“Let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:33
The cupbearer sees the distress of the king. Nobody can interpret his dream. The cupbearer remembers what happened two years before when he was in prison. He had a dream and did not know what it meant, but a man gave the meaning and what he said came true.
This is good news for Pharaoh, who sends for Joseph. Suddenly, everything changes in Joseph’s life. He is ushered into the presence of the king. He goes from the prison to the palace in the twinkling of an eye.
Pharaoh tells his dream to Joseph, and Joseph gives the interpretation: “There will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.”
Joseph counsels Pharaoh to appoint someone discerning and wise to implement a strategy of saving a fifth of the harvest during the seven years of plenty so that there will be an adequate supply of food during the years of famine. Pharaoh responds, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are” (41:39).
In this story, to be discerning and wise means two things. First, you must restrain indulgence in times of plenty. In years of plenty, it is easy to become extravagant and wasteful. Joseph wants to make sure that does not happen. Don’t waste what you have been given.
Second, you must take reasonable measures to provide for the future. Joseph sets out a very specific fourteen-year plan that includes the places where grain is to be stored and how it is to be distributed when the famine comes.
Where did someone who was just thirty years old get such wisdom? Jesus said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much” (Luke 16:10). Joseph’s faithfulness when no one was watching prepared him to be faithful when the eyes of the world would be on him.
How are you being faithful in the little things? Where could you be more discerning or more wise today?