Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 12:57
Bible Book: Genesis
Verse: 1 – 57
Text: Genesis 41
Genesis 41 tells how Joseph, rejected and sold by his brothers, wronged as a slave and thrown into the dungeons, eventually (13 years later!) becomes second in command to the king of Egypt. In a way this is a fulfilment of Joseph’s dreams (not completely, for his brothers and his father are still unaware of it). But it also becomes clear that the story of Joseph is not about Joseph as an individual – it is about Israel and the saving of many lives.
The story tells us that God includes Joseph in his great and incomprehensible ways of ruling nature and the destiny of nations, but more specifically takes care of the salvation of the descendants of Abraham (through whom the nations will be blessed).
For the narrator of the story of Joseph the questions whether God could have prevented the famine, and whether God wanted to use the famine to punish people, are irrelevant. In this story the seven lean years are not announced as a punishment. All that is said about them, is that they will surely come to pass. What we do know is that God, in a wonderful way, makes provision for enough food to be stored in Egypt, so that the pending famine would not destroy the nations (and with them Abraham’s descendants).
The fact that God includes Joseph in his plan and uses him as an instrument is, according to the narrator, linked to certain qualities Joseph possesses, the development of his character and certain abilities God gives him. What strikes me in Genesis 41 is the fact that Joseph has the practical insight to know what must be done during the seven years of abundance, to be able to survive the seven lean years. And when he is appointed second in command to the pharaoh, he succeeds in bringing his plans to fruition. From the story it is clear that God has made provision for deliverance, and that Joseph’s plans and the implementation of those plans make this deliverance a reality.
God can make the HI-virus disappear from the face of the earth within seconds. The story of Genesis 41 makes me suspect, however, that God will most probably incorporate the practical insight and knowledge of doctors, caregivers, nurses, counsellors, informers, training staff, preachers, supporters, etcetera, and especially those who live with HIV, into the way He will stop the pandemic.
During this time of AIDS we must pray continuously that God, who has power over the forces of nature, will intervene and reverse the course of the AIDS pandemic. In the meantime the gravity of the pandemic forces us, like Joseph, to discover with practical insight what each of us can do.