We love a rags to riches story – Cinderella, Rocky, J.K. Rowling the struggling single mum who then wrote Harry Potter books and the James Bond Actor Daniel Craig, who slept on park benches as a struggling actor. Most of them involved the person pulling themselfup and depending on their own resources and wits. God’s way is different He works with His grace and power to lift the humbled up to the place of honour.
Joseph has languished in prison for two years forgotten by the cupbearer. The timing was horrible for Joseph, but perfect for God’s purposes. If the cupbearer had remembered him straight away to Pharaoh, Joseph may well have gone back to Canaan and not been used by the Lord to interpret the dream that would save his family and nation. The timing wasn’t luck but a chain of painful but divinely purposed events – an illustration of Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things works together for the good”
Joseph started out as an arrogant teenager with a prophetic promise from God – these dozen or so years have matured him to where he is now about tobe Prime Minister.
3 things we can learn from him.
- When people let you down, give it to God without revenge.God will handle those cupbearers in your lfe – who don’t give back, who forget you, who abandon you, or who break their promises to you.
- When nothing seems to change, count on God’s promises and purposes without panicing.
- When promotion comes stay humble and thank God and acknowledge Him without pride
Joseph interprets the dream acknowledging that interpreting a revelation is by the Spirit of God – Pharaoh sees the anointing and appoints him Prime Minister and gives him a wife. He has two sons, which he calls Manasseh and then Ephraim.
Manasseh means God has made me forget all my hardship. Ephraim means God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction. God has enabled him to forget the pain of his rejection and betrayal. We can’t just get over stuff, but we can move on. We can forgive and choose to forget the pain of it. Egypt was the place of his affliction where he was enslaved, imprisoned and forgotten, but God has super abounded and made him super-fruitful – so Ephraim is the child’s name. tehorder of the names is significant. Manasseh must come before Ephraim. First we have to be set free from bitterness, then we experience God’s blessing. We can’t change the past, but we can learn to recognise God is good.