Joseph's Dreams Come True

Joseph’s Dreams Come True

Gen. 41:53-57




1.  Joseph was 30 years old when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream.

2.  He was 37 at the end of the years of plenty.

3.  It was sometime during the next seven years that the events we have just read were occurring, sometime between his 37th and 44th year of age. (We later learn that he was 39 years at time he revealed himself to his brothers (see 45:6).)

4.  You may recall that Joseph when he was about 17 had two dreams.

      a.  In the first, he and his brothers were binding sheaves.  His sheaf rose up and stood erect and

           their sheaves gathered around and bowed down to his sheaf.

      b.  In the second, the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him.

5.  Joseph has stored up grain (sheaves) in Egypt for seven prosperous years and the seven years of famine has spread over the face of the earth and people are coming to him to buy grain.

6.  The famine is also occurring in Canaan where Joseph’s father and his brothers are pasturing flocks.




I.  Joseph’s brothers reminded themselves of their guilt in their first encounter with Joseph (42:1-28).


     A.  Evidently their feed supply is running out and there is no promise of the famine ending.

           1.  Jacob asks his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?”

           2.  Go to Egypt and buy grain.

           3.  Jacob kept Benjamin at home, but sent the other 10 brothers to Egypt.

     B.  When they came before Joseph he recognized them, but they did not recognize him because

           he had disguised himself to them.

           1.  It has been more than 20 years since they had seen him.

           2.  He spoke harshly to them and accused them of being spies.

           3.  He pretended to be checking out their story and proposed that one of them go back and

                 get their younger brother.   He put them in prison for three days.

            4.  Softening his approach he proposed that one of them stay behind, the rest return and

                  then return with the youngest brother.  Note that there is an expectation that they will be


       C.  The situation causes them to be conscience stricken because of what they had done to

             Joseph (18-22).

             1.  Reuben, in “I told you so” fashion, said, “I told you not to sin against him and you would

                   not listen.”

             2.  Joseph heard and understood their conversation and wept.

             3.  He kept Simeon hostage and sent the brothers back to Canaan.

        D.  The situation was intensified when they discovered their money in their feed sacks (26-

              28, 35).

        E.  Jacob found himself in a bind.

       1.  Their money was in their sacks.  This would leave the impression with the Egyptian that

             they had not paid for their feed.  It was a mystery.

        2.  Simeon is being held hostage.

        3.  They want to take Benjamin to Egypt.

        4.  The famine continues (43:1).


II.  Their second encounter is even more mysterious and stressful (chapters 43 -44).


       A.  Judah stresses to his father that they will not return to Egypt unless Benjamin goes too.

             1.  Jacob in typical human fashion says, “Well why did you even tell him you had a brother?”

             2.  “He asked and how could we know he was going to come up with this?”

             3.  The situation was becoming more desperate and so Jacob (Israel) consented.

       B.  The plan.

             1.  Take some of the best products as a present.  Gifts often soften tense situations.  They

                   have a powerful way of communicating grace.

             2.  Take double the money.

             3.  Take Benjamin.

        C.  When they arrived in Egypt Joseph invited them to dine with him.

              1.  This is even more mysterious and they are afraid.

              2.  They confess that their money was unexpectedly found in their sacks on the previous

                    trip.  “We have brought it back.”

               3.  The steward said, “God has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.”

               4.  They were reunited with Simeon.

               5.  They were invited for the noon meal. 

               6.  They got their presents ready.

         D.  They bowed to Joseph and he questioned them (26-34).

               1.  He had to leave the room because of emotion.

               2.  The meal was served.

                     a.  Joseph ate by himself.

                     b.  The Egyptians by themselves.

                     c.  The Hebrews by themselves.

               3.  The seating arrangements and the portions were mysterious.

                     a.  The seating for Joseph’s brothers was arranged by age.  Particularly interesting in

                           light of the fact that they were sons of different women thus not necessarily a lot of

                            time between births.

                      b.  Benjamin received 5 times as much as the others.

          E.  Joseph put his cup in Benjamin’s sack and accused him of stealing it.  Judah argues their

                case (44:1-34).

                1.  Why is Joseph doing this kind of thing?  Is it because he has been angry with them for

                      so long?  Yet his heart is touched by their guilt (42:24).   He is touched by Benjamin’s

                      presence (43:30).   Maybe his emotions are just mixed.  Maybe he is just struggling to

                      deal with the whole situation.

                 2.  Innocently they open their sacks.  The search is conducted from the oldest down to

                      Benjamin, the youngest.  The cup is found in Benjamin’s sack.

                 3.  They all returned and fell to the ground before Joseph.

                       a.  Note that Judah does not first attempt to justify them.  He confesses and offers all as

                        slaves.  Begins with this soft start up.

                   b.  Judah presents his case.  Note the soft approach.  How different than what might be

                         typical of us.  He presents no defense but presents himself as the self-sacrificial slave

                         to Joseph. 


III.  Joseph revealed himself to his brothers (chap. 45).


       A.  Joseph wept.

             1.  He was touched by their guilt (42:24).

             2.  Touched by Benjamin’s presence (43:30).

             3.  Now he weeps so loudly that the Egyptians hear him.

             4.  It was no sign of weakness, but the culmination of years of emotion stemming from

                  betrayal, abandonment, and hardship.

       B.  He releases them, “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here,

             for God sent me before you to preserve life.”

             1.  Joseph is 39 years old (45:6). 

             2.  It is only two years into the famine.

             3.  Note vs. 7-8.

       C.  Sends them home to invite the family to Egypt (9-15).

             1.  And this with Pharaoh’s blessing (16-23).

             2.  “Do not quarrel on the journey.”

             3.  Israel received the news of Joseph and determines to go to Egypt.




1.  This is the story of how our people were preserved in Egypt—how they were provided for by God through Joseph.

2.  You do not know how God may use you to do great things.

3.  You just need to allow yourself to be used by Him.

4.  Even the difficulties you experience in life may result in unimaginable blessings.

5.  Be careful not to become so focused on your difficulties that you forget that God would use you to help others.

6.  He used Joseph to preserve our people and us.





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