Genesis 40

Genesis 40 is the story of Joseph in prison.  He is still there doing the work as the captain of the guard has handed things over to his oversight.  “The cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense….and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined”.  So these two guys mess up – and Pharaoh gets irritated and throws them into prison.  They end up where Joseph was being held and come under his care.

The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them”.  Remember – Joseph is in prison himself.  He isn’t a paid helper, or even a slave to the captain – he just happens to be putting in his time there.  One night after these two newbies were there for a while they each had a dream.  “When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled….so he asked….why are your faces downcast today”?  They both admitted they had a dream but had no idea what it meant.

Want to understand the character of Joseph a bit?  Here is a prisoner that has been asked to help run the prison.  But he does a lot more than that.  He obviously cares for the prisoners that are held captive there.  He not only notices that these two are different this day after their dreams, but he is willing to get involved in their lives and try to help them.  This is amazing character – to be willing to get involved with prisoners – which would normally mean not the best people in the kingdom – and dive into the mess of life to help.  Joseph was that kind of man.

He interprets the dreams.  Both will come to pass in three days with the cupbearer to have a good outcome and the baker not so good.  Joseph’s only request when he interprets is that they remember him and mention him to Pharaoh when they are brought out of prison in three days.  It happens exactly as Joseph had said it would.  The cupbearer is restored to his place, the baker is hanged.  But the request Joseph had made did not happen.  “The chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him”.  That had to be discouraging to Joseph who is still trying to figure out whey God has him in custody.  But God does have a plan.  Often we can’t see it when we are in the middle of it, but as we look back in future chapters it will become obvious.


One response to this post.

  1. Good interpretation of the text. I find it interesting that Joseph clearly demonstrated God’s power to the chief cupbearer, and he forgot about it later on. People today still ignore God. They see his invisible attributes in nature but forget about His awesome power. I like how you ended because the whole time, God didn’t need the cupbearer to fulfill the purposes He had for Joseph. He was going to be second in command to Pharaoh, regardless of what the power of man had. It is God who establishes kings and rulers. Thanks again for the insightful article.


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