The Report of the Cupbearer

41: 9-13

DIG: How many years had it been since Yosef had interpreted the cupbearers' dream? How do you think Joseph dealt with the delay? What made the cupbearer remember Yosef in prison?

REFLECT: When you are reminded of your shortcomings, how do you respond? Are you angry? Are you depressed? Do you try to minimize them? Do you exaggerate them? Do you blame others? Do you take responsibility for them? Do you dwell on them? Or are you humbled?

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt: Today I have been reminded of my failure (41:9 NLT). When the chief cupbearer remembers Joseph he is struck to the heart, and realizes his offense. His realization is emphasized in the Hebrew word order, in which the direct object, my failure, is the first element in the sentence, literally, my failure I am remembering today. The word failure, here, is literally the Hebrew word for sins, and conveys more of the thought of offenses or omissions. He knows he should have told Pharaoh of Joseph long ago, but he became too busy and had forgotten. Confessing his sin to Pharaoh, he recalled the two year old story.

He remembers the story just as it happened. Pharaoh was once angry with his servants and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own (41:10-11). How simple and yet how truly remarkable is the link in the chain of events by which God fulfills His purposes for Yosef.636

Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of Potiphar, and the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. Not only that, but his interpretations were correct in every detail. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged (41:12-13). Here was a man who had greater insight into the future than all the sages and interpreters of the land of Egypt. If Pharaoh wanted to know the meaning of his dreams, he should by all means send for this young man, Joseph.637


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