Saturday, December 05, 2020

2020.12.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 40

Read Genesis 40

Questions from the Scripture text: Who had done what in Genesis 40:1? What does Pharaoh do to them (Genesis 40:2-3)? With whom do they end up? To whom does the captain of the guard entrust them (Genesis 40:4)? What happens to them in Genesis 40:5? What does Joseph notice in Genesis 40:6? What does he ask (Genesis 40:7)? What do they say (Genesis 40:8)? What does Joseph say about interpretations? What does he ask them to do? Who goes first (Genesis 40:9)? What happened in his dream (Genesis 40:9-11)? What does Joseph say is the interpretation (Genesis 40:12-13)? What request does Joseph make (Genesis 40:14)? How does he summarize the last several years of his life (Genesis 40:15)? What did the chief baker see (Genesis 40:16)? What does he tell Joseph about his dream (Genesis 40:16-17)? What does Joseph say is the interpretation (Genesis 40:18-19)? How long does it take for these things to be fulfilled (Genesis 40:20-22)? How does it come about? What comes of Joseph’s request (Genesis 40:23)?

Dreams and their interpretations have been significant in Joseph’s life so far (cf. Genesis 37:1–11). We see now that he still has complete confidence that his dreams are going to be fulfilled. “Interpretations belong to God” (Genesis 40:8). If he were discouraged, we might have expected him to make little of their dreams—his own, after all, certainly don’t seem to be panning out at this point.

But interpretations do belong to God, because God works all things according to the counsel of His own will. Sometimes that’s pleasant news (the butler who will be lifted up). Sometimes that’s unpleasant news (the baker whose head will be lifted up—off his body). But, it’s always good news (coming in the providence of the good God, who uses even Joseph’s enslavement and false imprisonment for good).

This is why Joseph is doing what he’s doing, as well as he’s doing it. Not only has the keeper of the prison put the whole operation under Joseph’s charge (cf. Genesis 39:22), but Potiphar himself seems to personally request him for these high profile inmates (Genesis 40:4). 

And Joseph rises to the occasion. He’s so attentive in his care, he can tell by looking at the other inmates when they are down (Genesis 40:6). And it matters enough to him to inquire after why (Genesis 40:7) and to try to help them with it (Genesis 40:8).

But just because God fulfills all His good purposes for us in Christ doesn’t mean all things are going to go well. Joseph was still stolen from his homeland and wrongfully imprisoned (Genesis 40:15). And, just because God will never forget us doesn’t necessarily mean that others will be faithful to us. “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph but forgot him” (Genesis 40:23).

So, as you serve diligently and cheerfully because you are standing upon God’s faithfulness, do not lose heart or let up if things get worse before they get better.

In what current situations do you most need reminding that God is remembering you and keeping His promises?

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH246 “Though Troubles Assail Us”

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