After those two full years, Joseph experienced a turning point in his life—on a day that seemed like any other day. That morning dawned like every other morning over the previous two years. Just like the morning that dawned before Moses saw the burning bush. Just like the morning that dawned before David was anointed by Samuel as the king-elect. For Joseph, just another dungeon day—except for one little matter Joseph knew nothing about: the night before Pharaoh had a bad dream.
The king of the land had a dream, and in it he saw seven fat, sleek cattle coming up out of the marshy Nile delta. Then seven ugly, gaunt, starving cows came up from the same river and devoured the fat, sleek cows.
Pharaoh awoke, perhaps thinking that huge meal he’d eaten before he went to bed wasn’t setting too well in his stomach. Before long he fell back to sleep, and his dream continued. This time he saw a stalk of grain with seven plump and healthy ears. But then seven lean ears, scorched from the east wind, sprang up and devoured the seven healthy ears of grain.
When Pharaoh heard that there was someone around who could tell him what this troubling dream meant, he naturally said, “Go get the man.”
“Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer'” (Genesis 41:15–16).
Talk about humility. Talk about absolute integrity This was Joseph’s moment in court, his golden opportunity to say, “Do you realize that I could have been out of that place two years ago if that dummy standing right over there hadn’t forgotten me?” But there was none of that.
You know why Joseph could be so humble and speak so openly? Because his heart had been broken. Because he had been tried by the fire of affliction. Because while his external circumstances seemed almost unbearable during those years, his internal condition had been turned into pure gold. We are now witnessing the benefits of enduring affliction with one’s eyes on God.