Forty | Devotion #5: “After Two Whole Years”
Pastor Joshua Combs
Something was supposed to happen. Joseph was a man to whom lots of things happened that should not have seemed to. He was born the favorite son of his father and declared to be so with the extravagant gift of a coat (robe) of many colors. But Joseph’s life of luxury and privilege would come crashing down. He would be beaten by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of sexual assault, imprisoned, and forgotten. Every time a glimmer of hope shines on him, there is a sudden and dramatic change of circumstances, and a seemingly more destructive storm rocks his life. Hope is hanging but by a thread.
Genesis chapter 41 finds Joseph forgotten in prison with no end in sight. He had become a trustee in the jail, but that responsibility and privilege paled in comparison to being in his father’s house or even a slave at Potiphar’s estate. A glimmer of hope came when he translated a dream for a high ranking official who had been sent to Joseph’s jail. But once that man had been restored to his position, he conveniently forgot his little stint behind bars and the people he met there, including the dream interpreter, Joseph.
The Bible (Genesis 41:1) simply says, “After two whole years…” Time had ticked by, and Joseph must have realized that like his brothers and Potiphar’s wife, someone else had mistreated him. Years would go by with no word from the palace.
The Scripture uses the word “whole.” That is just like God. He does not try us one second longer or shorter than is absolutely necessary. God’s refining process is often compared in scripture to refining gold. Job, in his desperate plea to God, states, “But [God] knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). We often long for glory, but the pain and trial must always come first. God was not needlessly trying Joseph. God’s plan was working perfectly. God’s timing was perfectly on schedule. We, like Joseph, need to trust the Lord even in the difficult years. They may seem long, but “after” is worth the refinement.