When Pharaoh’s cupbearer and chief baker end up in the clink with Joseph, he interprets their dreams for them. Both interpretations come true, as one is restored by Pharaoh and one is impaled by Pharaoh. The restored cupbearer, however, doesn’t keep his promise…
2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
8 Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”
12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. 23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
The cupbearer did not remember Joseph. He forgot him. Once he was back in Pharaoh’s service, he forgot Joseph and went back to work. And Joseph sat in jail for two years until Pharaoh has a dream which jogs the cupbearer’s memory.
When we are on the receiving end of blessing or grace or help, how do we respond? I once worked with a guy whom I had met early in my career and then hadn’t seen in years. I had been promoted a few times and when I heard his name, it was because he was interested in working in my department. It was easy to support him. He was a solid guy with a great record. In other words, he earned it.
Once he was on the team, for the rest of our time working together, he consistently and regularly told me that he would do anything for me anytime anywhere – I just had to call him and he would be there for me. He appreciated my help that much. I would always tells him that he deserved it, but no matter. He would be loyal and remember forever.
I admire that fellow, because of his dedication to returning thanks and appreciating others. I aspire to be like that. I aspire to have that level of loyalty for those who have helped me. I can name them. Whether career help or mentoring or prayer support.
If Helen ever called me and asked for help, I would drop everything and go. And all she ever did was come up to me in church around 15 years ago and say, “I am praying for your family” when she could tell we were needing prayer. We did. And she knew – somehow… And I will never forget.
Last Sunday Pastor Brent spoke about how we can go from being active in our walk with the Spirit to being watchful observers who are off the field. Jesus has done it all. Paid the price. Overcome the world. Defeated death. Covered our sin. Given us life abundant.
Do our lives reflect thanksgiving and loyalty or have we gone back to work and forgotten?
Two years more Joseph sat in jail. How many years have some left Jesus locked up in their lives and forgotten? May it never be.