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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.


Or maybe it's something else.

Genesis 40:1–8 (ESV)

Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.

And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

There’s something amazingly arrogant about what Joseph does here. He is obviously beneath the other two prisoners. Other translations say he “attended” them or he “served” them.

But when they’re troubled by their dreams Joseph says, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.” The word Joseph uses for God here is “Elohim” (El-o-HEEM). This is God with a capital G, the one and only creator of the universe.

But they’re in a land with a polytheistic state religion that venerates the Pharaoh as a god. Not only is Joseph defying that, but he’s claiming some kind of special connection to the real God when he says, “Please tell them to me.” He doesn’t say to pray to Elohim or to ask Elohim to reveal the meaning. No, since all interpretations belong to Elohim, just tell your dreams to Joseph.

Well, it isn’t bragging if you can do it. He knows his gifts, and he’s using them wisely.

He’s making a bold move to get out of there.

One of the key tasks of a Christian is figuring out how to best serve God. You can’t do everything; you have to choose. This gets tricky because everyone has natural talents, but God gifts us in unexpected ways. How do you know what God is calling you to?

I don’t have the answer. There are many good books on the subject. I like Knowing God’s Will by Blaine Smith.

But one thing I do know—you shouldn’t sit around waiting for the perfect answer. Just start doing something, and be ready to adjust as the LORD leads.

You learn from doing something, even mistakes.

Especially mistakes.

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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