The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 5: Joseph – The King’s Messenger
The King’s Messenger
Two years passed. No doubt two long years for Joseph, who probably couldn’t help wondering why the cupbearer could have forgotten him. Did he even begin to doubt God? Yes, he held a responsible and privileged position but he was still a prisoner. Why was God silent? What was going on? Would he ever get out of there alive?
There’s an old hymn, which reads – God moves in a mysterious way – His wonders to perform. I don’t think Joseph wrote it but he may well have inspired it. Who would have thought that God would give Pharaoh a dream? God was a God of the Hebrews, not the Egyptians – they had their own gods.
However, God did and so poor old Pharaoh had a bad night. The day didn’t dawn any brighter when having asked his magicians, advisers and wise men for understanding, they stood there blank-faced and no doubt open-mouthed – if not frowning and fearful. They had proved to be impotent and helpless.
Isn’t it interesting how such a moment can concentrate the mind? The cupbearer, who had been as puzzled as the rest, suddenly got a surge of courage. He remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh. Pharaoh, clutching at any available straw, asked for Joseph to be presented to him and told him of his dilemma.
I love Joseph’s response, don’t you? I can’t interpret it either, but God will give you the answer. I wonder what he was thinking – I’ll give you the answer but I don’t want you blaming me for it – perhaps?
So Joseph revealed what God was going to do – give Egypt 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of drought. Having explained that, he went on with his survival plan. The plan was so impressive that Pharaoh saw no alternative but to find a suitable person to fill the role, and at that moment, no one seemed more suited to it than Joseph.
The other advisers were so relieved that the dreams had been interpreted and their necks saved that they readily agreed to Pharaoh’s plan. What they were unaware of was that it was in fact God’s plan all along. God had been waiting until everything was in its right place so He could move Joseph up to centre-stage and on track for the fulfilment of the dream He had given Joseph decades before.
Do you get the feeling it’s worth waiting for God? Wasn’t it amazing how everything came together just at that moment. No more hanging around – bang – straight from dungeon to Prime Minister. Straight from foreigner to trusted administrator and highest official. That had to be God. Wonderful execution!
Joseph would say to us today...
God never keeps a good person down. You may feel forgotten, lonely or even discarded by God. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Wait for His timing – it can be quite unexpected. Sooner or later, like a cork, you will have to surface.
Father, thank You so much that You love me, and no matter what happens to me, I can trust my future to You. Thank You that we see from Scripture You always care for Your people and always exonerate them in the end. Thank You that You are a good God and Your plans and goals are always for our best. Amen.
Joshua 1:1-18; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Acts 6:1-15.
Why is it so hard to wait for God?
What can you do today to really please or help your boss?
While we wait for ‘our time’ what do we need to keep focused on?