Forgotten | Genesis 40

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Joseph Forgotten

World English Bible Genesis 40

1 After these things, the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cup bearer and the chief baker. 3 He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison many days. 5 They both dreamed a dream, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cup bearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison. 6 Joseph came in to them in the morning, and saw them, and saw that they were sad. 7 He asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8 They said to him, “We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it.”

Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me.”

9 The chief cup bearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, a vine was in front of me, 10 and in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters produced ripe grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head, and restore you to your office. You will give Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, the way you did when you were his cup bearer. 14 But remember me when it will be well with you, and please show kindness to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house. 15 For indeed, I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head. 17 In the uppermost basket there were all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”

18 Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off you, and will hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off you.” 20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and he lifted up the head of the chief cup bearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 He restored the chief cup bearer to his position again, and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; 22 but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cup bearer didn’t remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Thoughts for the Day

Joseph’s story is an intense version of the wait-on-God stories like what we saw with Abraham Sarah. Abraham and Sarah were settling a land and were looking for a promised male first-born. They had a tough time waiting, and tried to hurry the process. In this story, we have a boy who has a vision that he will be an overseer of some type. Maybe like the family farm or an entire kingdom, but he really does not have the details. Unlike Abraham, and others behind him, he takes the high road and is despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, and is now in jail. He committed no crimes and served God through his hard work and diligence with a duty to what is right.

While in Jail, two new fellows arrive from the king’s court, we do not know the extent of their crimes, but we do know they angered the king.  While in jail they each had a dream that greatly troubled them.  Joseph, while checking in on the inmates found these men sitting there very sad. Joseph true to his character attempts to bring a level of joy back to them by counseling them. The two men informed him of their dreams. Joseph tells them about his God, and how his God can interpret dreams. We have no record of Joseph having God interpret dreams in the past, how did Joseph know that this was in his cue? and God would do this? I have never heard any explanations about how God talks to people and makes himself known.   There are plenty of people out there who will say it is not God. If someone believes they heard from God and testing the evidence; others believe they hear from God and similarly don’t test the evidence.  God does not typically speak to any one person via any means outside of the Bible on a regular basis. How Joseph knew God in this way, is not directly stated in scripture, but Joseph knew it was God, and the proof is in the outcome.

Joseph knew somehow that his duty was to give these men God’s interpretation of their dream, and he did so. He told the cup-bearer to tell the king about  him in the prison:  verse, 14 “But remember me when it will be well with you, and please show kindness to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.”  This has to be the only time, we hear Joseph mention his dissatisfaction with his station in life. I am glad he did, it helps us remember that Joseph is human with wants and needs, and yet he serves everyone as it were a genuine pleasure to do so. Sadly when the cup-bearer restored to his position in verse 23 “Yet the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Joseph, but forgot him”. Likely, the cup-bearer chose to wait for a better time to tell the king, as he probably did not feel comfortable around him just jet. The cupbearer was likely waiting for a more politically correct time to mention Joseph.

Have a wonderful day, we may or may not know where God is taking us in this world, just remember the patience and the dedication of Joseph in all that you do.

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