Genesis 41:46-49

Our devotions this Easter season come from members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is John Lacy.

“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 plenteous years the earth produced abundantly. He gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities; he stored up in every city the food from the fields around it. So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance — like the sand of the sea — that he stopped measuring it; it was beyond measure.” Genesis 41:46-49

These four verses are just a snippet out of the long story of Joseph found in Genesis.  The story pretty much covers Joseph’s life from the cradle to the grave.  At this time, Joseph is 30 years old and has been appointed Pharaoh’s second-in-command.  He is the chief steward of the Pharaoh’s domain.  He was specifically chosen for this job to deal with the situation that he had predicted for the next fourteen years (seven years of plenty and seven years of famine).

He turns out to be an excellent steward, and did a fantastic job. He was able to gather and store more food than even he had anticipated.  The stored food was a life saver in the seven years of famine.  And, was instrumental in bringing his entire family to Egypt.

The duties of a steward are to manage the financial and business affairs of his boss.  Therefore, it was not Joseph’s food that was being gathered and stored, it was the Pharaoh’s. Even though it wasn’t his food and grain, he performed his duties faithfully.

The Bible, in several places (I found 84), urges us be good stewards of the resources that God has entrusted to us.  Often, this is simply interpreted to mean we should give an offering (maybe even a tithe) to our church so that it can keep the lights on, pay the preacher, and maybe do some mission work.  But, good stewardship means much more than that.

In the Lord’s Prayer our resources are referred to as our “Daily Bread.”  In a recent sermon, Pastor Kerry pointed out that Luther, in his explanation of the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, said that “Daily Bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”

Or, as Pastor Kerry said “Everything that we are and everything that we have is a gift from God and we are to be good stewards of it.” Amen.

Hymn: “We Give Thee But Thine Own” by William W. How, 1823-1897

We give Thee but Thine own,

Whate’er the gift may be;

All that we have is Thine alone,

A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

Prayer: Create in us a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within us. And help us to be faithful stewards of your gifts. Amen.

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One Response to “Genesis 41:46-49”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    Joseph is a good example of an excellent steward. John Lacy gives us examples of how to be good stewards of all we have. He cites Pastor Kerry’s explanation of the meaning of our “daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer; “as everything we are and have is a gift from God and we are to be good stewards of all that God has graced us with”.
    .
    I Peter 4: 10 says: “Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

    I also like the words of the hymn John shared with us, “We give thee but thine own, whatever the gift may be; all that we have is thine alone, a trust O Lord from thee.”

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