When was the last time life hit you in the face with unexpected disappointment, and wherever you looked it seemed no one cared or even noticed. In times like that we’re tempted to feel forsaken, not only by family and friends, but even forsaken by God.
Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Genesis 40:23
Most of us know Joseph’s story. We know how it begins with his coat of many colors or as it’s called in the popular 1982 Broadway musical the amazing technicolor dreamcoat. We know that his brothers despised him, not only because he was father’s favorite son, but because he dreamed of one day ruling over them. We know how they sold him into slavery and how they let his father believe his son was dead. We know that as a slave in Potiphar’s household the LORD’s favor was upon him so that he was entrusted to run all his master’ affairs, but in time because Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph, he was falsely accused of trying to have an affair of a different kind with her. We know he ended up in prison and how God’s hand continued to be upon him even there. We know that when Pharaoh had his cupbearer and chief baker put into the same prison, and that when they each had dreams Joseph interpreted them. And we know things happened just as Jospeh said they would. And we know Joseph’s request to the cupbearer for an appeal to Pharaoh was ignored.
But that’s only the first act of Joseph’s story. And before the second act even begins we know the rest of the story – a dreams come true story with a happy ending.
Yet life has not turned out as Joseph dreamed it would. Betrayed by his brothers he has spent the last eleven years as a slave and prisoner in Egypt. How could his dreams from so long ago ever come true now; did his family even know he was still alive in Egypt?
Joseph would spend the next two years in prison. That’s when Pharaoh had dreams none of his wisemen or magicians could interpret. Finally the cupbearer would remember how his dreams were interpreted by a man in prison telling Pharaoh that perhaps he could tell Pharaoh the meaning of his dreams. And we know how the rest of Joseph’s story plays out.
But Joseph didn’t know the end of his story. Read again what happened after the cupbearer was released; “the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” He was alone and forgotten in prison with seemingly no way out.
Any way you look at it Joseph has been dealt a loosing hand. But its more than that. If I were Joseph, I would feel forsaken – not just by people, but forsaken by the LORD.
But stop and think for a moment; what might have happened if the cupbearer had made an appeal to Pharaoh on Joseph’s behalf. With a favorable judgment would he have been released from prison and free to return home to his father? Or might Pharaoh released him from prison but had him remain a slave. Where might Joseph have been if he had gotten his way and been released from the pit?
You see the one constant in Joseph’s life was the LORD’s steadfast love and favor. As a result, both at Potiphar’s house and in prison Joseph’s position was elevated because he found to be trustworthy and successful in all he did. And so Joseph was exactly where God needed and wanted him. In the end, the LORD’s timing would be perfect.
Even in prison Joseph continued to walk in obedience refusing to sin against God. When things in our lives don’t turn out the way we would like, how much will we be like Joseph? Even if we feel forsaken by the LORD, we not give into temptation to speak or act according to our feelings. Instead we need to look to the Holy Spirit for strength to continually live each day by faith walking and even resting in God’s will.
Like Joseph at the end of the day we don’t know what tomorrow holds – let alone where we will be in two or more years. We too can remain faithful, trusting God has put us exactly where He wants us, and knowing we are not forsaken by the LORD.
I don’t know the future, but I’m sure of the vision and calling God has given to me. Therefore I will remain faithful living in obedience to the LORD and trusting God to work out the details beyond my knowing or control.
Yes to Yield
LORD Jesus, forgive me for giving into my feelings with worry about tomorrow and sometimes even resentment. Holy Spirit continue to build my faith so that I can walk and rest in the place you have brought me. Father, I believe I’m living today in Your will, so in all I do and say enable me to glorify You because it really is not my story; it’s Yours.