There are a number of crushing blows in today’s reading. The first relates to the very first verse: “After two whole years…” (Gen. 41:1a, ESV). At this point in time, Joseph still wasn’t guilty of any crime. In fact, his life was one that was lived above reproach. And yet, it still took two MORE whole years for his situation to change.
When Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, he had the opportunity to take credit for the dream interpretations, but he didn’t do so. He, instead, remained faithful to God even though, to the outsider, it did not seem as though God was remaining faithful to him. He told Pharaoh that the Lord was the only one capable of properly interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams.
Joseph must have realized that devastation that could come to him when Pharaoh heard the interpretation. Obviously Pharaoh was a harsh man (as evidenced by the execution of the baker), so the potential of a similar fate coming to Joseph was very real with his negative interpretation for the dream. But instead of ending his interpretation with bad news, Joseph chose to see the opportunity of the situation and give Pharaoh instructions on how to turn a bad situation into something that would usher in a new age of wealth for Egypt. Joseph had wisdom to see beyond bad news of the dream and to optimistically see the opportunity that lay before the country. What could have been a crushing blow to Pharaoh turned into the chance of a lifetime!
What about you? With the arrival of bad news do you see the opportunities that lay ahead?
As a follow-up to yesterday's news of Steve Job's resigning as CEO of Apple, I think this lesson is very applicable. As an avid Mac user, I don't think Apple's best days are behind. I think Jobs' creativity is now a part of the culture at Apple and that this is potentially an opportunity for the company to continue developing amazing products. Who knows? Perhaps Jobs was actually holding Apple back from becoming all that it could be. Hard to believe? Maybe… but you never know!