Joseph Tells the Meaning
1-3While Joseph was in prison, both the king's personal servant and his chief cook made the king angry. So he had them thrown into the same prison with Joseph. 4They spent a long time in prison, and the official in charge of the palace guard, made Joseph their servant.
5One night each of the two men had a dream, but their dreams had different meanings. 6The next morning, when Joseph went to see the men, he could tell they were upset, 7and he asked, “Why are you so worried today?”
8“We each had a dream last night,” they answered, “and there is no one to tell us what they mean.”
Joseph replied, “Doesn't God know the meaning of dreams? Now tell me what you dreamed.”
9The king's personal servant told Joseph, “In my dream I saw a vine 10with three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its grapes became ripe. 11I held the king's cup and squeezed the grapes into it, then I gave the cup to the king.”
This is the meaning of your dream. The three branches stand for three days, 13and in three days the king will pardon you. He will make you his personal servant again, and you will serve him his wine, just as you used to do. 14But when these good things happen, please don't forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place. 15I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and here in Egypt I haven't done anything to deserve being thrown in jail.
16When the chief cook saw that Joseph had given a good meaning to the dream, he told Joseph, “I also had a dream. In it I was carrying three breadbaskets stacked on top of my head. 17The top basket was full of all kinds of baked things for the king, but birds were eating them.”
This is the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, 19 and in three days the king will cut off your head. He will hang your body on a pole, and birds will come and peck at it.
20Three days later, while the king was celebrating his birthday with a dinner for his officials, he sent for his personal servant and the chief cook. 21He put the personal servant back in his old job 22and had the cook put to death.
Everything happened just as Joseph had said it would, 23but the king's personal servant completely forgot about Joseph.
Each one of us can probably remember a time when we felt overlooked or forgotten. It’s a crushing blow when we realize we have been passed over. It is especially hard when people turn their backs on us after we have gone out of our way to help them.
Sadly this is what happened to Joseph. Joseph was thrown into prison and assigned to be the servant of two of Pharaoh’s trusted men, the king’s personal servant and chief cook. These two new prisoners had troubling dreams which gave Joseph the perfect opportunity to use his area of expertise to help them. After all, when Joseph was a young lad, God had prophesied Joseph’s future through dreams. Now Joseph looked to God for wisdom and declared to his prison mates: “Doesn’t God know the meaning of dreams? Now tell me what you dreamed” (v 8). With God’s help Joseph was able to decode the dreams. Then he asked the king’s servant for a favor: “But when these good things happen, please don’t forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place” (v 14).
The king’s servant was released in three days exactly as Joseph had prophesied. But after a period of waiting, Joseph’s situation remained unchanged. Joseph realized what had happened. “The king’s personal servant completely forgot about Joseph” (v 23).
Dream on Joseph! You have been forgotten. However God did not overlook Joseph and he never abandons us. He has a plan for our lives that cannot be sabotaged by circumstances or human error. Through this period of delay, God was building Joseph’s character for greater things to come. That is precisely what God is doing for us as we longingly wait for victory to unfold in our own lives.
Dear Father God, Thank you God that you never forget about me and that you are involved in every detail of my life. Even when everything looks hopeless, I know you have a purpose for my life. Help me to trust you and hold on while you reveal this purposeful design. Thank You. Amen.