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Beyond Measure

Over the years, I have completed several Bible Studies on the life of Joseph whose story is found in Genesis chapter 30 through the end of the book.  Plus it is a story I have heard since I was a child in Sunday School and VBS.  But even after 57 years of being a Christ-follower, He continues to teach me deep riches from this story.  

Joseph’s story did not go as he (or we) would have written it.  His brothers were consumed with jealousy of him because of the favoritism their father, Jacob, showed him. This jealousy escalated to the point of the brothers selling Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites who then sold him to Potiphar in Egypt.  Even through these devastating events scripture tells us over and over in Genesis 39 that the “Lord was with Joseph” and that the blessing of the Lord was on Joseph and Potiphar.

Even then though, the story takes another turn and Joseph ends up in prison because of false accusations from Potiphar’s wife.  He believes he will get out of prison when God allows him to interpret the dreams of fellow inmates, the cupbearer and baker of the king.  

Joseph asks them to remember him when they are released but they forget about him once they had what they needed.  Two more years pass and Pharaoh himself has two dreams which no one can interpret.  Suddenly the cupbearer remembers Joseph and sure enough, Joseph is sent for and he is able to interpret the dreams.  Actually he says “I cannot do it but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”  Through God’s enabling, Joseph tells Pharaoh that there will be seven years of great abundance followed by seven years of great famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of Egypt right under himself and Joseph has the Godly wisdom to store up so many provisions during the seven years of abundance that “he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.”  

The seven years of famine arrive and extend even into Canaan, where Joseph’s family is still living.  The brothers come to Egypt seeking help, not realizing that the man they will be seeking help from is none other than Joseph.  There are many more twists and turns to this story, but the brothers and Jacob, their father, end up living in Egypt with Joseph and their relationship is fully restored.  

Recently this story has impressed upon me just how faithful our God always is.  Even when we do not see what He is doing, we can trust that He is at work.  We so often see only our little piece of the picture.  But we can fully trust that the eternal picture is always seen in its entirety by God.  He will be victorious and His plan will be accomplished even when we cannot see how that can possibly happen.  As Charles Spurgeon so beautifully said:  “God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken; and when you cannot trace His hand, you can trust His heart.”  That is a promise I hold to each and every day!


Pam Bandermann, from Cape Girardeau, MO, is married to Rick and they have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. Pam is a semi-retired school district administrator and her passions are traveling, reading, serving college students through the ministry of her local church, and spending time with family and friends.


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