The picture at the left shows Joseph confidently explaining Pharaoh’s dream. Only hours earlier he had been in prison. One can only wonder what was going through Joseph’s mind at this time. Did he remember the sudden change that came to him when he was still in his teens. His half-brothers sold him, and he became a slave in a distant land? Did he remember a second change that came when Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him, and he went from being head of a household to being a prisoner? Did he wonder if another terrible change was about to occur if Pharaoh was displeased and beheaded him?
None of these misgivings is evident in Joseph’s explanation of Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me, God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” We all know the ending of this story. Before the hour was out, Joseph was standing before Pharaoh as second in authority in the entire land of Egypt!–a sudden change to be certain, and a positive one.
Another change had taken place in Joseph–a subtle change that came over many years. With his first dream, Joseph had declared to his father and brothers, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed.” Nowhere in his statement is God even mentioned. Years later when Joseph stood before Pharaoh, he said, “It is not in me, God will give…” he was no longer a cocky, arrogant youth, but a young man who, through difficulty, had learned to trust his God. As such he was ready to receive a promotion that came from God!
“… what exalts someone doesn’t come from the east or west; it’s not from the south either. Rather it is God who is the judge. He brings this person down, but that person he lifts up.” Common English Bible.