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Genesis 40





Genesis Chapter 40 contains a well known story about Joseph. And it’s one that, believe it or not, I think most of us can relate to. We ended chapter 39 with Joseph being put in prison under false accusations, but finding high favor with the guard in charge of the prison.

Now, it’s a theme in Joseph’s life that he finds favor with people in authority. He found favor, first, with his father. We know Jacob favored Joseph over all his other sons. He found favor with Potiphar and was put in charge of all Potiphar’s household. He even found favor with the prison guard and was put over all the prisoners. Later in the story (spoiler alert), he even finds favor with Pharoh himself. However, here in Chapter 40, Joseph does not find favor.

So, here he is, in prison. One day, the prison doors fly open and who should be tossed into a cell? None other than Pharoh’s Chief Bulter and Chief Baker. While we never know exactly why these two were put into the prison on the same day, there is some speculation. Many scholars think there may have been a plot to assassinate or harm Pharoh and he may have discovered that one, or both, of these servants were a part of the plot. I’m not going to go any farther than that because I can really get caught up in a good palace intrigue and know some of you can as well. However, I don’t think Joseph cared much for the drama.

He was charged with taking care of the Chief Butler and the Chief Baker. It says in verse 4 -  And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.


We don’t know how long they were in prison, but during that time, both the Butler and the Baker had a dream on the same night. Both dreams had an interpretation, but we read in verses 6-8 that they were both sad because there was no one to interpret the dream. Daniel had the perfect answer to this problem. Verse 8 says “So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.” Now, remember, we already know from Chapter 37 that Joseph has the gift to interpret dreams.


He interprets the dreams accurately for the men. The interpretations say that Pharoh will come get them and he will restore the Butler, and execute the Baker. Now, while Joseph is giving the interpretation, he asks the Butler to remember him when he is restored. In verse 14, he said, “please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this place.”


So, sure enough, Joseph’s interpretations come to pass. The Chief Butler was restored and Pharoh elevates him back into a place of favor. But, verse 23 tells us, “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”


How discouraging. Joseph served the Butler during the time they were in prison and, at this point we know Jospeh’s character. We know he served him  well and with integrity. He interpreted the dream for him and asked only this one thing - remember me. But the Butler didn’t remember him. He forgot Joseph. After all of Joseph’s hard work and the kindness Jospeh showed him, he was still forgotten.


Do you ever feel like this? You have worked so hard. You did the right things. You acted with integrity. Yet, still, you feel that somehow, you’ve been forgotten. God has left you behind while He has showered His goodness and favor on others, and this has left you tired and discouraged.


I want to assure you today that God has not forgotten you. Isaiah 49 14-16 says, Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us;  the Lord has forgotten us.” And then God Himself answers that with, “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne But even if that were possible,    I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” On the palms of the My hands.


Psalm 115:12 says The Lord remembers us and will bless us. And I love this one - Isaiah 44:21 “Pay attention, for you are my servant. I, the Lord, made you   and I will not forget you.” Thank you, Jesus.


No matter what you’re going through, child of God, know you are not alone. Hebrews 13:5 says “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” God is with you. He has not forgotten you. 2 Timothy 4:18 says, “Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”


Be encouraged today. God is for you. If you’re feeling forgotten, please take some time to pray to the Lord today and ask Him to encourage your heart. I know He will.


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This was a great summary of Genesis Chapter 40.  Joseph's story is highly unique and he himself is a highly unique character.  I agree Joseph most likely felt forgotten by the Chief Butler.  Thank God that Joseph’s faith in God ran deep beyond his circumstances and we see that there isn’t any indication in the Bible that Joseph lost faith in God.  Thank you for the encouraging words.  I quote your words, “No matter what you’re going through, child of God, know you are not alone.”  Yes, God is always with us and for us. 


The Story of Joseph has always been one of my favorites in scripture and one I Though that I really understood. But, what an incredible gift the dwell series continues to be. There is so much more to Joseph story. And I love the incredible insight that is being shared with all of us. Thank once again for another wonderful week of Dwell.

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