Read Genesis 40:1-23
He’d been in prison for quite a while. Wrongly imprisoned, actually. And God was right there with Joseph in the confines of the prison walls, locked up with people who had committed crimes against the king himself. Treason. Attempted murder. Yes, God stayed with Joseph even then. It was He who gave the prison warden grace-eyes through which to see Joseph. That’s how Joseph came to be in charge behind those prison walls.
“(T)he LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (39:23).
So when the king’s cupbearer and baker found themselves on the wrong side of the king’s favor and consequently thrown into Joseph’s prison, it made sense that he would be the one to attend to them.
I wonder what the days were like for Joseph. Some suggest he was the record-keeper for the prison, the warden’s right-hand man. Whatever the details, we can know for sure that Joseph served with discernment and wisdom. We see it when he notices their dejection and asks the king’s chief cupbearer and his baker what’s wrong (v7).
When each of them answers with the mention of their dreams, I have to wonder if Joseph figured his purpose for being in this Egyptian prison was for that very moment. Surely, it must have made him think about the dreams he’d had back in Canaan. The dreams in which his brothers and his parents all bowed down to him.
Certainly, Joseph’s heart must have skipped a beat as he spoke the truth of the Giver of Dreams and realized that his dreams, too, had been gifts from the very same and very sovereign God.
“Do not interpretations belong to God” (v8)?
So when Joseph, through the wisdom and knowledge of God, interpreted them, I have no doubt that he banked on the cupbearer’s promise, trusting that his hope for true freedom was finally coming to fruition.
But the cupbearer did forget him. He forgot about Joseph for two full years. I imagine Joseph’s renewed hope was crushed with each of those 730 passing days.
Still, his real hope, the only True Hope-Giver, remained true.
How many times have you put your hope in someone or something that lets you down? Maybe it’s someone like the cupbearer, who simply forgets. Or maybe it’s the promise of a new job, a better relationship, a more prominent position. I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit. Every single time I’ve done it, I’ve been let down. You too?
That’s because the only promise of real hope comes from the only One who will never leave us. He’s the same God who never left Joseph. The One who made a way for us to know Him and find living hope through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only way to find real hope.