This morning I read Genesis 40 during my prayer time, and I remembered not only that I read it during another morning’s devotion about a week ago but that Joseph’s story in Egypt offered examples beyond his character we can apply to our lives now.
I have read Genesis 40 during my prayer time twice in the last two weeks. This story of the cupbearer and baker in prison with Joseph, who finds himself imprisoned innocently due to Pharoah’s wife not succeeding with her sexual interest in Joseph, reminds me that not only does Joseph’s character serve as a model for our lives today but so do the people he meets. The cupbearer and baker each share their dreams with Joseph, and Joseph interprets them through God. Joseph tells the cupbearer of the fortune that will soon come to him and implores him to remember Joseph.
The cupbearer’s fortune comes to fruition during Pharoah’s birthday celebration, but he forgets Joseph. It seems that because he has no worry anymore he need not remember the support he needs. He forgets to use his good situation to restore the person who helped him get there. All too often we forget the same details. We finally find ourselves meeting a goal, and we neglect the fact we did not arrive at success alone.
God plants a purpose in us when He makes us. We owe it to Him to follow His will; we cannot succeed without taking those steps of our own volition. However, He still marks the path and gives us success for His glory. This happens in community as we “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13). This encouragement helps us build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) to stay on the path for with more than one together, they will have someone to pick them up when they fall (Ecclesiastes 4:10). We want to remain steadfast on our path, not forgetting the community of believers God gave us or forgetting to remain on His vine so He may prune and develop us.
On our own, we don’t get anywhere. Let’s not forget that in the good times or the bad. Remain close and trust like Joseph. He continues to follow God’s Law and later finds himself working with Pharaoh to find success for himself, Pharaoh and the whole Egyptian community. We too can fulfill the role God gives us, share that hope with those around us and see fruit available for our community.