2.32 Joseph Ruler of Egypt
The dreams of the cows and corn were more than the means God used to propel Joseph into power. They were an actual word of guidance from God to the leader of Egypt, an example of His intervention in world history outside of the narrow circle of Israelite concerns. For the moment, and only for the moment, God's purposes and Egypt's welfare ran parallel. One can make the Israel-centric observation that this dream sequence was for the future benefit of Jacob and his sons, because they were kept alive during the famine by grain from the storehouses of Egypt. Nevertheless, far more than the 70 members of Jacob's household were saved. This episode is a "firstfruits" of the promise to Abraham that all nations of the world would bless themselves by him.
The fact that God gave Pharaoh these dreams shows His tolerance of and beneficence to other nations. We will see other similar actions later in Scripture and history. If a foreign nation allies itself to Israel, it is blessed, even though it is not covenant-keeping.
"Those who bless Israel will be blessed" (Gen 27:29).
We see this in small scale and large scale examples. While Joseph lived in Potiphar's house,
"The Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had" (Gen 39:5).
At the national level, because of the severity of the famine, the wealth of native and foreign people flowed to Pharaoh in exchange for grain:
"So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh's, and Joseph reduced the people to servitude" (Gen 47:20-21).
Not a good result for the Egyptian people themselves, but an increase in power and wealth for Joseph's employer.
But when a nation departed from alliance with God's plan or God's people, the residual blessing of God, and His tolerance, ended. We have two very different situations -- Egypt in Genesis, and Egypt in Exodus. From alliance with God's plan, Egypt moved to active enmity to God's purposes. This brought upon Egypt the serial disasters recorded at length in the later book.