Genesis 41:1-57

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 41:1-57

  1. Locate the passage

To this point in Joseph’s life, he has experienced his own dreams and also interpreted the dreams of the Cupbearer and Baker for Pharaoh. At this point in the story, his dream interpretations will be put to the ultimate test. Have you ever noticed that sometimes how God uses you in smaller areas prepares you for the bigger tests? In this passage we see how God was preparing Joseph and how He was going to use Joseph’s growth to prepare the nation for His purpose.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It contains the conversations between the Cupbearer and Pharaoh and later Pharaoh and Joseph.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

41:1-7 – Pharaoh had two dreams of his nation’s future

41:8 – None of Pharaoh’s advisors could interpret his dreams

41:9-13 – The Cupbearer finally remembered Joseph

41:14-24 – Pharaoh revealed his dreams to Joseph

41:25-36 – Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and advised Pharaoh on how to prepare for their fulfillment

41:25-32 – Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams

41:33-36 – Joseph advised Pharaoh on how to prepare for the fulfillment of his dreams

41:37-46 – Pharaoh put Joseph in charge to carry out his plan

41:47-57 – Pharaoh’s dream came true and Joseph’s plan worked

  1. Exegete the passage

41:1 – After two years

41:2-4 – Pharaoh’s first dream was about fat and skinny cows

41:5-7 – Pharaoh’s second dream was similar to the first, but replaced cows with stalks.

41:8 – Pharaoh was “troubled.”

41:9 – Now the Cupbearer remembered …

App. This is a good lesson for us today, if I have given my word (made a commitment) and do not follow through, that’s a sin. Even an Egyptian Cupbearer knew that!

41:10-13 – The Cupbearer accurately recounted the events of his own dream and interpretation from Joseph

41:14 – Joseph shaved and changed his clothes

41:15 – I have heard of you

41:16 – It’s not me

41:17-24 – Pharaoh recounted the dreams to Joseph

41:25-32 – Joseph immediately began interpreting the dreams. He told Pharaoh three introductory things:

41:33-36 – Joseph is no longer interpreting; now he is advising

41:37 – Pharaoh recognized that Joseph’s advice was good.

41:38 – The Spirit of God

41:39 – God has revealed it to you

41:40 – You shall be over my house

41:42 – Joseph’s new clothes

41:43 – Joseph’s initial dreams begin to come true

41:45 – Joseph’s new name

41:46 – Joseph was 30 years old when he was promoted

41:47-49 – Until he stopped counting

41:50-52 – During that time of abundance, God also blessed Joseph with two sons

41:53-55 – The years of plenty came to an end as Joseph said

41:56-57 – The famine covered all the earth

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Exp. The character attributes of Joseph mark this pericope: Joseph was patient in waiting on God’s time; he was courageous in living out his convictions; he was diligent to carry out the plan God had revealed to him; He lived an exemplary life such that the Pharaoh could see the Spirit of God in him; and he remembered the faithfulness of God to him.

Exp. But, as exemplary as Joseph was in this passage, the text is about God and not about Joseph. God was in the process of carrying out His plan; the hand of God was on Joseph, even when he was oppressed; the Spirit of God was evident in Joseph’s life; the wisdom of God was revealed to Joseph; and the goodness of God was manifested in Joseph’s life.

Exp. Sometimes believers struggle in the waiting times; when we are waiting on God to carry out what He said He would do; when we are living in that parenthesis moment between what God said He would do and the fulfillment of His Word.

Exp. We can trust God’s time in our lives

Exp. When we are waiting on God to complete His purpose in our lives, we can live in confidence that what He is doing or allowing in our lives can be used to accomplish His purpose.

App. When God carries out His purpose in our lives, we need to remember what He has done for us.

Category: Sermon Structure
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