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The morning light poured through the palace windows. Pharaoh woke up. His head ached. He had not slept well at all. He had had very strange dreams. “Bring the wise men to me!” he called to his servants.

The wise men listened carefully as the king told them about his strange dreams. They whispered together and shook their heads. “We don’t know what the dreams mean,” they admitted.

Suddenly Pharaoh’s cupbearer stepped forward. “When I was in prison two years ago,” the cupbearer began, “I had a strange dream too. A young man named Joseph told me what my dream meant. And everything happened exactly as he said it would.”

Pharaoh pointed toward the door. “Bring this Joseph to me!” The guards rushed to the jail and brought Joseph out. He shaved and put on clean clothes. Then the guards hurried him to the king.

“I had a dream,” Pharaoh told Joseph. “No one here can tell me what it means. I hear that you can explain dreams. Tell me what my dream means.”

Joseph answered truthfully, “I cannot explain the meaning of dreams. But God will tell me, and I will tell you.”

“I dreamed I was standing on a riverbank,” Pharaoh began. “I saw seven beautiful, fat cows come out of the river and begin to eat grass. Then seven skinny cows came out! And the seven skinny cows ate up the seven fat cows!

“And then I had another dream,” Pharaoh continued. “I saw seven plump heads of grain growing out of a stalk. Then seven more thin, ugly heads of grain grew out of the same stalk. And the thin heads of grain swallowed up the plump, full heads!”

“Both the dreams mean the same thing,” Joseph began. “God is telling you what He is going to do. There will be seven good years for growing food. And then there will be seven years of hunger because food will not grow.

“You need to choose a man who is wise,” Joseph said. “Let him store the extra food that grows in the seven good years, so there will be food during the seven years of famine, and the people will not die of hunger.”

Pharaoh was pleased to hear Joseph’s ideas. He took his own ring off his finger and put it on Joseph. He put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. “You are in charge of all the land of Egypt,” Pharaoh proclaimed. “You are second in command under me.”

So Joseph began his new work. He rode around the land and arranged to store all the extra food that grew in the seven good years.

Joseph was not in jail anymore. He was working for the king. But Joseph knew one thing was the same. God would take care of him in the palace, just as He had in the jail.