Wendy and I have had our fair share of waiting on doctors. Just this year Trent has seen five different doctors–we have waited in all kinds of doctor’s offices. Once we waited…and waited…and waited only to discover that they had forgotten we were there! They felt terrible. Sometimes despite people’s best intentions they forget you. Joseph was forgotten.
While Joseph was in prison the cupbearer and the baker showed up because they offended the Pharaoh. Joseph was appointed to take care of them. One night both of them had a dream. I love how Joseph responded to them the next day. Don’t miss this. Joseph is unfairly imprisoned. He has done nothing to deserve his sentence. Listen in on his conversation with the baker and the cupbearer:
When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.” (Genesis 40:6-8 ESV)
Joseph, who could have been wallowing in self pity, noticed the troubled faces of his fellow inmates. Their dilemma? Dreams. The last thing Joseph wants to hear about is dreams. His dreams landed him in a pit, then Potiphar’s house, and now a prison. Why would he care about two foreigner’s dreams. But he did. He cared for them.
Not only did he care for them, he kept his faith in God. Do not interpretations belong to God? Joseph’s faith in God never faltered. In the midst of his unfair treatment, he trusted in a just God.
They told him their dreams. He interpreted them and then made a simple request of the cupbearer. Listen to his passionate plea:
In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.” (Genesis 40:13-15 ESV)
Note Joseph’s words: Only remember me. Please do me the kindness. Get me out of this house. I was stolen. I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit. Don’t ever think Joseph got used to his unfair treatment. Do not allow yourself to believe that Joseph was super spiritual and never felt the sting of rejection. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Joseph never wrestled the fear of abandonment. He never got used to the prison. He never grew accustomed to incarceration. He wanted out.
The cupbearer’s life was spared and he was restored to his former position with the Pharaoh. But what about Joseph?
Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. (Genesis 40:23 ESV)
Forgotten? God hasn’t forgotten you. Some estimate that Joseph stayed another two years in prison after his passionate plea to the cupbearer. Tomorrow we’ll see what happened when the Pharaoh sent for him.