Joseph from Prison to Palace

Study Notes

Joseph– Prison to Palace

1. Joseph Testing Intro
- Last lesson, we left Joseph alone in prison*. **His two friend prisoners were no longer with him, and the cupbearer forgot to remind the king about helping Joseph. 
- Psalms 100:19 tells us that “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” 
- The dreams Joseph had were totally real, but God had lots of work to do in Joseph and around Joseph before these dreams came to pass! 
- Waiting on God is a huge part of walking with God in life. 
- Joseph was 17 when he was sold into slavery, 30 when Pharaoh promoted him, and now he’s waiting in prison for 2 years! 
- The waiting must have been a hard test, but Joseph was learning that God was his friend, his strength, and his help when things are hard. 
- Normally, when we are waiting, God doesn't give us many answers. While we may not have answers, we always have God’s Word and God’s Presence
* **with us! Having God with us gives us strength, peace, and hope for goodness when none of life makes sense. 
- Joseph looked to God for help, not the king or the cupbearer. Because of  this,  God gave him peace and built Joseph up into the man he was made to be! 

2. Joseph Brought Before Pharaoh
- Two years after Joseph was put in prison, Pharaoh had two crazy dreams. 
- Dream #1: Pharaoh was standing by the Nile River and saw seven fat, healthy cows come from the water**. **Seven other ugly, sick cows came and started eating the 7 healthy cows. 
- Dream #2: This time, Pharaoh saw 7 good healthy heads of grain growing on a single stalk. Then, 7 thin, sun- scorched heads grew on a different stalk. Once again, the unhealthy stalk started eating the healthy stalk. 
- Pharaoh was dying to figure out what these dreams meant! He called in all kinds of “wise men” and magicians to help him figure it out, but none of them had answers for him. 
- The chief cupbearer suddenly remembered Joseph! He told pharaoh that he was in prison with a man that was able to interpret his dreams perfectly. 
- Genesis 41:14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
- Remember that Joseph has been in the dungeon prison for 2 years leaning on God! He knew that his strength was nothing compared to God’s strength, so he answered  
- 16 “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
- One of the greatest things about this story so far is that God used people that didn't believe in Him to make His plans come to pass! Pharaoh didn't believe in the Living God, he just wanted answers to his dreams! But because God works all things for the good of those who love Him, God lined lots of things up to get Joseph out of prison.  

3. Joseph Interprets the Dream
- Pharaoh told Joseph the dreams (with the weak cows eating the strong cows and the weak cornstalk eating the strong cornstalk), and Joseph broke down the dreams for him. 
- He starts off by telling Pharaoh that the dreams are pretty much the same. In both of these dreams, God is showing Pharaoh what He is about to do
- There will be 7 years of plenty in the land of Egypt, when lots of things grow! 
- Then, there will be 7 years of famine, when nothing will grow. 
- In the 7 years of famine, all the abundance of the first 7 years will be used up. 
- Joseph told Pharaoh what to do to prepare: find a wise man and put him in charge of gathering and storing food in the 7 good years. Then, there will be enough food for people during the famine. 
- God gave Pharaoh the dreams twice because God was going to make this happen soon– God loves to warn people, but it’s rare that people take God’s warnings seriously! 
- One of the strongest ways God helps us be aware of what’s going on is through His Word! God has included so many helpful directions and warnings in His Word, but many of us never experience how brilliant they are because we don’t truly read it! 

4. Joseph Promoted to the Palace
- Genesis 41: 37 “The plan [that Joseph suggested] seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders..”’
- Pharaoh took a ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s finger**
- They put robes and gold chains on Joseph. They gave him horses and chariots. Servants went before Joseph and told people to make way. 
- Pharaoh also gave Joseph an Egyptian wife, and they had two little boys. 

5. Joseph Promoted to the Palace
- Okay, so Pharaoh just put Joseph in charge of the entire palace, all of the people in the palace, and then goes on to put him in charge of the WHOLE LAND OF EGYPT. 
- Can we just take a second to remember that moments ago, Joseph was trapped in the palace dungeon? 
- What just happened? What made the difference? 
- Joseph trusted God in the questions, in slavery, and in prisons. He knew that he knew God was good, and He kept His eyes on God’s goodness instead of blaming God. He kept choosing life with God, instead of life on his own. 
- These choices formed Joseph’s heart, and Joseph’s heart was finally strong enough to receive promotion without it disconnecting him from God. 
- God moved, Joseph’s relationship with God was honored, and God lifted Joseph up! 
- Matthew 23:12 says “ those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 
- As we trust God in our low moments and choose to live low with Him, He lifts us up into His glory and goodness. 
- I hope this feels encouraging to you– that if you feel like you’re unseen by others, and maybe even that you’re forgotten by God, that God is actually up to things in these hidden seasons of your life! God is always at work, even when we sleep! You can trust Him to care for you and form you through your whole life! 

We are including Sara's notes for complete transparency for parents.

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