Summary of passage: Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offended him so he threw them in jail. Potiphar assigned them to Joseph. After some time, both men had a dream and Joseph noticed they were downcast about it. So he asked them why they were gloom and they said because they had a dream they did not understand. Joseph asked them to tell him his dreams because God can interpret them.
The chief cupbearer dreamed of a vine with three branches. Grapes bloomed on the branches and the cupbearer squeezed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave him the cup. Joseph said in three days time the cupbearer will be restored to his position as cupbearer. He asked him to remember him and mention him to Pharaoh so that Joseph may be released.
The chief baker dreamed of three baskets on his head of which the first baskets contained baked goods for the Pharaoh but birds were eating all the food. Joseph said in three days Pharaoh will remove his head and hang him on a tree while the birds eat his flesh.
In three days time, it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he gave a feast for all of his officials. Just like Joseph had said, the chief cupbearer was restored and the chief baker was hanged (or impaled). The chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph.
8a) He asked them why they appeared so gloom. So he had to have noticed a change in them, meaning he had to have been monitoring their condition. He offered to help through dream interpretation and give them hope by mentioning God.
b) Several opportunities. On a personal level he was able to lift one man’s spirits with good news and warn the other man to cherish his last days before his life was taken. He had the chance to prove that God was with him and that God was interpreting dreams correctly–so to show God’s powers. It gave him a chance to tell them about God and perhaps convert them before their death.
And it gave Joseph an opportunity to get out of jail if the cupbearer mentioned him to Pharaoh. It gave Joseph hope that he may still be free.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Take note of people. See when they are down. Ask them about it. Encourage them with the Word. Tell them of God and His strength to lift them up. Pray over them.
9a) Omnipotent, omniscient, control the future, blesses those who belong to Him and believe in Him. God is good, faithful, and just.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Acknowledgment from others. That the cupbearer forgot him. That he may languish in prison for the rest of his life. I don’t think he ever doubted God. But we all get depressed and down by our circumstances. And I’m sure Joseph did as well. He was probably disappointed he had to wait another two years in prison. But he trusted. And that made all the difference.
10) Leadership, trustworthiness, caring, empathy, dream interpretation, desire to help others, patience, kindness, trusting in God, honesty
Conclusions: I liked how Joseph approached the cupbearer and baker. That they did not come to him. That Joseph took the initiative and noticed they were down. If Joseph hadn’t of said anything, Pharaoh would have never of known of his abilities. Joseph took concrete action about his circumstances. He still had a heart when many would have lost it long ago.
Note Joseph never abused his power. “He attended them” (Genesis 40:4). He served. He cared about others. Just like Jesus.
God notes our good deeds even when others do not. God remembers us even when others do not. God rewards us even when others do not. God promotes us and demotes us–all according to His will–not our own.