The Joseph Stories: Feast and Famine


This series takes a creative approach to the Joseph stories. Each day’s reflection imagines what one of the characters might have written in both their diary and their memoirs about the events in that day’s Scripture passage. While this approach sometimes requires us to “fill in the blanks” a bit with regard to what the characters are thinking and feeling, every effort has been made to stay as close to the Bible’s details as possible. The diary/memoir approach underscores how we often perceive—or don’t perceive—God’s hand in our lives.


Feast and Famine

Read: Genesis 41:46-57

And the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said.

(v. 54, NRSV)

If Joseph had written in his diary after the years of plenty and famine, what might he have said? DIARY: Sorry I haven’t written in so long. I’ve been frantically busy—first with the feast and now with the famine. Everything God revealed through Pharaoh’s dreams has come true. I’m just grateful I can help. And I’m grateful for my sons. Who could have imagined I would end up raising a family in Egypt? Not to mention the role I’m playing in famine relief. Only God could have imagined such a thing. I wonder if that’s what my youthful dreams were about? There are a lot of people bowing down to me these days….

If Joseph had written in his memoirs years after this experience, what might he have said? MEMOIR: I was so caught up in the press of my responsibilities during that time in my life. Looking back on it, I think I may have used the hectic pace to blot out the memory of my former life. Look at the name I gave to my firstborn. “Manasseh” means “making to forget.” In retrospect, that was mostly wishful thinking. I couldn’t forget. I had no idea at that point how God was using my present to redeem my past. Now, every time I look at Manasseh I remember. There was so much more going on than I could understand at the time!

Prayer: Take our memories, O God, and weave them into a future full of blessing that only you can see.