In Chapter 40 of Genesis from last week we read about the Cupbearer and Baker from the King’s court being thrown into the same jail as Joseph. And while they were there, they both had dreams on the same night which Joseph was able to interpret for them the next day. For the cupbearer, he learned that he would be restored to his position in the King’s court while the Baker learned that his life would soon be ending.
What amazes me about this passage is that after Joseph interpret’s the Cupbearer’s dream, he makes one simple request – Genesis 40:14 – 14But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. And yet, somehow, incredibly we read the cupbearer does not remember Joseph’s request, for in verse 23 we read – The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. Maybe he didn’t want to say anything to Pharaoh to rock the boat or possibly the right moment never presented itself but regardless the reason, HE FORGOT HIM. The real reason for this is simple – it wasn’t yet Joseph’s time.
For whatever reason and known only to God, Joseph would have to endure two more years of being in prison before being released. But oh what a release it would be as we see Joseph go from being in prison as the day begins to assuming all control of Egypt and everything in it short of Pharaoh and his throne!! Just let that sink in for a minute. From the depths of despair and imprisonment to not only freedom but control of an entire nation! I wonder at what point in the proceedings of the day did Joseph think back to his own dream that he had 13 years earlier!
If you haven’t before I would encourage you to read Genesis 41: 1-40 now and see for yourself how incredible Joseph’s deliverance truly was. The short story is that after 2 years had passed from the time the cup bearer was restored to his position in the King’s court. Pharaoh had a dream that when he woke from it, he was sorely troubled and sent for all the wise men and magicians of Egypt to help him understand what his dreams meant but none of them could do so.
Now it was Joseph’s time to come forward. For some reason, the cup bearer’s memory was suddenly restored and relayed all that had happened to him two years earlier to Pharaoh. Obviously, Pharaoh sent for Joseph right away. Pharaoh told Joseph his 2 dreams, both of which, meant the same thing: Egypt would soon experience 7 years of great abundance for their crops but then, however, 7 years of famine would follow. What I find interesting as the story continues to unfold and take great encouragement from is how God first blesses Joseph with the ability of interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and then follows that by giving Joseph a detailed plan of how the famine can be avoided, which he relays to Pharaoh.
As we read the following passage, notice how Joseph shows humility to Pharaoh as he presents the plan. Genesis 41:33-36 – 33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
Joseph did not say to Pharaoh, “I got this and if you listen to me, I can take care of everything! Joseph understood his position and presented his plan from a servant’s heart. With two simple words – Let Pharaoh, he demonstrated great humility and showed respect for who Pharaoh was, which, was King of Egypt. And to back track a second, Joseph led into this passage by reminding Pharaoh that the dream was given to him by God and the reason he received it in two forms was so that he would understand that “this was going to happen”.
As we end this post, let’s look at verse 38 a little more closely. In verse 37 we read that Pharaoh and all his officials thought the plan Joseph presented was good and in Genesis 41:38 – So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God[a]? Notice the qualifier that Pharaoh puts on the end of his question. Pharaoh recognizes that what separates Joseph from everyone else is that the spirit of God is within him! And because of this Pharaoh decides on the spot that Joseph is the man to guide Egypt forward to the days ahead and puts Joseph in charge of ALL EGYPT, short of the throne it’s self.
Joseph’s deliverance was thirteen years in the making and yet, during all that time he remained faithful to God! He served others with diligence no matter his circumstance and God was with him through it all. The one constant we have seen in the life of Joseph through all of this is that all who knew Joseph recognized that God was with him. What about us today? The same God that was with Joseph desires to be with us today! The “spirit” is available to us today through the One, who was the ultimate servant, Jesus, who paid the price for our sins and died on the cross for us!
Peace and thanks for reading.