Genesis – First, God
As believers we can sometimes feel we are working “underground” for God and with God. Sometimes we wonder why God put us where He has us. We are told we cannot speak of God in our schools or in the workplace, but that does not mean we cannot be who God wants us to be in this world.
Often, it is frustrating to see glimpses of what we could be while God does what needs to be done in us before he moves us to another place in life. He is in control. We must wait on Him to do what He must to prepare us to go to the next place or stage in life.
In the wait, underground, as we allow God to teach us and build His character traits in us, people notice. They know we are being blessed by a God who is with us, leading and guiding us. When thing happen to us, we react differently because of what God is doing in us and through us. So when life challenges them, they come to us. That is the best time in the world to TELL them about God and His Son sent to save the world.
Joseph has been thrown into another hole in the ground but God is still with Him, honing His characteristics in Joseph. The head jailer knows it and puts Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners needs. The prisoners know it and ask for his help. When the cupbearer and the baker have dreams, it is Joseph who can tell them what it all means…because God is still with Him…underground.
Genesis 40, The Message
1-4 As time went on, it happened that the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt crossed their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the head cupbearer and the head baker, and put them in custody under the captain of the guard; it was the same jail where Joseph was held. The captain of the guard assigned Joseph to see to their needs.
4-7 After they had been in custody for a while, the king’s cupbearer and baker, while being held in the jail, both had a dream on the same night, each dream having its own meaning. When Joseph arrived in the morning, he noticed that they were feeling low. So he asked them, the two officials of Pharaoh who had been thrown into jail with him, “What’s wrong? Why the long faces?”
8 They said, “We dreamed dreams and there’s no one to interpret them.”
Joseph said, “Don’t interpretations come from God? Tell me the dreams.”
9-11 First the head cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine in front of me with three branches on it: It budded, blossomed, and the clusters ripened into grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s cup; I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and gave the cup to Pharaoh.”
12-15 Joseph said, “Here’s the meaning. The three branches are three days. Within three days, Pharaoh will get you out of here and put you back to your old work—you’ll be giving Pharaoh his cup just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me when things are going well with you again—tell Pharaoh about me and get me out of this place. I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews. And since I’ve been here, I’ve done nothing to deserve being put in this hole.”
16-17 When the head baker saw how well Joseph’s interpretation turned out, he spoke up: “My dream went like this: I saw three wicker baskets on my head; the top basket had assorted pastries from the bakery and birds were picking at them from the basket on my head.”
18-19 Joseph said, “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will take off your head, impale you on a post, and the birds will pick your bones clean.”
20-22 And sure enough, on the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he threw a feast for all his servants. He set the head cupbearer and the head baker in places of honor in the presence of all the guests. Then he restored the head cupbearer to his cupbearing post; he handed Pharaoh his cup just as before. And then he impaled the head baker on a post, following Joseph’s interpretations exactly.
23 But the head cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought; he forgot all about him.
THINK ABOUT IT…
Once again, it was the Lord who made the difference. Whether Joseph was a steward in Potiphar’s house or an accused criminal in the prison, “the Lord was with Joseph” and gave him success.
It is God who makes a difference in us. As we let God do in us what He does best, we surprise ourselves at the growth and maturity when life challenges us and we react differently today than we did years earlier in our lives.
Are we still allowing God to grow us, mature us, teach us in good times and in the bad times of challenges and disappointments?
In hard times, are we asking, “Why me?” OR “What are you teaching me, Lord?” The answer to these questions will reveal what we believe about God and show the difference He is making in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are learning many things about you as we study the life of Joseph. As he endured injustice, you were growing him from the inside out. You were always with Him. You are always with us. Thank you for teaching us still and always being with us as you promised from the beginning of time. Continue to transform me as I know I have yet to arrive at being all you want me to be.
In Jesus Name, Amen