God gives Joseph the ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and gives him the application of the dream. He knows what needs to be done. Pharaoh recognizes this time, not just Joseph, but the Spirit of God in him. He appoints him over everything in Egypt. His big project is to store up grain to prepare for the famine.
He gathers the grain from the people and then they come and buy it back from him. It’s a great plan that I think many governments have imitated. By the end of the story, not only has everyone given Pharaoh their money for grain, they’ve sold their properties to Pharaoh, and they have even sold themselves as slaves to Pharaoh, all to receive back the grain they had given to him in the first place. And to top it off, they thank him for it! It’s a communist government’s dream I think. So why does God do it?
He’s setting up history, and He’s preserving a people alive. Those people and those slaves in Egypt are the next big story in the Bible and the setup for the biggest deliverance in Israel’s history, as well as a rehearsal for what’s to come for God’s people. And it’s times like these that we just have to know we are not God. We do not have His thoughts. We do not know His ways.
Did Joseph do evil? No! He saved the day. He was an excellent servant to his leader. In the end, God’s people are not enslaved in this scheme and are provided for by God sending Joseph ahead and having him sold and by having him imprisoned. It was all part of the plan.
I don’t know how God puts together His plans. He gives us free will, but He knows ahead of time our choices. He permits and forbids. He removes His hand and directly intervenes as well. He uses us, our actions, our words, our prayers. And He weaves it all together into the grand story He’s telling of His love for His people and how He’s redeeming them and bringing them to Himself.
I don’t need to understand. I’m just grateful I get to be part of the story He’s telling.