Joseph in Prison
:20 And Joseph's master took him,
and put him into the prison,
a place where the king's prisoners were bound:
and he was there in the prison.
Joseph was framed by Potiphar's wife after he had worked hard to gain Potiphar's trust and worked diligently at his job giving God the glory. This is a very disheartening event. His situation is seemingly hopeless. First he is enslaved and then he is thrown into prison. How is he ever going to get out. If you look at the circumstances by the five senses, there isn't anyone who is going to rescue him. His family doesn't even know what happened to him. Yet God doesn't say that he became discouraged.
:21 But the Lord was with Joseph,
and shewed him mercy,
and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
:22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand
all the prisoners that were in the prison;
and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
:23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand;
because the Lord was with him,
and that which he did,
the Lord made it to prosper.
He continued to believe God regardless of the circumstances and then became the chief of the prisoners--possibly the one who was running the jail--he must have been very adept at administration, look who he had as a mentor (God). God is still taking care of him, even though he is not free to leave and go home or free to live as he would like in Egypt he is still in the best possible position given his current location. God does not leave him there though, the prophecy that his family will bow down to him still needs to be fulfilled, and Joseph knows this so he, with patience, waits.
Genesis 40:1 And it came to pass after these things,
that the butler of the king of Egypt
and his baker
had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
:2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers,
against the chief of the butlers,
and against the chief of the bakers.
:3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard,
into the prison,
the place where Joseph was bound.
:4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them,
and he served them:
and they continued a season in ward.
These men served close to Pharoah, a position of trust and stature. Chief of the Butlers and Chief of the Bakers are high positions in the kingdom. These men that Joseph was taking care of were very important.
Some time after being thrown in prison both of these men had dreams. It upset them greatly, so much so that they were noticeably sad. When Joseph asked them what was wrong they told him that they had had dreams and there wasn't anyone to tell them what they meant.
Genesis 40:8 And they said unto him,
We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.
And Joseph said unto them,
Do not interpretations belong to God?
tell me them, I pray you.
:9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him,
In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
:10 And in the vine were three branches:
and it was as though it budded,
and her blossoms shot forth;
and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
:11 And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand:
and I took the grapes,
and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup,
and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand.
:12 And Joseph said unto him,
This is the interpretation of it:
The three branches are three days:
:13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head,
and restore thee unto thy place:
and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand,
after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
:14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee,
and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me,
and make mention of me unto Pharaoh,
and bring me out of this house:
:15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews:
and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
How does Joseph know what is going to happen? God gives the interpretation. For Joseph to know what it going to happen to the Chief Butler God is going to have to tell him, give him revelation. God speaks to his people in a variety of ways. He uses our five senses and inspiration (break the word down-inspiration = in spirit action). God will speak to us in way that makes sense to us, otherwise what is the point? God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). Joseph understood God when he or others had dreams. Not every dream means something however, don't get caught into that trap.
:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was
good, he said unto Joseph,
I also was in my dream, and, behold,
I had three white baskets on my head:
:17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh;
and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
:18 And Joseph answered and said,
This is the interpretation thereof:
The three baskets are three days:
:19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee,
and shall hang thee on a tree;
and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
Well that is a bit different interpretation. The dreams are similar aren't they, that is what the Chief Baker thought anyway. The interpretation is up to God-He knows what is going to happen via His foreknowledge.
The proof that Joseph did in fact receive the interpretation/revelation from God follows.
:20 And it came to pass the third day,
which was Pharaoh's birthday,
that he made a feast unto all his servants:
and he lifted up the head of the chief butler
and of the chief baker among his servants.
:21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again;
and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
:22 But he hanged the chief baker:
as Joseph had interpreted to them.
God's revelation will always come to pass.
:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember
but forgat him.
Can you believe that? The steward forgot him until two years later. Imagine this, two full years, many of us get discourage after a few days or months. We must remember-it is God's timetable! He knows what is going on. We must be faithful like Joseph. We walk and talk and act like God is going to take care of us and deliver us for He will.
What a great example of unshakable believing in God. Remember, the Old Testament records are not just for our amusement but they are for our learning. We can learn how to walk by the spirit by studying the Old Testament Believers.