Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Genesis which was written by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters forty-two through forty-four of this Old Testament book. WHEN JACOB SAW THERE WAS CORN IN EGYPT! I HAVE HEARD THERE IS CORN IN EGYPT! GET DOWN AND BUY FOR US! AND THE SONS OF ISRAEL CAME GO BUY CORN! THE FAMINE WAS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN! JOSEPH WAS THE GOVERNOR OVER THE LAND! HE IT WAS THAT SOLD TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND! JOSEPH’S BRETHREN CAME AND BOWED DOWN THEMSELVES WITH THEIR FACES TO THE EARTH! JOSEPH SAW HIS BRETHREN AND HE KNEW THEM, BUT HE MADE HIMSELF STRANGE UNTO THEM! AND JOSEPH KNEW HIS BRETHREN, BUT THEY DID KNOW HIM! AND JOSEPH REMEMBERED THE DREAMS WHICH HE HAD DREAMED OF THEM! AND THEY KNEW NOT THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THEM! HE TURNED HIMSELF ABOUT FROM THEM AND WEPT! AND THE FAMINE WAS SORE IN THE LAND! THE DAY WHEN NO ONE RECOGNIZES YOU! THE DAY WHEN YOU REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS! THE DAY WHEN NO ONE RECOGNIZES YOU & YOU REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS! THE DAY WHEN NO ONE RECOGNIZES YOU! THE DAY WHEN YOU REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS! THE DAY WHEN THE EVIL DONE AGAINST YOU IS REHEARSED! BROUGHT FACE TO FACE WITH YOUR DREAMS, THE WRONGS DONE AGAINST YOU & THOSE WHO WRONGED YOU! DREAMS REMEMBERED AND WRONGS REHEARSED! When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find Joseph having been brought forth from the prison unto the palace in order that he might stand before pharaoh—the most powerful figure in the known world at that time. If you recall, that which brought Joseph forth from the prison were two dreams which Pharaoh dreamed the night before which greatly troubled and greatly puzzled him. After having called for all the magicians and wise men in the land of Egypt we find that the chief butler remembered his fault and wrong concerning Joseph, and proceeded to recount his encounter with this prisoner in the kings prison. The chief butler remembered how when the king was wroth with him and had him thrust into the prison he had a dream which he could not understand and to which there was no interpretation. Having told the dream unto Joseph this Hebrew prisoner was able to interpret the dream which he had, and to give him the meaning of the dream. What’s more is that that which Joseph spoke unto this chief butler would in fact come to pass and after three days he would be restored to his previous position and would once more place the cup in the hand of pharaoh. What’s interesting and unique to think about and consider is that when Joseph revealed the meaning and interpretation of the dream he asked this chief butler to remember him when he was restored to his previous place in the kings palace and in the presence of the king. Furthermore Joseph would also go on to speak of him about how he was stolen away from the land of Canaan and how even being in the prison was through no fault of his own, for he had done nothing wrong.
If you read and study the account of Joseph in this passage of scripture you will find it written concerning Joseph that when he revealed the interpretation of the dream unto the chief butler he made one single, and one simple request of him—namely, that he would remember him when he was restored to his place within the kings palace. The interesting reality concerning this is that the final verse of that chapter reveal how the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but rather forgot him. Please don’t miss or lose sight of the tremendous significance of this, for it would actually play itself out in the life of Joseph two years later. It’s worth noting and considering the fact that the one thing Joseph requested of the chief butler was that he remember him when he was restored into the presence and palace of the king. What’s worth noting is that while this particular chapter states and emphatically reveals that the chief butler did not remember Joseph but instead forgot him—in the very next chapter we find that when he was in the presence of the king himself who had had two dreams and realized that there were none who could reveal the meaning of the dreams he remembered his fault as well as Joseph. What marks and what makes this so incredibly interesting and unique is when you think about and consider the fact that this reality and concept of Joseph asking to be remembered would not immediately manifest itself within his life. Undoubtedly Joseph thought and believe that as soon as this chief butler would be restored into the presence of the king he would remember Joseph and would plead and speak his case in his hearing. This, however, was not the case, for scripture revels how the chief butler did not remember Joseph but forgot him. Now while one the surface it might seem like this is in and of itself a tragic revelation concerning Joseph, I would dare say that if we think and believe that reality we read it through the lens of our own bias and our own hurts, wounds and pains of being forgotten. If you read these words for the first time it might appear that Joseph would be forever relegated to remaining and abiding in the prison, and that he would never emerge and come forth from the midst of it. If we read the words concerning the chief butler failing to remember and in fact forgetting Joseph through the lens of our own hurt and pain rather than the sovereignty of God then we are and have sorely missed the point. We dare not and ought not read such words and such statements such as these within the scripture through our own bias and through our own hurt and pain rather than the sovereignty of the living God, for to do so would be to miss the tremendous truth of the nature of God.
As I sit here this morning and think about and consider the words which are recorded concerning the chief butler I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly challenged with and by the fact that while he did not initially and immediately remember Joseph, and while he rather forgot Joseph instead, we find and read that when standing in the presence of the king at a moment of great struggle and conflict within the king, he remembered Joseph at that point in time. On the one hand we can discover the reality that the chief butler didn’t remember Joseph and instead forgot him, however, on the other hand we can read that the chief butler would ultimately end would eventually remember Joseph—and not only remember Joseph, but also speak his name in the company and presence of the king. I fully realize and recognize that scripture does in fact state that the chief butler didn’t remember Joseph and that he forgot him, however, we find in the very next chapter Moses the servant of the Lord revealing how when the chief butler stood in the presence of the king in the midst of great inner struggle and turmoil within the heart and mind of the king—it was in that moment he remembered Joseph. I can’t help but think to myself when considering this that although the chief butler did in fact forget and did not remember Joseph when he was immediately brought forth from the prison, he remembered him at the right moment in time. What’s more, is I would dare say that this chief butler remembered Joseph at the appointed moment in time which was divinely ordained and orchestrated by the living God. There is not a doubt in my mind that even though the chief butler failed to remember Joseph upon his release from the prison, he nonetheless remembered this man who had revealed the meaning of his dream while in the midst of the prison. We ought to pay close and careful attention to this, for it brings us face to face with the tremendous and incredible reality that the knowledge and remembrance of Joseph was reserved within the heart and mind of the chief butler for the appointed time and for the appointed place. It is absolutely remarkable and astounding when you think about and consider the fact that while it was true the chief butler did not remember Joseph when he was initially brought forth from the midst of the prison, the knowledge of Joseph was reserved within his heart and mind for the appointed time. What’s more, is that the remembrance of Joseph at this particular moment in time reveal that it was reserved for the precise moment in time when that knowledge would dramatically and radically change and alter the situation and circumstances of Joseph. I firmly believe that it would and could have been very possible for the chief butler to remember Joseph when he immediately come forth from the prison, however, it would have been at that moment when it might have been overlooked and when the king might have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the situation and circumstance of Joseph. The chief butler might very well have remembered Joseph after being released from prison, and might have even spoken of him unto the king, however, it’s possible the king would have had no reason to hear or listen to his words.
The more I think about and the more I consider the life of Joseph the more I can’t help but come face to face with the awesome and tremendous reality that while the chief butler did not remember him when he was initially released from prison, he remembers him at the appointed time which was divinely ordained and orchestrated by the living God. I firmly believe that while on the surface it might seem as though Joseph was forgotten by the chief butler, he was not forgotten by the living God. It was true the chief butler had forgotten him and did not remember him, however I am convinced of two distinct realities. The first is the the Lord did not and would not forget Joseph, and the second is that the Lord preserved the memory of Joseph in the heart and mind of this chief butler for the appointed time when that which he remembered would be in direct alignment with the need of the king. In all reality I would dare say that the chief butler remembering Joseph was met with equal force by the struggle and conflict within the heart and mind of the king, for the king had had two dreams which not only greatly troubled him, but also which there was none who could reveal the meaning of them. Oh how absolutely wonderful and astounding it is to think about and consider that the Spirit of the Lord quickened the heart and mind of the chief butler while standing in the presence of the king, and allowed and enabled him to remember Joseph who two years earlier had revealed the meaning of the dream he had, as well as the meaning of a dream which the chief baker had. What’s more, is that not only did Joseph reveal the meaning of the dreams, but the events which he spoke of took place exactly as he had spoke and declared. Oh how wonderful and truly captivating it is to think about and consider the fact that while the chief butler failed to remember Joseph when he was initially released and brought forth from the prison, he remembered him when the king was actually in a place and actually at a point where he could and was willing to act in bringing him forth from the prison. I am absolutely and completely convinced of the reality that if we read of the chief butler failing to remember Joseph and forgetting him, and we are angered by such a statement, or are even annoyed and bothered by such a statement, we are actually reading Scripture through the lens of our own hurt, our own pain, our own experience, our own bias, and our own understanding rather than the sovereignty of the living God. As I continue to read and study the account of the various men and women found within the Scripture, and the more I continue to seek an understanding of that which is contained within the pages of Scripture, I am drawn into and captivated by the reality that when we read Scripture we must read it through the lens of the sovereignty of the living God. If we begin reading Scripture through the lens of the sovereignty of the living God then when we come across such a passage Joseph asking the chief butler to remember him when he was restored unto the palace of the king, and instead of remembering Joseph the chief butler forgot him, we will recognize that what appears on the surface to be a tragic situation and circumstance is actually the sovereignty of the living God at work within the life of Joseph.
It is very much true that the chief butler failed to remember Joseph and that when he was restored to his previous position in the king’s palace and presence, he did in fact forget Joseph. Even with that being said, however, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that the memory and remembrance of Joseph was secured within the heart and mind of this man until the appointed time that was ordained by the living God. While on the surface it might seem like this chief butler did Joseph some sort of disservice and damage by not remembering him and forgetting him, I would dare say that such a reality and such an idea is the furthest thing from the truth. If it were up to us the chief butler would have remembered Joseph immediately after having been released from prison, and the king would have gladly and happily entertained the words which he spoke. The truth of the matter is that as Scripture reveals and declares so clearly—the ways of God are not our ways, and the thoughts of God are not our thoughts. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand it’s that God has never and will never operate according to our own expectations and standards, for He is God and He is God alone. We must recognize and understand the absolutely incredible and tremendous reality that the living God moves and operates within the earth according to His own sovereignty and will, and that He always acts in the interest of His will and His good pleasure. It was true the chief butler did in fact fail to remember Joseph, and it was true that he did in fact forget Joseph, however, we must also recognize and understand that what we read—even when we read of his failure to remember Joseph—is according to the sovereignty and omniscience of the living God. There is not a doubt in my mind the living God knew exactly what was going to take place, and only at the appointed time would Joseph’s name be mentioned in the hearing and company of the king. Scripture reveals that after a full two years of Joseph being in the prison he would be called forth from the midst of it—and not only called forth from the midst of the prison, but also called forth into the presence of the king. It would be in the presence of the king that Joseph would hear the two dreams which he had dreamed, and not only reveal the meaning of the dreams, but also advise Pharaoh on the incredible need to appoint one who was discerning and wise who would oversee the seven years of plenty within the land in order that they might be prepared for the time when the seven years began to wax great upon the earth.
When we come to the forty-second chapter of the book of Genesis we find Joseph having successfully interpreted the meaning of Pharaoh’s two dreams, as well as Pharaoh appointing him to be second in command within the land of Egypt under himself alone. What’s more, is that Pharaoh appointed Joseph to oversee the next fourteen years within the earth in order that Egypt might be preserved in the midst of the famine. Joseph knew what was coming, and as a result of knowing what was coming, he was able to advise the king concerning and regarding it, as well as preparing Egypt for the seven years of famine. In fact, as you begin reading with and from the fifty-third verse of the forty-first chapter you will find the following words written concerning this particular time in Egypt—and not only in Egypt, but also over the face of the known earth at that time:
“And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands” (Genesis 42:53-57).
The forty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis points to and reveals the tremendous reality that the seven years of plenty had in fact come to an end, and the seven years of famine had struck and come upon the land. What’s more, is that you will find that the famine was in all the lands, however, the famine was not found within the land of Egypt, for Egypt had bread. As the famine continued to progress within and upon the face of the earth, the entire land of Egypt was famished, and the people cried unto Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh’s response to the cry of the Egyptians was to go unto Joseph and inquire of Joseph for bread, and whatever he instructed them to do they ought to do it. While the famine was over and upon the whole face of the earth, Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians—this despite the fact that the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. The final verse of the forty-first chapter points to and reveals the tremendous reality that all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn because the famine was so sore in all lands. This is in direct alignment with what we find and read in the opening verse of the forty-second chapter, for when this chapter opens it does so with Moses revealing how when Jacob saw that there was corn in the land of Egypt, he said unto his sons, “Why do ye look one upon another?” Jacob then instructed his sons to get themselves down to Egypt, for he had heard that there is corn in Egypt. This Jacob did in order that they might live and not die, and so he sent ten of his sons down into the land of Egypt. Scripture reveals how Jacob sent ten of his sons down into the land of Egypt, but how he kept Benjamin back, for Benjamin was the last son born unto him, and he was the only son he had left from his late wife Rachel. When Jacob’s sons came down to and reached the land of Egypt they found themselves standing in the presence of Joseph, however, they did not recognize and know that the one they were standing before was Joseph there brother whom they had sold into slavery roughly twenty years earlier. We learn and discover from Scripture that Joseph was roughly seventeen years old when he was sold into slavery in the land of Egypt, and he was thirty years of age when he was elevated from the prison to the palace in order that he might be second in command only to Pharaoh, and that he might be governor over all the land of Egypt. What’s more, is that we learn that seven years of plenty had already passed within the earth, and the seven years of famine were now beginning to come upon and consume the earth. If you do the math then you will naturally come to the conclusion that roughly twenty years had passed since Joseph’s brothers last saw their brother when he entreated them not to behave and act so wickedly in selling him into slavery. Now nearly twenty years later we find Joseph’s brothers—the same brothers which had sold him into slavery all those years earlier—standing before him for to buy bread that they might bring back to their father and their households. What’s more, is that you will also go on to read that when Joseph’s brothers found themselves in his presence—not only did they stand before him, but they also bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.
The account and story of Joseph at this particular place within his life is actually quite remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for there are certain key elements and certain key realities found within this passage which must be carefully unpacked and studied. I am convinced and I believe that what we read and what we find within this passage of Scripture has the potential to bring us face to face with some incredibly powerful truths which when carefully studied and considered has the ability to dramatically transform and change our lives. It’s ‘worth noting when reading the words found in this chapter that when Joseph’s brethren stood before him and were found to be in his presence—they didn’t recognize him, nor did they realize that the one whom they were standing before was the one whom they had sold into slavery some twenty years earlier. When Joseph’s brothers stood before him and when they stood in his presence they had absolutely no idea that the one who was before them was their younger brother whom they had so spitefully treated all those years earlier when they drew him from a pit in order that they might sell him into slavery unto the Ishmaelites who were passing by. It’s interesting and worth noting that Scripture reveals how Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but he made himself strange unto them, and spoke roughly unto them. What’s more, is that Scripture goes on to state a second time that Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew him not. Please pay close and careful attention to this particular reality, for within it is an absolutely wonderful and incredible truth that we must consider. Several years ago I remember writing concerning this passage and the title of the writing which I wrote was “The Day When No One Recognizes You.” The entire premise of this title, and the entire premise of the writing was concerning a day within your life when those who once knew you during a certain period of your life see you at some point in the future and have absolutely no idea who you are. The premise of this writing centered upon the awesome and incredible reality that there are times in our lives when those who perhaps knew us at one point in our lives can no longer recognize us—not because we have grown older, or because our physical appearance has been changed, nor because we have perhaps started growing grey hairs (which I myself have started growing). When I speak about the reality of a day when no one recognizes you any more, that which I am speaking of is that day when no one recognizes you because of your coming out on the other side of that which you have faced within your life. When I speak and write about a day when no one recognizes you anymore, that which I speak of is a day when on the other side of the conflict and struggle you have faced, you have come out on the other side, and have been dramatically and radically transformed and changed. That which I speak of is a day when those who perhaps once knew you no longer recognize you because of the scars, the wounds, the bruises, the hurt(s) and the pain(s) you have experienced within your life have dramatically altered and changed you. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that it is possible to be so dramatically transformed and changed because of the struggles you have face, because of the conflicts you have faced, because of the trials you have faced, and even because of the troubles you have faced, and as a direct result of what you have been through those who once knew you are no longer able to recognize you?
I sit here this morning and I read this particular account within the life of Joseph and I can’t help but come face to face with the absolutely remarkable and astounding reality that after twenty or so years Joseph’s brethren stood before Joseph and they could neither recognize, nor understand him. Undoubtedly Joseph was dressed in the linen and garments of Egypt, and we know from Scripture that when he spoke unto them he spoke to them through and using an interpreter. This is actually quite unique and powerful when you take the time to think about and consider it, for when Joseph’s brethren would stand before him these many years later they could neither recognize nor understand Joseph, for not only had his appearance changed, but so also had the language he spoke changed. Although we learn from this passage that Joseph still understood the language which his brothers spoke, he was now used to speaking the language of the Egyptians. When Joseph’s brothers stood before him on that day in the land of Egypt they had absolutely no idea that the one before whom they stood was their estranged brother whom they had so cruelly mistreated and sold into slavery those many years earlier. This is quite unique and powerful when you truly take the time to think about and consider it, for it brings us face to face with the absolutely incredible reality that there are those moments within our lives, and there might come that day within our lives when those who once knew us years earlier look upon us in the present day and present moment, and they are unable to recognize us. It’s worth noting that Joseph’s brothers never even had a suspicion that the one whom they were standing before was their estranged brother whom they sold into slavery. When Joseph’s brothers stood before him in the land of Egypt they did not and could not recognize him, and they did and could not understand him, for when he spoke unto them he spoke unto them using a translator. This is quite remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for after the pit, after the prison, after being falsely accused, after being forgotten, and after being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph had come out on the other side and had truly found himself walking in the nature of his father whose name was Israel. If you recall—the name Israel literally means Prince of God, and when the angel spoke unto Jacob he emphatically declared and spoke unto him that he had striven with men and had prevailed. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read and consider the account of Joseph we encounter and come face to face with the fact that he did in fact walk in the nature of Israel, for as a prince with God he not only strove with man, but he also overcame and came out on top. When Joseph’s brothers stood before him they had absolutely no idea that the one whom they were standing before was one who had overcome the struggles and conflicts he had faced. When Joseph’s brothers stood before him there in the land of Egypt, they had absolutely no idea that the one they were standing before was one who had overcome adversity, one who had overcome struggle, one who had overcome trials, one who had overcome trouble, and one who had overcome tremendous hurt and pain within his heart and soul.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND YOU ARE STANDING BEFORE AN OVERCOMER? If you journey to the final book of the New Testament—the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ—you will find Jesus speaking unto each of the seven churches, and emphatically declaring unto them concerning their need to overcome, and the tremendous promise that would be received by them if they did in fact overcome and walk in and walk as overcomers. What’s more, is that when you read the words which Jesus spoke concerning the end times and the Last Days you will find Him speaking of those who endure to the end—it is those individuals who will be saved. This reality is quite unique and quite astounding when you consider it, for when Joseph’s brothers stood before him they had absolutely no idea that the one whom they were standing before was indeed and was in fact an overcomer. Joseph’s brothers had absolutely no idea that the one whom they stood before was one who had been dramatically and radically changed and transformed by his situations and circumstances and had come out on the other side. I presented the question at the beginning of this paragraph concerning whether or not you realize you are standing before an overcomer, and I find it absolutely astounding that what we find and read concerning Joseph’s brothers is that when they stood before him they did not recognize and could not understand him. Even more than this, there is not a doubt in my mind that they had absolutely no clue that the one whom they were standing before was an overcomer and one who had overcome the trials and troubles he had faced. When we speak about this reality of the day when no one recognizes us anymore, I would also dare say that this touches on the realm and reality of a day when men and women look upon us and have absolutely no idea that we are an overcome and that we have overcome all sorts and all types of adversity and affliction. This reality takes on a whole new meaning and a whole new level when you think about and consider the fact that before and around you in the house of the Lord are overcomers—those whom you wouldn’t have any clue or idea what adversity and what affliction they have come through in order to be where they are today. There are men and women whom we know today who we would have absolutely no idea the trouble, the trials and the affliction and adversity they have faced within their lives if they did not tell us. There are those among us whom we would have absolutely no idea they have gone through some of the things they have gone through because of who and where they are today. WHEN YOUR PRESENT DOESN’T SEEM TO LINE UP WITH YOUR PAST! Would it completely and utterly shock you to think about and consider the fact that it is possible that where you are in this present moment doesn’t seem to line up with where you came from, for you have come through so much adversity, so much affliction, and so much conflict and struggle within your life that has radically altered, changed and transformed you?
I am sitting here this morning and I am absolutely and completely captivated with and by the reality that when Joseph’s brethren stood before him they had absolutely no idea that the one whom they were standing before was their brother. Furthermore, when they stood before their brother they had absolutely no idea that the one whom they were standing before had overcome so much adversity and affliction. The only thing they knew from his experience—once he revealed himself unto them—was that they had mistreated him and sold him into slavery. They had absolutely no idea he had been falsely accused by the wife of his master, and as a result of her accusation and cry he was cast into prison. They had absolutely no idea that he had spent two years in the prison after requesting the chief butler to remember him when he was elevated from the prison and restored to his previous place in the palace of the king. When Joseph’s brothers stood before him—while it is true they had absolutely no idea he was their brother whom they had sold into slavery—they had absolutely no idea the struggles and conflicts he faced and what he had to go through in order to stand before him on that day. For seven years Joseph served as governor over the land of Egypt, however, prior to that he spent two years in the prison where the king’s prisoners were held. As Joseph’s brothers stood before him on this particular take to buy corn and bread for their father, for themselves, and for their families, they had absolutely no idea the tremendous adversity and affliction Joseph had experienced as a direct result of their selling him into slavery. Oh we might very well look upon this passage and think about and consider the fact that had his brethren never sold him into slavery he would not have experienced being falsely accused, and he would not have been cast into prison, however, we must understand that such realities within his life were divinely ordained and appointed by the living God in order that He might fulfill and accomplish His plans and purposes within the earth. When Joseph’s brethren stood before him they didn’t know all the hurt, all the pain, all the wounds and bruises he perhaps carried within his heart and soul from that which he had experienced within and throughout his life. Joseph’s brothers didn’t realize and did not know that the one they were standing before was one who had overcome so much adversity and so much affliction in order to stand where he was today. With that being said, we must recognize that were it not for the adversity and the affliction Joseph faced and experienced within his time in the land of Egypt he would and could not have stood where he stood on the day when his brothers came down into the land of Egypt to buy bread. It was the affliction, it was the adversity, it was the struggle, and it was the conflict which Joseph had faced there in the land of Egypt which not only dramatically changed and transformed him, but also caused him to stand where he was on that day. With this in mind I can’t help but be reminded of the words which we find in the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Roman church. Consider if you will the words which are found within the eighth chapter of this epistle beginning with the twenty-eighth verse of the chapter:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestination to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestination, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God beef or us, who can be against us? HE that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall. Lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separated us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are account as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).
It is quite clear from the words which we find and read within this passage of Scripture that not only does God work all things together for good to them that love God, and to them who are the called according to His purpose, but we also learn that in all [these] things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for when we study and consider the life of Joseph we can clearly see a wonderful picture of all things working together for the good of Joseph who loved God and who was called according to His purpose. What’s more, is that we see in the man who stood before the ten sons of Jacob one who was indeed more than a conqueror and one who had overcome all. Manner of adversity and affliction, and one who was completely and utterly transformed by it. Not only was Joseph transformed physically as he had of course grown older and his physical appearance undoubtedly changed, but so also had Joseph been transformed through being dressed in the garments of Egypt, and even speaking the language of Egypt. When his brothers stood before him in the land of Egypt they had absolutely no idea that the one whom they stood before was one who had conquered and one who had overcome—even one who had overcome that which they had committed against him. The one who stood before these ten sons of Jacob was not was the same one whom they had sold into slavery, but rather it was that one whom had been dramatically and radically altered and changed by the trial and troubles he had faced. The language Joseph spoke now was much different from that which he had spoken in the land of Canaan, and the clothes Joseph wore were much different from the clothes he had worn in the land of Canaan, and even in the house of Potiphar and in the prison. It was true he no longer had the coat of many colors, for his brothers had stripped that from him, however, he was now clothed in the finest garments of Egypt with Pharaoh’s own signet ring upon his hand as he was governor over the whole land of Egypt. Oh how absolutely wonderful it is to think about and consider the fact that there was a day within the life of Joseph when his brothers did not and could not recognize him, for the affliction, the adversity, the struggles and conflicts he had faced had so dramatically altered and transformed him. It’s absolutely necessary to recognize and understand this, for we must understand that situations, circumstances, adversity, afflictions, struggle and conflict do in fact change and transform us, and as a result, we find ourselves in a place when we no longer look like, no longer talk like, and no longer sound like that one whom those who once knew us knew from our past.
With all of this being said, I happen to find another absolutely wonderful and incredible truth that is contained within this passage of Scripture, for not only was there a day when those who knew Joseph—namely his ten brethren—did and could not recognize him, there was also a day when Joseph remembered the dreams he had all those years earlier. As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that when Joseph’s brothers bowed before him with their faces to the ground—it was in that moment when he remembered the dreams which he had all those years earlier. This is quite unique and quite remarkable when you think about and consider it, for it’s quite possible that during those twenty plus years Joseph was in the land of Egypt he had forgotten the dreams which he had when he was still in his father’s house. When Joseph had the dreams and spoke them unto his brethren they hated him because of them, and it was that hatred which caused his brothers to cast him into the pit only to raise him from the midst of it and sell him into slavery. As I sit here this morning and think about and consider it, I can’t help but consider the fact that Joseph had spent roughly twenty years living in the land of Egypt, and had perhaps forgotten the dreams which he had dreamed all those years earlier, and perhaps even tried to forget those dreams. We learn from the words which are found within this passage of Scripture that it was in that moment when Joseph’s brethren stood before him and bowed themselves with their faces to the ground that he remembered the dreams he had all those years earlier. This is quite interesting when you think about and consider it, for it was in the moment when the dream was realized, and in the moment when the dream was fulfilled that Joseph actually remembered those dreams he had all those years earlier. Please don’t’ miss and please don’t lose sight of this reality, for there are some among us who have had dreams, and despite the dreams we have received from the Lord we have found ourselves facing and staring down affliction, adversity, conflict, struggle, trials and troubles. There are many among us who have found ourselves in the midst of such great conflict and struggle that we have perhaps tried to forget the dreams we have been given, and the dreams we have had. Moreover, there are many among us who have found ourselves having forgotten the dreams we had all those years earlier, and yet the truth of the matter is that even though we might have forgotten the dreams we had all those years earlier, and even though we might have walked through some intense valleys, some intense conflict, and some intense struggle and conflict, that doesn’t mean that the dreams which we have dreamed are no longer a reality within our lives. We tend to think that because we see and experience adversity and affliction instead of and in place of fulfillment and manifestation of our dreams that our dreams are no longer valid and that the living God has somehow forgotten and abandoned us.
What we learn and what we realize from this passage of Scripture is that it is possible that we might forget some of the dreams we have been given by the living God, and cannot and will not remember them until we are actually walking in the fulfillment and manifestation of those dreams. It is possible that some of us have been given dreams and visions, and because of the conflict and struggle, because of the affliction and adversity we have faced within our lives, we have allowed ourselves to forget those dreams we had. What’s more, is that it is very possible that hurt, the pain, the wounds, the bruises and the scars have so forced the dreams we have dreamed into the far recesses of the back of our minds and within the depths of our spirits that we are no longer even aware of their presence within our lives. What’s most remarkable is that even though Joseph had dreamed those dreams all those years earlier, and even through Joseph had walked through thirteen years of affliction and adversity, the dreams themselves were not dead, and the Lord would in fact bring them to pass within the earth. The interesting thing to note and consider, however, is that Joseph wouldn’t remember the dreams until that moment he was actually living in the fulfillment of those dreams. I find it absolutely necessary to speak and declare unto you that there are some dreams you have been given, and there are some visions you have been given which you might not remember and even consider until you are actually walking in the fulfillment and manifestation of those dreams. Joseph had dreamed those dreams all those years earlier in the land of Canaan, and yet it would be nearly twenty years later when he would actually see the fulfillment of the dreams. What’s more, is that the living God didn’t remind Joseph of the dreams which he had and encourage him they would still be fulfilled within his life. What we find is that instead of the living God reminding Joseph of the dreams he had all those years earlier and encouraging him they would still be fulfilled, he actually allowed Joseph to step into the fulfillment of those dreams and walk in the manifestation of them within his life. We must understand and carefully consider this awesome and incredible reality, for if this held true of Joseph it can and will hold true of us. Within and through the life of Joseph—not only do we encounter the day when no one recognizes us anymore, but we also discover and experience the reality of that day when the dreams we have dreamed are remembered. Oh that we would read these words through the lens of the sovereignty of the living God, and that we would read these words through the lens of the omniscience and omnipotence of the living God within our hearts and lives, and His ability to work all things together to the good of those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose.