Our passage this week, Genesis 39:20-40:23, is the second of three scenes placed before us to witness the rise of Joseph from slavery to Pharaoh’s second in command over the whole land of Egypt. In the first scene, we saw Joseph rise to power and fall into prison. In this passage, we again see Joseph rise in position while in prison. The LORD was with Joseph and allowed him to have favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
We see a common thread throughout the Joseph story of God giving individuals two dreams. Joseph was first given two dreams in Genesis 37, illustrating his rise to power. In this passage, we hear of two individuals, the chief cupbearer and the baker, who have dreams. Later, we will hear of Pharaoh having two dreams (Genesis 41). These dreams set into motion and continued the path of Joseph’s life. His brothers called him “that dreamer” (37:19) before they sold him into slavery. Joseph’s ability to decipher the two dreams while in prison makes him known to the cupbearer. Because of the Pharaoh’s dreams, the cupbearer remembers Joseph and he is brought before the Pharaoh. Joseph is then elevated into the greatest station of power.
The dreams in this passage and the meanings of the dreams should not be the main focus. The main focus should be how God introduced Joseph to the cupbearer and through that acquaintance later arranges an introduction to the Pharaoh. God is always at work even when we can’t see His hand. He is oftentimes behind the scenes, preparing the way for our life in ways we can’t even imagine. What we see as a setback, God may intend as a step towards His next promotion in our life. Our passage this week encourages us to trust, have faith, and be patient…being content in the waiting. (which is easier said than done!)