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Even in jail, Joseph sought to assist others. He frequently witnessed for the Lord as well by giving God glory for the interpretations of the dreams! How do we understand Joseph’s character and disposition when he interpreted two prisoners’ dreams?
Genesis 40 tells the entire story of Joseph, the Egyptian Kings cupbearer and baker. Sometimes we are greatly needed as God allows unfair circumstances to occur in our lives! We see no reason for our predicament(s), but God has plans for us and for others we encounter in our life’s journey. Can we too say as the chief cupbearer, “I remember my faults”? Can we admit that everything that happens to us is not somebody else’s fault?
For Joseph, all the events he predicted were the results of the actions of God. In other words, he saw the hand of the Lord in all that would take place. In Genesis 41:16, Joseph gave God the glory as he answered Pharaoh about interpreting his dream.
Regardless of his faith, Joseph still sought human help in securing his own release. Again, not knowing the future or knowing the Lord’s intentions, he did what he could to have been released. This was certainly human and understandable. Unfortunately, as the Bible shows, it did not work! Just as it often happens in today’s world, once released, the chief butler forgot all about Joseph.
What could he have said? He could have described Joseph’s situation by saying, “There’s a Hebrew in the dungeon who is good at interpreting dreams, why don’t you let him out?” We see in chapter 41, he did eventually make mention of Joseph when the time was right. Until then, Joseph had to struggle with doubt and discouragement as he waited for two more years in that jail! We don’t always get the help we deserve when people forget. God remembers and exalts us in His time.
What do we do when we find ourselves, like Joseph, bitterly disappointed by events in our lives? How can we maintain faith and hope amid such disappointments? How did the Chief Butler finally come through for Joseph? Let us notice how Joseph still expressed his faith in God even after many unfair situations!
This is remarkable because it could have been very easy for Joseph to have credited himself for self-esteem and flattery. Joseph considered the sovereignty and power of God and kept hope and faith alive even though he was imprisoned. From the dungeon, Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all of Egypt. Joseph’s character traits finally resulted in great prosperity with honor from God!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.