The book of
Last week we read of how Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of the guards and was made the head overseer of Potiphar's house. We also read of how Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph saying that he tried to rape her, when the truth was she tried to rape him. Through these lies of Potiphar's wife, we read of how Joseph was thrown in jail. This is where we will pickup in this weeks study.
Gen 40:1-4 1 It came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker. 3 So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. 4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.
After these things what things? After Joseph was thrown in jail, the kings butler and baker where thrown in jail also and after Joseph found favor with the head jailer and was put in charge of the prisoners.
So why were the butler and baker thrown in jail? What did they do that made the king so angry? The bible doesn't tell us, but by read on, it appears that the king had a short temper and they could have done anything wrong such as burning the kings toast or not answering the door fast enough. The king had power over anyone and if he didn't like someone or got up out of the wrong side of the bed that morning, he could do this or even have someone executed.
One key thing I read about Joseph is in verse 4 "and he served them" Although Joseph had great authority even in jail, he was still a servant. This is the sign of a good leader or worker for the Lord.
Some Christians feel that if they now have a calling from the Lord that they are to good to serve others, or even pickup the trash in the church or give to others. "Let others do that" they may think or say. "I have a calling from the Lord and don't have time for these little matters." I pray that you will not have this attitude; Jesus gave us an example of how to be as ministers of the gospel and workers for the kingdom of God.
John 13:12-17 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Here is Jesus, the creator of the universe. The one who created you and me and the disciples. The one who came down to die for our sins. But even though Jesus had this great calling, He never paraded Himself around and thought He was to good to serve others. In fact, if you read throughout the bible, you read of God and Jesus serving others all the time.
So are we to good to do this also? Are we greater then our master and Savior Jesus Christ? No we are not!
Think of your job, don't you respect a boss who will do those little tasks as well as the big ones, more then a boss who always thinks he's to good for the little things?
How much more will others respect you if you serve them, rather then trying to pawn them off on someone else?
Joseph also was thought very highly of, even in prison. Why? Because he was a servant, and didn't think himself better then others.
Gen 40:5-8 5 Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man's dream in one night and each man's dream with its own interpretation. 6 And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. 7 So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in the custody of his lord's house, saying, "Why do you look so sad today?" 8 And they said to him, "We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it." So Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please."
So the butler and baker both have a dream on the same night, and these dreams disturbed them both to the point that they were sad and even upset about them. Usually in the kingdom if someone had a dream and wanted an interpretation of the dream they would go to a soothsayer, magician or astrologer for the interpretation (even though these were not men of God and the interpretation was probably incorrect.). But since they were both in jail they had no one to go to.
So Joseph sees them sad and worried and asks them what's wrong. Their reply is that they both had a dream, which troubled them, and they didn't know what their dreams meant.
Joseph's response is "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please."
Once again Joseph does not take any glory for himself but gives it all to God. Joseph could have said, "I know how to interpret dreams. Tell them to me and I will tell you what they mean." No Joseph acknowledged God as the interpreter not man.
The soothsayers, magicians and astrologers do not do this. They attribute themselves as doing the work.
Another sign of a good worker of God is he or she will always give the glory to God.
Here is an example of this in the books of Acts.
Acts 3:10-13 (NLT) 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out to Solomon's Colonnade, where he was holding tightly to Peter and John. Everyone stood there in awe of the wonderful thing that had happened.
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. "People of Israel," he said, "what is so astounding about this? And why look at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power and godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of all our ancestors who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate's decision to release him.
Peter and John were given the gift of healing here, and they used the gift to heal a man who was lame (could not walk). The people saw this and tried to give them the glory, but immediately they gave the glory to God.
But some desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit for their own personal gain.
Acts 8:18-21 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 "You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
Sad to say, there are so called faith healers today who will go from town to town with their deceptions, pretending to heal others. While they are doing this they always ask for money to help out their so-called ministry, when the truth is they want it to put money in their own pockets.
I have been to one of these so-called Holy Spirit crusades many years ago. But as I left the only thing I could think was that the whole thing was a sideshow. Weird things were happening there that were not from the bible.
People falling down, shaking, mumbling (they were suppose to be speaking in tongues), peoples body's moving in weird ways even my own.
I personally went up because I was having back problems at the time. I was told to sit in a chair and put my legs straight out. As I did my feet started to turn on their own, first inward, then outward. This was not a little turning, but beyond anything I have ever done or seen before, and it hurt to!
My sister went up to receive the Holy Spirit and she was told to start babbling or mumbling then she would receive the gifts of tongues. We asked her later and she said that she was just mumbling and has never spoken in tongues even to this day.
This is only an example of what could happen. But don't get me wrong. There are true servants of God who heal others through the power of God and are not out for money.
Just be cautious of such things.
If they are bringing attention to themselves or others instead of Jesus, then they are very likely not from God. If they take more then one offering, then they are there for the money and not to serve others.
If you are sick or need a healing or even the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then go to your pastor or the elders in your own church. That's what the bible tells us to do.
James 5:14-15 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Don't go out looking for a sideshow or weird or strange things to happen. But rather seek God in your own church and how He wants to use you their, and when you are ready God will send you out, but in His time not your own.
Gen 40:9-15 9 Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, 10 "and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. 11 "Then Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand." 12 And Joseph said to him, "This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. 13 "Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. 14 "But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. 15 "For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon."
God reveals to Joseph the interpretation of the dream and it's a good one. God was showing the butler that he would be out of prison in three days and have his job back.
I also believe that God revealed to Joseph that He would use these men to deliver Joseph out of prison. I say this because of Joseph's request to the butler. "But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.
So the baker hears God interpretation for the butler and thinks his will also be a good one.
Gen 40:16-19 16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. 17 "In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head." 18 So Joseph answered and said, "This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. 19 "Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you."
It seems that the baker was wrong, because God revealed to him that in three days the king would have in executed.
We seem to think if God does something good for someone in a certain way that He will also do the same for us in the same way.
But as we read here, that's not always true.
God may bless you, but not in the same way as he does someone else.
So don't try to experience what someone else has from God, but rather allow the Lord to minister to you in His way, the way He wants to minister to you.
What's good for someone else may not always be good for you.
Gen 40:20-23 20 Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
God's word comes to pass as He always says it will.
Isaiah 46:8-10 (NLT) 8 "Do not forget this, you guilty ones. 9 And do not forget the things I have done throughout history. For I am God--I alone! I am God, and there is no one else like me. 10 Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
Even though the butler was blessed and spared by God, he forgot about Joseph.
Do you feel like that sometimes, like God has forgotten about you?
We know that God's word is truth and in Him is no lie. Do you believe that?
If you do then read the next verse and know that God will never forget about you.
Psalms 139:17-18 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Maybe you don't know or believe that the Lord thinks of you continually.
Maybe you feel like the Lord has left you ant that you messed up too much for the lord to even think about you anymore.
If this is you, then read the next verse and know that God Loves you and is with you no matter what!
Jer 29:11-14 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
You see, the Lord will never leave you, but you can leave the Lord.
If you have left the Lord, today the Lord is calling you back to Him. He wants to forgive you, but you must ask Him.
Maybe a pray like this, is what you need to pray from your heart.
Jesus, I have left you and returned to the ways of the world. I now realize that what I did was wrong and that there was nothing but emptiness in the world. My only joy truly came from you as I walked with You! Please forgive me Lord Jesus and may You restore my joy and walk with You again. Thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me, but even in my time of walking away from You, You were always with me. I now see that and thank You Lord Jesus! Please let me be a part of Your family again. I ask this in Your name Jesus, Amen!
Psalms 34:18 (NLT) The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalms 51:16-17 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise.
Next week we will read that the butler has not forgotten about Joseph and neither has God.
May God richly bless you as you return to Him and walk with Him everyday!