Dr. Gary Baker is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email him at pastor@gracebaptistpaso.org.

In our last meditation, we saw that the Hebrew slave Joseph was unjustly put in prison, having been falsely accused of raping his master’s wife.  

What we are going to learn is that God had a precise reason for Joseph’s imprisonment. Joseph would meet two very important men who had both personally known and served Pharaoh, the King of Egypt. One man was Pharaoh’s cupbearer and the other man was Pharaoh’s baker.  

Genesis tells us that these men were put into prison because they had offended Pharaoh. Both men had different dreams but were sad because they didn’t understand the meaning of their dreams. Joseph told them that God would enable him to interpret each of their dreams. God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:21) and would supernaturally enable him to interpret each dream. Joseph told the cupbearer that his dream meant he would be restored as Pharaoh’s servant in three days. Joseph then told the baker the awful interpretation of his dream. In three days, he would be hung on a tree, and the birds would eat the flesh off his bones. Both dreams were literally fulfilled. Joseph did ask the cupbearer to do a favor for him: would he show kindness to Joseph and influence Pharaoh to get him out of prison (Genesis 40:14). He told the cupbearer that he had been put in prison and had done nothing to deserve being imprisoned.  

Unfortunately for Joseph, when the cupbearer was restored as prophesied, he did not remember Joseph. In Genesis 40:23, it states that the cupbearer “FORGOT HIM” (Genesis 40:23). The cupbearer didn’t remember what Joseph had done for him for “TWO FULL YEARS”. Joseph had to patiently endure the trial of being forgotten and remaining in prison. Certainly, this was a long time for Joseph to wait to be delivered by God. Pharaoh had two dreams that needed to be interpreted (Genesis 41;1-15). The cupbearer finally remembered that Joseph could interpret dreams and told Pharaoh about Joseph’s ability. Pharaoh brought Joseph out of prison to interpret his dreams. God had not forsaken Joseph but would use him to assist Pharaoh. This would result in his great exaltation by Pharaoh.

Lessons to be Learned

  1. God has a precise purpose and reason for putting His servants in trying circumstances. In God’s timing, He reveals His purposes to His servants.
  2. God is omniscient and knows the future that He has decreed. Many times in the Bible, God reveals the future, which is biblical prophecy (one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy).
  3. God will never forsake His children who are experiencing difficult trials. He will enable His children to endure and profit from them: Romans 8:35-39, Hebrews 13:5-6: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Getting through this together, Paso Robles