“God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.” “God moves in miraculous ways, His glory to declare.” “God moves in meaningful ways, His will to accomplish.”
Joseph responded, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. The seven healthy cows and the seven healthy heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity. The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine. “This will happen just as I have described it, for God has revealed to Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land. This famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased. As for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and he will soon make them happen. “Therefore, Pharaoh should find an intelligent and wise man and put him in charge of the entire land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.” Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” (Gen 41:25-40)
Most of us have read the Bible so many times that we know how most of the stories will end, even as they are beginning. We know that David will kill Goliath, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will survive the fiery furnace, and God will send down fire from heaven and consume the sacrifice of Elijah. We know how it all will end because we’ve already read the ending. But what if we hadn’t already read the back of the book? Would we still believe that we win?
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about the story of Joseph is how God was able to use the sin of others to accomplish His perfect will. On the one hand it was evil for Joseph’s brothers to sell him; yet it was the will of God for Joseph to be taken down into Egypt. The lie Potiphar’s wife told about him was sin; yet Joseph needed to be in prison in order to interpret the dream of Pharaoh’s baker and butler. It was wrong for the butler to forget Joseph after Joseph had been so kind to help him; yet the Lord wanted Joseph in jail for two more years until the moment was exactly right. “God works in meaningful ways, His will to accomplish.”
The events of each day are not accidents, tragedies or coincidence. They are carefully calculated steps in the will of God. That’s hard to see when you haven’t already read the end of the story; yet as surely as it was true in the life of Joseph, David and Elijah, it is true in our lives as well.