Genesis 40:23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
Focus on the verse above and ask yourself the following question: “Did Joseph spend two more years in prison due to a cupbearer’s faulty memory?”
The story of Joseph is a favorite of many and it contains many important lessons to be learned. One of particular importance is this aspect of his experience with the cupbearer. While in prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of both the cupbearer and the baker. After interpreting the cupbearer’s dream Joseph asked him, “…remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.”
Joseph went on to describe how he was forcibly carried from the land of the Hebrews and had done nothing to deserve being in a dungeon. The cupbearer was restored to his position just as Joseph said he would. But the chapter ends with noting that the cupbearer forgot him.
The next chapter begins, “When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream.” None of the magicians or wise men of Egypt could interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. It was then that the cupbearer remembered Joseph and recounted his experience with Joseph while in prison. Pharaoh sent for Joseph.
Throughout Joseph’s years in Egypt up until this time, the Lord was with him and gave him success in everything he did. This success translated into blessing for whoever was responsible for him. When tempted to sin by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph recognized it as wickedness and a sin against God. When it came to interpreting dreams, Joseph recognized that interpretations belonged to God.
I believe that Joseph spent two more years in prison because that is where God wanted him. He was not subject to a cupbearer’s faulty memory. God was working in Joseph and until the time of Pharaoh’s dream, the Lord wanted him there – in jail.
It’s critical that we recognize that God is intimately involved in our lives – particularly in the difficult seasons that we go through. If our prayers don’t bring relief, it could be that God wants us to be exactly where we are, and is going to keep us there – just like He did with Joseph in jail. Hopefully, we will respond as faithfully as Joseph.