The new Pharaoh did not know Joseph, nor did he understand how Joseph had saved the kingdom from famine. The assumption we make is that if he had known about Joseph, he would not have enslaved the Israelites out of fear of their potential disloyalty. To him, the Israelites were merely a threatening group of foreigners, not the descendants of a great man who had, if nothing else, greatly enriched the house of Pharaoh. In recovery, we can probably identify with both Pharaoh and the Israelites in this part of the story. When we are drinking and using, we often conveniently “forget” those people who have contributed to our success and well-being and associate instead with new, downward companions. We may even lash out and try to destroy friends and family who care about us because they are interfering with our addictive drives. On the flip side, our behavior may cause those who cared about us in the past to “forget” about us. Like the Israelites in the story, we may get burned by people we thought were our friends, though perhaps it is due to our own actions. Finally, this verse should remind us that it is dangerous for us to place too much importance on the goodwill of other people to assure our recovery. Only God has the ultimate power to help us in recovery. If we place our faith in God and pray for recovery, then it will not matter if the people in our lives forget who we are.
Excerpted from “For I Will Be With You: Daily Reflections on Recovery from the Bible.”
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