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B'resheet/Genesis 41:39 "After G-d has caused you to know all this ..."
Variously translated as "informed" (Artscroll, NASB), "made known" (NIV) and "shown" (ESV, CJB), the verb is the Hifil - or causative - stem of the root which means "to know". The use of this term tells us something important about the process that is happening here: G-d didn't just tell Yosef what was going to happen, He didn't play the DVD or read the script, G-d caused Yosef to know. When G-d causes something to happen it is because this is a part of His plans being moved forward - almost despite the people involved, although in this case Yosef was a willing partner in the proceedings - as He moves people around on the world stage to make things happen. As Pharaoh's words go on to say: "After G-d has caused you to know all this, there is no-one so discerning or wise as you". The result of Yosef being able to interpret the dream is that Pharaoh is so impressed with Yosef's abilities that he knows that he must have him as his number two; never mind all the other people who had been standing in line for promotion or recognition - none had anything to touch what Yosef had just done.
Throughout Israel's history G-d continued to arrange external forces to judge and correct our people. "And it will come about in that day, that the L-rd will whistle for the fly that is in the remotest part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they will all come ..." (Isaiah 7:18-19, NASB). Not only to rebuke, however, but also to comfort and encourage: "It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.' And he declares of Jerusalem, 'She will be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid'" (Isaiah 44:28, NASB). Here it is Cyrus, the king of the Medes and Persians who is used by G-d to start the rebuilding in the Land and the restoration of the temple after the exile in Babylon. Neither is it only where Israel is concerned that G-d causes action: "Thus says the L-rd G-d, 'I will also make the multitude of Egypt cease by the hand of Nebuchabnezzar king of Babylon. He and his people, the most ruthless of the nations, will be brought in to destroy the land; and they will draw their swords against Egypt'" (Ezekiel 30:10-11, NASB).
The Psalmist writes, "Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth's kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and His anointed" (Psalm 2:1-2, CJB). The L-rd is seen laughing and scoffing at the nations (v4) and terrifying them by speaking to them (v5) before He sets the Son over them to "break them with a rod of iron ... shatter them like earthenware" (v9, NASB). Finally, the Psalmist warns, "Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the L-rd with reverence, and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry and you perish" (v10-11, NASB). G-d is both the director and producer of the largest show on earth, starring none other than His Son!
Further Study: Isaiah 45:1-7; Revelation 19:11-16
Application: In the hurly-burly of every day life, it is very easy to lose sight of just who G-d is. When we hear on the radio of leaders being raised up or cast down, or revolutions springing up, we should bless our G-d who holds the whole world in His hand and is certainly still working His purposes out in the affairs of men.
© Jonathan Allen, 2005
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