God’s Renewing Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 41:37-57: Joseph is made governor over Egypt and oversees the collection and storage of grain before the famine occurs. The king gives Joseph symbols of royal authority and gives him an Egyptian name which may mean, “God speaks, he lives.” Joseph marries, and he and his wife have two sons.
Joseph Is Made Governor over Egypt
37 The king and his officials approved this plan, 38 and he said to them, “We will never find a better man than Joseph, a man who has God’s spirit in him.” 39 The king said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this, so it is obvious that you have greater wisdom and insight than anyone else. 40 I will put you in charge of my country, and all my people will obey your orders. Your authority will be second only to mine. 41 I now appoint you governor over all Egypt.” 42 The king removed from his finger the ring engraved with the royal seal and put it on Joseph’s finger. He put a fine linen robe on him, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43 He gave him the second royal chariot to ride in, and his guard of honor went ahead of him and cried out, “Make way! Make way!” And so Joseph was appointed governor over all Egypt. 44 The king said to him, “I am the king—and no one in all Egypt shall so much as lift a hand or a foot without your permission.” 45-46 He gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah, and he gave him a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of Heliopolis.
Joseph was thirty years old when he began to serve the king of Egypt. He left the king’s court and traveled all over the land. 47 During the seven years of plenty the land produced abundant crops, 48 all of which Joseph collected and stored in the cities. In each city he stored the food from the fields around it. 49 There was so much grain that Joseph stopped measuring it—it was like the sand of the sea.
50 Before the years of famine came, Joseph had two sons by Asenath. 51 He said, “God has made me forget all my sufferings and all my father’s family”; so he named his first son Manasseh. 52 He also said, “God has given me children in the land of my trouble”; so he named his second son Ephraim.
53 The seven years of plenty that the land of Egypt had enjoyed came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every other country, but there was food throughout Egypt. 55 When the Egyptians began to be hungry, they cried out to the king for food. So he ordered them to go to Joseph and do what he told them. 56 The famine grew worse and spread over the whole country, so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians. 57 People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
Today’s Key Verse: Genesis 41:38b
[The king said:] “We will never find a better man than Joseph, a man who has God’s spirit in him.”
The symbols of royal authority given to Joseph were a ring with the king’s royal seal, a special robe, and a gold neck chain. Riding in a royal chariot was a sign of great power. Why did the king honor Joseph in this way? At the beginning of the Joseph narrative, who else had given Joseph a special robe and why (see 37:3)? What was the scope of Joseph’s authority in Egypt? What does today’s reading teach you about God? Do you sense the hand of God at work in tasks that you perform?
Almighty God, guide my thoughts, words, and actions this day. I trust that your hand leads me day by day. May all I do and say give honor and glory to you. Amen.
Genesis 42:1-24: Joseph’s brothers go to Egypt to buy grain.