Genesis 41:14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
It’s clear from scripture that Joseph had favor and responsibility while in prison, but I find the word dungeon to be noteworthy. Prison is bad enough, but dungeon sounds even worse. It had been two years since he interpreted the cupbearer’s dream. It had been thirteen years since he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Had Joseph resigned himself to being a prisoner for the rest of his life?
I wonder what Joseph was doing when word came that he was to be ‘quickly’ brought before Pharaoh. Think of the impact in our lives if the Secret Service showed up at our door and told us to quickly change because they were taking us immediately to see the President! Had Joseph given up any hope of the cupbearer remembering to speak to Pharaoh about him? Had word spread about Pharaoh’s dreams? What was going through Joseph’s mind as he was brought to Pharaoh?
The important thing is that Joseph had lived righteously during all these years. The Lord was with him and he prospered. He wasn’t a complainer. He didn’t allow his circumstances to negatively alter his attitudes and how he behaved. In spite of such negative and undeserved surroundings, Joseph honored the Lord in how he lived. I think of Job and how he didn’t sin by charging God with wrongdoing (Job 1:22).
When Pharaoh told Joseph that he had heard it said of him that he could hear a dream and interpret it, Joseph responded in humility and confidence. “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” (Gen 41:16) What a wonderful combination! I picture a strong, young man, with a good spirit about him, acknowledging that while he cannot do it, God can and would do it. He wasn’t fearful. Joseph behaved the same whether he was in the dungeon or in the throne room of Pharaoh. What an example for us.