This is a weekly guest devotion written by my mother, Estelene. Each week she shares with us scripture and a short devotion to encourage us.
We learned last week that Joseph had been accused of trying to seduce Potiphar’s wife which landed him in prison when in reality, he was the one being seduced. His morals and his love for God helped him to resist her temptation. The Lord was with Joseph while he was in prison, and he was placed in charge of all the prisoners. Sometime later, two of Pharaoh’s officials were also thrown into prison. This is where our Bible study begins today.
Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so sad today?”
“We both had dreams,” they answered, ‘but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”
“This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”
When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
“This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”
Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.
The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. Genesis 40
Have you ever had a dream that was disturbing? It left you wondering why you would have such a dream. I have. It was so disturbing that I called my brother and shared it with him. He comforted me and told me why I probably had the dream. I hope you have a loved one with whom you can share your burdens.
The cupbearer and the baker had very important jobs in the kingdom. The baker prepared all the king’s food, and the cupbearer tasted everything the king ate and drank in advance. This was to protect the king from being harmed. The king must have come to the conclusion that neither one of these men could be trusted anymore. Maybe he thought they were conspiring to kill him. We don’t know if they were guilty or not, and maybe it is not important. It is important to note that God used this situation to forward his plan.
Let’s analyze this situation for one moment. Why do you think the chief cupbearer and the chief baker had these dreams on the same night? Why did Joseph notice the officials’ downhearted spirits and question them about it? It was all in God’s plan.
Joseph made it very clear that interpretations came from God alone. He interpreted their dreams but took none of the credit. How many times have you taken the credit for something when, if the truth be known, the credit belonged to God?
The cupbearer must have felt relieved once Joseph told him that he would be restored to his position as the king’s chief cupbearer. After hearing such good news, the chief baker was anxious to hear the same good news. Unfortunately his news told of his approaching death.
All that Joseph asked was for the cupbearer to mention him to the king once he was restored to his position. But the chief cupbearer forgot about Joseph. How could he have forgotten Joseph and what he had done? If you had been forgotten, would you have given up and blamed God?
How much longer is Joseph going to have to be confined in prison? Join me next week. Until then, may God go with you and keep you.