What Does Genesis 41:40 Mean?

"You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you."

Genesis 41:40(NASB)

Verse of the Day

Joseph had been falsely accused by his master's wife, unjustly convicted, and wrongfully imprisoned for supposed sexual impropriety, but Joseph acted with grace, prudence, and poise, and the Lord was with him throughout his ordeal. God granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden, who placed him in authority over the other prisoners during his time in prison, and the Lord made everything that Joseph did to be successful. 

Many years earlier, at the age of 17, Joseph had been sold into Egyptian slavery by his 10 elder, half-brothers, who hated him because he was their father's favourite son. But their jealous hatred intensified when he had a series of dreams that indicated that he would one day rule over all his brethren. They even contemplated killing their younger sibling, but instead they sold him to some passing slave traders. Despite the shocking treatment Joseph experienced, he trusted God through it all and displayed humility, wisdom, courage, patience, and faith.

It was during his prolonged imprisonment in Egypt, that Joseph came in contact with two of Pharoah's servants who had also been imprisoned by the king. Both men had dreams and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Joseph correctly interpreted their dreams. One was the king's cup-bearer, who was restored to his original position after 3 days, as Joseph had told him. The other was a baker, who was executed three days later, exactly as Joseph had predicted.

This young servant of God had been in prison for well over two years, and possibly as long as thirteen, but a day came when Pharoah himself had two dreams which concerned him greatly, but no one could interpret them. Pharoah's dreams troubled him, but no magicians or wise men in Egypt could shed light on them for him. However, the cup-bearer suddenly recalled Joseph's ability to interpret dreams during his time in prison, and so Pharoah ordered Joseph to be brought to him from the dungeon. Joseph quickly shaved, changed his clothes, and went to Pharaoh, and the young man (now 30 years old) told him the content of his dreams. 

Joseph made it clear to the king that he was not a magician or interpreter of dreams, acknowledging that God alone understands the meaning of men's dreams. However, he also assured the king that the Lord would make his dreams known to him, and God used Joseph to explain that the two dreams that troubled Pharoah had one, singular meaning. Joseph told the king that the Lord his God had shown to Pharaoh what He was about to do, and through his audience with Pharoah, Joseph showed integrity, wisdom, and courage.

There would be seven years of plenty and abundance, followed by another seven years of horrifying scarcity and famine. Joseph told Pharoah that the years of famine were going to be so bad that the seven years of great abundance would be forgotten. Although the subject matter of the two dreams were different (1. Fat and skinny cows and 2. Plump and spindly ears of corn), Joseph explained that the dreams had an identical interpretation, and the Lord would cause it to happen very quickly. The confident yet respectful manner in which Joseph addressed the king gave glory to God, and Pharoah responded by saying to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" This is the first time Scripture mentions the Holy Spirit coming upon someone, and Pharoh recognised that there was something special about this man.

Joseph then advised the king to appoint a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt, and appoint overseers over the land who would take a percentage of the harvest during the seven years of abundance and store it in great warehouses so that it could be rationed out during the 7 years of famine. Pharoah was so delighted with Joseph interpretation, understanding, wisdom, and advice, that he immediately appointed this young Hebrew slave as overseer of Pharaoh’s house and personal business, making him second in the kingdom, with authority over all the land of Egypt.

Through all the changing scenes of Joseph's life, we see a man who trusted the Lord in all things, even when things were difficult and painful. He did not lean on his own understanding or accuse God of carelessness when his honesty was questioned, his integrity maligned, and his character defamed by ungodly people. He was a man who displayed unwavering faith in God.

Joseph's life is a wonderful example of Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." May we be encouraged as we read of Joseph, who enabled God to work through his life in some of the most difficult life circumstances, and determine to submit our lives to His honour and glory, even during those times when we do not understand.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and provision in my life. Thank You for the example of Joseph, who trusted you through the many difficulties and trials he faced, demonstrating the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit in his life, even when he did not understand. I pray that You would use me in the same way, and like Joseph, I would show similar courage and humility in the work you have given me to do. I pray that Your plans and purposes may be carried out in my life, as it was in the life of Joseph, for Your honour and glory. Help me to be patient and to trust in You, even when the road ahead is uncertain. Give me the grace to accept the challenges that come my way, and the courage to face them with faith and confidence. Guide me in all my decisions, and give me the wisdom to make choices that are pleasing to You so that my life may be a reflection of Your love and grace. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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