Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Thirty Nine

February 7, 2020
Dear friends,  

We live in an age where we are surrounded by information. When an airplane is shot down or a helicopter carrying a famous person crashes in another country, news of the event is quickly transmitted around the world. In the first book of the Bible, a story is told that reveals that information did not travel so swiftly thousands of years ago.

When Joseph was put in prison after being falsely accused, he maintained the integrity that he displayed before Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh, banished him from his presence. One of the most encouraging verses in Genesis describes God’s reaction to the injustice of Joseph’s imprisonment: “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (39:21). Rather than mope about his circumstances, Joseph made a decision to work hard and not complain.

In Genesis 40, we read about two servants of the king of Egypt: a butler and a baker. They both had dreams while they were in the same prison where Joseph was confined. Seeing the sad look on their faces in the morning, Joseph asked them what was troubling them. After they told Joseph that they each had a dream and didn’t have someone to interpret the dream, Joseph said, “Do not interpretations belong to God?”(v.8). He wisely attributed to God what belonged to Him. Joseph didn’t leave the men perplexed, however. He asked them to tell him their dreams and after hearing them, he told the men the interpretations that God revealed to him.

In his Study Bible, Dr. David Jeremiah writes: “Notice how the slightly different wording of the two interpretations revealed each man’s future. Pharaoh would lift up the head of one and lift off the head of the other. Only days later, Pharaoh hanged the chief baker.” You would think that the butler would have been eager to tell Pharaoh and everyone in the palace what happened before he was restored to his position as the chief butler. His actions are summarized as follows: “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him” (Gen. 40:23).

It wasn’t until two years later, when Pharaoh had a dream, that the butler’s memory was jogged. He remembered what Joseph did to bring about his release from prison and he told Pharaoh about the young Hebrew man (Gen. 41:12). After having been sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to a foreign land, Joseph may have thought to himself “When will I ever get out of jail?” Perhaps you are going through a time of adversity and are waiting for the Lord to rescue you. Don’t despair – the Lord sees you and will take care of you, just as He took care of Joseph.

Scripture for the weekend: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good …” Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)

Thought for the weekend: “Helping others is often a good antidote when one’s own circumstances are difficult.” – Dr. David Jeremiah


By His grace,