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Genesis 40:1-23

Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of assaulting her, Joseph is put into prison. Some time later he interprets the dreams of two other prison inmates.

The Bearer, the Baker . . .


While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them.

And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.”

“Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.” . . .

“. . . Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.” . . .

. . . Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.
(Genesis 40:5-8, 13-15, 23)


When the subject of dreams came up, Joseph directed everyone’s attention to God. Rather than using the situation to make himself look good, he turned it into a powerful witness for the Lord. Joseph recognized an opportunity to connect God to others’ lives. When the opportunity arises, we must have the courage to speak, as Joseph did.

The cup-bearer and the chief baker were two of the most trusted men in Pharaoh’s kingdom. The baker was in charge of making Pharaoh’s food and the cup-bearer tasted all of Pharaoh’s food and drink before giving it to him, in case any of it was contaminated or poisoned. These trusted men must have been suspected of a serious wrong, perhaps of conspiring against Pharaoh.

When Pharaoh’s cup-bearer was freed from prison, he forgot about Joseph. Two full years passed before Joseph had another opportunity to be freed (Genesis 41:1). Yet Joseph’s faith was deep, and he would be ready when the next chance came.

When we feel passed by, overlooked, or forgotten, we shouldn’t be surprised that people are often ungrateful. In similar situations, we should trust God as Joseph did. More opportunities may be waiting.


As you face challenges and difficulties today, even if you are overlooked or forgotten, see them as opportunities to trust God and to strengthen your faith.

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