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Holy Callings

don't always look like holy callings.

Genesis 41:46–57 (ESV)

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house.” The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.

Egypt is a totalitarian dictatorship. Joseph has the power to implement his extreme plan, and he stores up a huge amount of grain. When the famine hits, he’s ready—and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. Then people from all the earth start coming to Egypt to buy food. “All the earth,” doesn’t mean the whole planet. Biblical references to “all the earth” or “all the world” don’t translate literally into English. Caesar Augustus’s census of all the world didn’t include, for example, the wise men from the east.

This is the moment everything has been leading up to: Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery, the drama with Potiphar’s wife, the baker and cupbearer’s dreams in jail, Pharaoh’s nightmare, the famine, everything. The stage is now set for Joseph’s brothers to come to Egypt.

But Joseph didn’t plan that. He’s just been doing his job and letting God’s plan unfold. Still, it’s essential that he does his job well. His manipulation of an entire nation’s grain supply is making this all work out.

Holy callings don’t always look like holy callings. Like Joseph, we can’t see what’s coming next. Even if we could, we wouldn’t understand it.

Praise God for His amazing plans. Whatever your duties are in the church, do them all for His glory.

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

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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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