God revealed the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream to Joseph and he in turn explains it to Pharaoh (v26, 28, 32). Joseph then continued by advising Pharaoh what he should do next (v33-35), advice which Pharaoh followed and he appointed Joseph as his Prime Minister.
Where do you think the specific word of God ended and Joseph’s application kicked in? In other words; the interpretation was from God but was Joseph’s advice on how to manage the crisis from God or was it Joseph’s application?
We have been given certain unalterable truths, for example there is one God, Jesus is both God and man, justification is through faith in the completed work of Christ, we are promised resurrection and an eternal hope.
There is no ambiguity on these truths, however, below these there are relatively few rules on how we should apply the gospel to our daily lives, it’s down to us to work it out, as Paul wrote:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Paul is writing to Christians but he is challenging them to work out their salvation. We’re saved, but what do we do now, how do we manage our lives according to the gospel, how do we determine what is and isn’t appropriate, not just in our church life but every aspect of our lives? That is what Paul is getting at in this verse.
We have been given intellect, a conscience, experiences, family and friends to help us make decisions, but these are universal gifts given to everyone and we have a higher calling:
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)
We are not just to muddle through life, we are to be salt and light. Therefore, in addition to these “natural” gifts we have also been given the Holy Spirit, God’s word and Christian fellowship. These gifts are not to be kept in a box to be pulled out on Sunday and for a midweek bible study, but they have been given to inform every part of our daily lives, whether it’s a church activity, or secular.
As we saw in Chapter 39 the Lord was with Joseph in his daily life and the effect of that was seen by Potiphar and the Jailer. So in addition to God giving us specific messages, speaking to our hearts, he also gives us the spiritual nourishment and natural gifts to inform our daily decision making so that we can bring blessings to our employers and those around us (Joseph in Chapter 39 and here) and as we do this walking, we live out the gospel bring glory to God.