Joseph summoned, and they hurriedly brought him for the dungeon. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he came into Pharaoh's presence. Pharaoh then said to him: "I had certain dreams that no one can interpret. But I hear it said of you that the moment you are told a dream you can interpret it." "It is not I," Joseph replied to Pharaoh, "but God who will give Pharaoh the right answer."
(25-32) Joseph said to Pharaoh: "Both of Pharaoh's dreams have the same meaning. God has thus foretold to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears are seven years- the same in each dream. So also, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven thin, wind-blasted ears; they are seven years of famine. It is just as I told Pharaoh: God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are now coming throughout the land of Egypt; but these will be followed by seven years of famine, when all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. When the famine has ravaged the land, no trace of the abundance will be found in the land because of the famine that follows is- so utterly sever will that famine be. That Pharaoh had the same dream twice means that the matter has been reaffirmed by God and that God will soon bring it about.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong