Joseph had been wrongly imprisoned in Genesis 39 – he was faithful and obedient to God and Potiphar’s wife made up a story.
“Some time after this,” according to Genesis 40:1, “the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt.” They found themselves sharing a cell, so to speak, with Joseph.
Each of them had dreams they didn’t understand. Joseph offered his services as the unofficial prison interpreter of dreams. The chief cupbearer would be returned to the good graces of the king, according to Joseph who asked that he would remember him (Joseph, that is) and plead his case before the king. The baker, after seeing this, thought he should get in on the positive interpretations while they lasted. However, the outcome of the baker’s dream was decidedly less positive.
Joseph’s interpretations – obviously from God – took place exactly as he said, but his request was denied. “The chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph but forgot him” (Gen. 40:23).
“After two whole years,” says Genesis 41:1, Pharaoh had a dream that he didn’t understand. The story has come full-circle, yes, but how long did it take? Two years! Joseph sat in that prison as an innocent man for two full years waiting, hoping, and praying that the cupbearer would remember him and say something to Pharaoh the king of Egypt. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, he sat.
Did Joseph ever wonder what God was up to during that time? I’m sure he did. Did he cry out to God? I know he did. Did he ever think that maybe, just maybe, God had forgotten him? It’s possible. Did he ever become unfaithful to the Lord or give up? No, he didn’t! I’m confident of it because of the rest of his story recorded in Genesis.
Joseph remained obedient and faithful to the Lord his God before prison, while he was in prison, and after it, too.
Some of us may be enduring a “prison” situation right now. For some, “after two whole years” would be a welcome relief. To all in that particular stage of life, the Lord says, “Hang in there! Be faithful! Trust Me – I know what I’m doing!” Even after two whole years.
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