Genesis 40:23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
Today’s devotional is special to me because it describes an insight that became clear to me while writing it, regarding Joseph’s response to his experience with the cupbearer. Even though I’ve read this story many, many times, my thoughts had been more on how disappointed and distressed Joseph might have been. Even though Scripture is silent on this issue, his overall life suggests that this different perspective could be a more accurate understanding of Joseph’s response to this event. The principle involved is one that has proved priceless to me in its impact on my life over the years.
As I was writing, I began wondering about what Joseph’s response was in the days following the chief cupbearer being restored. I imagine that he had real hope that his situation was about to change – that he would be set free. Maybe he thought about returning to his father Jacob; or getting married and having a family. Maybe he thought he might have to stay in Egypt, but at least he would be out of prison. As the days passed and became weeks, he realized that no one was coming to free him.
Today’s verse explains why – the cupbearer forgot him! What a disappointment to live with each day – and it would be, if it was his focus. But I don’t think it was. Instead of looking at the failure of the cupbearer to do anything or even to communicate that Pharaoh refused to act, I believe Joseph had his focus elsewhere. His focus was on God!
Yes there would have been disappointment to deal with, but I believe Joseph was encouraged by the reality that God had intervened into his situation by giving him the interpretation of the dreams. He saw the interpretations come true. He knew that he could not have interpreted them without God. The depth of his pain and disappointment were overshadowed by his seeing God manifest Himself in his life. The fact that Joseph didn’t understand the ‘Why’ of it was irrelevant. He knew he didn’t have to understand. God was with him and he would trust his God.