In Chapter 40, Joseph gets a glimpse of hope — he interprets two dreams accurately and asks that the cupbearer remember him and help get him out of his unjust imprisonment. But the cupbearer, once freed, forgets about him.
Continuing the theme from yesterday, I wonder, why didn't he remember Joseph? Why didn't God allow Joseph to be free at this point, instead of two whole years later (peeking ahead to Ch. 41)? If Pharaoh had freed Joseph now, Joseph would have returned to his family. The famine would come (spoiler alert) and his family, as well as many in Egypt would die.
I suppose the Pharaoh could have had his dream now, and they could have started setting aside grain sooner...but perhaps there was more that Joseph needed to learn. About trusting God and His timing. About forgiveness. About treating people justly. About how it feels to be forgotten or ignored, maybe a little taste of how his brothers might have felt when his father favored him.
We so often want to just get OUT of our circumstances, when what God wants to do is use our circumstances to change our hearts. I recall several years ago, studying the account of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, the author of the study (Beth Moore) made the point that in every fiery trial we go through, God delivers in one of three ways. 1) He will deliver us from the trial. This is when, for example, that suspicious lump turns out to not be cancerous. We breathe a sigh of relief, praise the Lord, and go on with our lives. 2) He will deliver us through the trial. This is what he did with the trio we were studying. He walked with them in the furnace, protected them from even having the smell of soot upon them, and they came out unmarred by the fire, though their bonds were burnt away. That's a whole sermon right there, but I digress. In our world, this is when someone has a terrible diagnosis, but through prayer and medical treatment, they overcome. 3) He will deliver us by the trial — to Himself. Even if our present trials take our life from this earth, we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are delivered. Delivered from a life of pain to a life of joy. From a life that is, by its very nature, temporary and fleeting, to a life that is eternal. From a life often marred by sorrow and disappointment, to a life of pure joy and fulfillment. In Joseph's case, the Bible repeatedly says, "and God was with him."
Throughout the time Joseph was in Potiphar's house and in the prison, God was with him. Whatever you are facing today, whether it is as traumatic as Joseph’s suffering or something more mundane, God is with you, too.