Read His Words Before Ours!
As I sit here in my prison room pondering the irony of life, many memories play in my mind.
I clearly recall that fateful day how I pleaded with my brothers when they were about to sell me to the Midianite traders, but they would not listen.
I also recall the day when my Egyptian master’s wife tried to force me to sleep with her, and I escaped from her grip, leaving my shirt behind. (Genesis 39:10-20) On coming home, my master’s wife turned the whole thing against me, and my master, Potiphar, refused to hear my defense..
Like my brothers, my master turned a deaf ear to my plea, and I’ve been in prison since. Innocent, yet condemned as a criminal because I do not have a voice.
But I am comforted by God’s presence. He has been with me before I even knew the depths of the suffering I would experience. I may not understand why He allowed me to pass through all these difficulties, but I am confident He has not abandoned me.
In His mercy, He has granted me favour before the captain of the prison guards. The captain has committed all prisoners to my care to oversee. He does not bother to check my work, because he has found me faithful, and God is prospering the work of my hands..
More recently, I encountered two of Pharaoh’s officers here in the prison. They were his chief cupbearer and chief baker. One day as I checked on them, they were both upset, and I asked them, “Why do you look so sad today?”
They responded, “We had dreams, but there is no one to interpret them.” So I told them interpretation belongs to God, and offered to listen to their dreams.
The cupbearer began:
“In my dream there was a vine in front of me. On the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”
God revealed the meaning of the dream to me, and I told him within three days Pharaoh would restore him to work.
Encouraged by my words, the chief baker also narrated his dream:
“I also had a dream. Three baskets of white bread were on my head. In the top basket were all sorts of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
God also gave me the interpretation, and I told him within three days Pharaoh would hang him. Indeed, within three days, God’s messages came to pass as the chief cupbearer was returned to work while the chief baker was hanged.
Meanwhile, I had told the chief cupbearer my unjust ordeal and how I landed in prison. I pleaded with him to remember me, and mention me before Pharaoh when he was restored. But since then I have not heard anything from him. It appears he too, has ignored my plea, and forgotten about me.
Oh, how it feels to be without a voice!
In my despair, I cry out to the only One who has not forgotten about me, “How long, O Lord? Can You hear my cries for help? Will You rescue me?”
Israel: God remembered, heard, and rescued Joseph, making him the voice of his people in Egypt. Later, generations of Israelites found themselves in a similar situation to Joseph as they were enslaved by a new pharaoh, engaged in severe hard labour with no one to speak for them. For over 400 years they cried to God for relief and deliverance, but it seemed they had been forgotten. Yet “God heard their groaning [. . .] God saw the Israelites, and God knew.” (Exodus 2:23-25)
Moses: God heard Israel’s cry and asked Moses to be His mouthpiece to them, just as Joseph asked the cupbearer to be his voice. Moses balked, but God equipped him, and in His kindness provided Aaron to speak for Moses. He ensured His work was accomplished, just as He freed Joseph that His work might continue. (Exodus 3:7-12)
Jesus: He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. The God-man whose word could have stopped His own crucifixion chose to remain silent . . . voiceless. Like Joseph, Jesus was innocent but condemned as a criminal. He only cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-46) But in His kindness, God was willing to sacrifice Jesus for our sin. (Isaiah 53:10-12)
Even when God appears silent, He is working out His plans in wondrous ways. Joseph became the instrument God used to save Israel from famine, and later, He used Moses to deliver them from slavery. In a similar way, God allowed Jesus to suffer unjustly to bring salvation to humankind.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!