The Restored Orchard

Deeper Roots – Genesis 41:41-57

photo of an open book on a tree s roots

A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom to be planted. Establishing deamidires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 41:41-57.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. 43 Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, “Kneel down!” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”
45 Then Pharaoh gave Joseph a new Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah. He also gave him a wife, whose name was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt. 46 He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.

47 As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. 48 During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities. 49 He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure.
50 During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. 

51 Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” 52 Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”
53 At last the seven years of bumper crops throughout the land of Egypt came to an end. 54 Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food. 55 Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well. And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told them, “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.” 56 So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 57 And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world. 

Genesis 41:41-57 NLT

Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows us that God causes fruitfulness in times of testing and grief. Our scripture selection begins with the Pharaoh of Egypt elevating Joseph. In this new authority position, Joseph oversaw both land and people. In addition to his new role, Joseph is given a new name and a wife. Joseph stewarded the seven years of harvest and stored up massive amounts of grain. During the time of harvest, he also had two sons; Manasseh and Ephraim. As more time passed, the famine began and all the countries were affected. As they realized Eygpt had full storehouses in the midst of a famine, the people came out to purchase grain. The dream that Joseph interpreted had finally come to pass.

The culmination of testing and grief made way for a fruitful outcome. Joseph had endured years in slavery to Potiphar and years imprisoned in jail before his elevation. In each season, he learned how to steward different gifts well. He learned lessons about following his father’s commands, managing an Egyptian house, the innerworkings of the prison, and yielding to God’s guidance. In each situation Joseph found himself, he leaned into God and not his own understanding. The results may not have looked fruitful on the outside, but on the inside, Joseph was cultivating skills that he would need for the coming season. Even the names of Joseph’s sons give insight into the state that he was in at the time. Manasseh’s name plays on a Hebrew word meaning “to forget” alluding to God making Joseph forget all the hardship. Ephraim’s name means “double fruitfulness” because God made Joseph fruitful in the land of his grief. Joseph recognizes that some of his hardest experiences have all been for a divine purpose.

God uses trials and tribulations to mature us in order to bear fruit. As we walk through life, we know that hard times will come. The true test is what we do in the middle of the struggle. If we lean into God and remain open to what He is trying to do inside of us and through us, we will find ourselves making our way into seasons of abundant harvest. And while most people will think that means money, title, or physical items. We know that the spiritual reward is much greater. The challenge is remaining close to our Heavenly Father and allowing Him to give context to our experiences. We have a choice to remain stagnant and wallow in our grief and tough circumstances OR welcome the maturation to see the fruitfulness. Which will you choose?

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