Sometimes We Wait
Genesis 40:23 NLT
Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.
Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh’s cup-bearer when they were both in prison together. Joseph knew the guy was going to get released and asked him to please remember the one who helped and encouraged him. But the cup-bearer did not. In fact, two whole years went by before he finally remembered Joseph. Two whole years.
At church we’ve been studying the life of Joseph. Clearly, he learned very quickly that when all of our freedoms and privileges are taken away from us, the only free choice we’re left with is honor God or not. The one who used to be the spoiled favorite learns to practice humility, the former tattler learns to keep his mouth shut, the middle management-type overseer learns to be a hard worker with integrity, and this reformed bragger now gives God credit for dreams and the interpretation of them.
He didn’t have to honor God in his situations. He could’ve tried to run away instead of working so hard that he was put in charge of an entire household and a prison. He could’ve been a defiant worker, cheater, liar, and criminal. After all, he was a slave and then a prisoner. What’s the point in trying to thrive? Thankfully, God is with those who acknowledge and want him.
Joseph’s life away from his comfy home is what honoring God looks like:
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. - James 4:6 ESV
- Hard Work
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. - Colossians 3:23 ESV
- Giving God the credit due him
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! - Psalm 34:3 ESV
And we also need to add... wait for it... w a i t i n g
When it looked like leaving prison would be certain, it was actually 2 long years of waiting. God did, in fact, use Joseph’s situation to save his whole family, but it was about *13 years from the time he was thrown in a cistern to when he met Pharaoh. Humility, magnifying God and even hard work seems easier than waiting. We usually don’t even know why we have to wait, and God doesn’t owe us any explanation either. We wait because waiting makes us humble, lends opportunity to work for Jesus and make him big.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2-3 NIV
I love the illustration of Joseph’s life that demonstrates honoring you in seemingly desperate situations. You are always with me, and waiting is just more of an opportunity to honor you. I love you and thank you for your constant watch, care and comfort. And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
He was 17 when he was sold into Egypt
He was 30 when he was made overseer
He was 39 when his brothers first came to Egypt
(second year of the famine, or nine years after being made overseer)
He was probably 41 or so when the brothers came a 2nd time and Jacob comes to Egypt
He was 110 when he died