The Spirits in Prison
Introduction: Chapter 40 of Genesis is a single story and though being long, it has to be kept in that context. So today we will go through all 23 verses in one sermon. The last time we looked at a whole chapter in one sermon was Genesis 23 which dealt with Sarah’s death and burial.
Today’s passage shows us how Joseph’s release from prison comes about, but that won’t happen today. The events of the story though come together to ensure that it will happen in the future. God directly and actively works in this woeful place to ensure the outcome. And so we see that when it’s necessary to meet His desired end, He intervenes in the affairs of man.
He isn’t a distant God who is uncaring, nor is He a meddlesome God who actively fiddles with our lives in an unnecessary manner. He is infinitely wise, completely interested, and actively involved when it is needed to meet His plans. But, He allows us to make our own choices and He works with those choices for His good end.
Because He works this way, we have to do our part. When He calls, we need to respond. When He directs, we need to pay attention. And where He leads, it is up to us to follow.
Text Verse: Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:4, 5
Because of Adam’s sin, separation from the Lord came upon all people. Death was the result, and for each of us that death will last for a moment or for all eternity. The choice is ours. Will we rest in God’s favor through the gift of His Son, or will we be consumed in His anger because we have rejected Him?
The Bible gives us instruction in how to live rightly and it gives us pictures of what God has done to restore us to His favor. It is all to be found in His word and so… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. Despondency in the Pit
It came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt.
We start chapter 40 with the words, “It came to pass…” This shows that it follows after the previous chapter without interruption. One thing led to another. The false accusation of Potiphar’s wife led to Joseph’s imprisonment and that led to what happens now.
The divine hand of God is seen in the guidance and direction of each step. What Joseph sees as one event after another without knowing why they are happening, God sees as a whole which He has preplanned and set in motion to bring about His intended plans.
Into this unfolding tapestry arrive the butler and baker of the king. The butler is the king’s cupbearer; the baker is his personal chef. The occupants of both of these offices were people of very high rank and considered extremely important officials.
They would have had direct access to the royal presence and would have been selected from the most respected of all of the nobles of the land. The Chief of Staff in the White House would be a good example of such a person.
In the case of these two, they were placed in prison where Joseph was because, as it says, they “offended their lord, the King of Egypt.” There are several ancient scholars who make gusses as to what they did, but it’s not certain. What is possible is that the king got sick from what was brought in to be eaten.
If it was something like that, he would be offended by it and that could only lead to trouble for them.
2 And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker.
They offended the king and he, in turn, was angry with them. The office of the cupbearer is seen elsewhere in the Bible. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to Atarxerxes, the King of Persia, and in 2 Kings 18, there is a person known as the Rabshakeh which is an Aramaic term for the same position under the king of Babylon.
For the king to be angry with such high-ranking people meant that they had done something which was pretty grave. If he got sick from his meal, that would be enough. And in a few verses we’ll see that his anger will end in a bad way for one of them.
3 So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined.
Nothing being coincidental where God is concerned, these two high officials were put into the same place where Joseph is. The Captain of the Guard would have been Joseph’s master, Potiphar, who had him placed in prison. And so now they are there together.
Joseph was confined, but he can move about; he is not literally bound. There is an alliteration in the words in this verse. There is the prison which is ha’sohar and there is the confinement which is asur. It’s stressing that Joseph is bound in the round house.
4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.
They are in the Round House and Joseph is given charge of them. Their time in this prison isn’t specified, but the term yamim is used. This means “days” but sometimes it’s used to mean an unknown duration, maybe years. This could be the case here because we’re going to see that they are let out on Pharaoh’s birthday.
If they got him sick on or before the previous birthday, then bringing them out a year later would make sense. Whatever amount of time it is, Joseph is given their charge by the captain of the guard.
5 Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation.
Again we see God’s hand working in the story. These weren’t ordinary dreams that pass away when you wake up. They were dreams they both remembered and could sit up and compare with each other. They will be found to be prophetic. Each has his own individual dream which would each have an individual interpretation.
And however many people there were in the prison, only these two are given the memorable dreams. Even Joseph doesn’t have one. It all points to God’s superintendence over the situation which is intended for us to understand that what is happening was planned by Him to meet His purposes.
6 And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad.
Here we see that Joseph isn’t bound in the prison, but he was bound in prison. In other words, he did had freedom to move around. In the morning, he came to them and saw their faces. The Hebrew word here is zoaphim. It indicates being enraged.
They had these dreams and they were angry that they had no way of knowing what they meant. If they weren’t in prison, but rather still in Pharaoh’s court, they could have a magician interpret them.
7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”
Madua penkhem raim – Why are your faces evil? For Joseph –
Just one look; that’s all it took, yes, just one look
He could tell that things weren’t right
There was something bothering the cupbearer and the cook
Something had changed about them during the night
He knew something was wrong by the change in their faces.
8 And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.”
They tell him that together they had dreams. Their answer shows that they were angry because “there is no interpreter of it.” If only they weren’t in this prison, then they could get an answer. But if God is going to give them a dream which should be interpreted, He will give an interpreter for the dream he has given.
It would make no sense otherwise. A dream from God with no interpretation would be a contradictory concept and so Joseph responds accordingly…
8 (con’t) So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”
Why would God give a dream and not tell you what it meant
This doesn’t make sense, so please tell it to me
Maybe this is the reason why to prison I have been sent
Interpretations belong to God, surely you must agree
If the dream is from God, then it is given to be interpreted because “interpretations belong to God.” The Source of the dream will be the Source of the interpretation. If Joseph interprets the dream, it is because God has so used him. He’s not claiming to be God’s appointed interpreter, but he is saying the he could be God’s appointed interpreter.
Daniel explained this when he stood in the presence of King Nebuchadnezzar –
“Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.” Daniel 2:27-28
And so, like Daniel, Joseph says that God is the interpreter. He doesn’t say “the Lord” but simply God. A pagan would have no reference as to who Jehovah is, but everybody realizes who God is, whether they admit it or not. If someone has a dream from God, then there must be God who gave the dream.
II. The Resurrection of Life
9 Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me,
The chief cupbearer speaks first. It doesn’t say why, but when we get to the baker, it will say that he spoke when he saw that the first interpretation was good. I’d suggest that he was scared of speaking up first as his dream disturbed him. When you see what this is pointing to, you will understand why he was afraid.
We might ask, “What are we afraid of?” Are you afraid of a bump in the night? Maybe of financial ruin? Are you afraid of losing a loved one? What about death? Death is pretty permanent and it is 100% guaranteed. Are you ready for yours?
Lord, I don’t think about it often, but I know I will die
Everyone before me has, and in me it will happen too
Only Jesus came back from that place, and so I must ask, “Why?”
What can make me rise again? What is it that I must do?
There is a way to be freed from that fear. Stay tuned and I’ll explain it. In the dream, the cupbearer says that he saw a vine. This is an obvious connection to his office. He is the cupbearer and there is a vine. In Hebrew, the word is gephen and comes from an unused root which means to bend, just as a vine bends as it grows.
In Hosea 10:1, Israel is likened to a vine and in John 15:5, 6 Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
The symbolism is given for us to see Jesus if we can think the picture through clearly. There is an immediate fulfillment which we’ll see in this chapter, but there is an ultimate fulfillment in what will come about in Christ. Stay tuned for the exciting details…
10 and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes.
Right before the cupbearer’s eyes, the vine showed three branches which budded, made blossoms, and clusters of ripe grapes. It was as if he were looking at a time-lapse scene on a movie. From vine to grape before his eyes.
Something similar happens overnight after the exodus. When there was a challenge to the priesthood of Levi, the Lord told Moses to have each tribe bring a rod forward with its name inscribed on it. When they did, the following happens as is seen in Numbers 17 –
“And Moses placed the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. 8 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.” (7:8)
The almond has its significance (shaqed) and the vine has its own. God uses the natural, including agricultural themes, to show us how He works out his plan of redemption. There is never a detail which isn’t exciting in how it fits into the larger themes of the Bible. The more you read this book, the more the themes fit together and the more they reveal of the wisdom of God.
numbers, colors, dust, almonds, wheat, barley, etc. water, types of metal, directions, different animals, incense,
He uses created things to make spiritual applications. Because He created these things, the applications will always fit perfectly with the picture He wants to show us. This book has an unlimited supply of intelligence mixed with love, all put together so that we can understand Him better.
11 Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”
No sooner had the vine budded, blossomed, and put out grapes than the cupbearer was pressing them into Pharaoh’s cup and the cup was being handed to him.
You can learn something about commentators from reviewing their commentaries on this verse. You can see which scholars were teetotalers and which weren’t. Those who are opposed to any hint of drinking alcohol will invariably say that the ripe grapes being brought in and squeezed into the cup was grape juice, not wine.
And then there are those who look at these verses in the context of the whole dream. If the cupbearer saw the vine spread, blossom, bud, and put forth fruit in a single day, then the obvious connotation concerning the pressing of the grapes is that it was his job – whether fermented or not; he was in charge of the process.
This verse has nothing to do with whether the cup had alcohol or not, but rather it is speaking of the process of supplying the king with the fruit of the vine. Little distractions like these among scholars diminish the importance of the passage through petty peeves. And they cause me to grind my teeth…
12 And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days.
The dream is obvious and yet at the same time it requires a spark of divine interpretation to understand that the branches are three days. Seeing that, the rest falls into place. The term he uses is sheloshet yamim hem – “yet three days.” Before the third day is over, it will come to pass, not at all unlike the death of Christ who was resurrected on the third day.
In the Hebrew way of saying this, we get a sense of what other passages in the Bible mean as well. “The three branches are three days”, “this bread is my body”, “this cup is my blood.” In the Hebrew language a one to one comparison is often used to say something represents something else.
This is why when we take communion, we don’t believe that the bread is literally Jesus’ body, nor is the cup literally Jesus’ blood. That was never the intent of His words, though many attempt to justify this in their theology. DISCUSS trans/con/spiritual/symbolic
13 Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler.
The explanation is complete with this verse. Within three days the cupbearer will be brought back into favor with the Pharaoh. One commentator says that each year the Pharaoh would make a new list of his high officials. On or after the previous birthday they were removed from the list and now the list was being updated.
This would be similar then to the president appointing cabinet officers each term and it would make sense as to why this comes about on his birthday. All in all, it’s good news for the cupbearer.
14 But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.
When Joseph speaks, there is no hint that his interpretation could be incorrect. He is so confident in it that he says to the cupbearer that “when it is well with you….” This shows with certainty that he knew what would occur. Which brings us back to his own dreams.
He already knew that his brothers would bow down to him, but he didn’t know how. To ask the cupbearer to intercede for him would be a stretch on even a good day, but he may believe that this was his divinely appointed path to freedom.
15 For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.”
Joseph says gunab ganabthi – “Stolen! I was stolen.” I was taken away from the land of the Hebrews, and I’ve done nothing here to be thrown into this dungeon. The word for “dungeon” is bowr. The same word used to describe the pit his brothers threw him into.
We simply can’t miss the usage of the words which have been given in order to understand what is being pictured. The term ha’sohar or “round room” was used twice. The term bowr, or “pit” is used here. The symbolism is that of a round pit, like a tomb.
Jesus was in the tomb, having done nothing deserving of death. And He was “stolen away from the land of the Hebrews.” Instead, His message has gone to the gentiles… just like Joseph. Keep thinking as we go, it will all make sense.
III. The Resurrection of Condemnation
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head.
The cupbearer was the first to give his dream. And now that such a similar dream has been given an A+ rating by the Bureau of Better Dream Interpretations, the baker decides to tell his as well.
His words are translated many different ways. The term in Hebrew is sal’le khori – three white baskets, or three baskets of bread, or some other thing. Mostly likely, it was three baskets of bread. The baskets were wicker and so you would see the bread through them.
Etchings found in Egypt will show men carrying baskets or pots on their head, while women would carry things on their shoulders. If a basket, you would see through the wicker and the color of what was in them would show through.
17 In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”
The Jewish historian Josephus says that they were loaves in two of the baskets and in the third were other tasty baked goods. The birds swooped down and ate the bread. What should be the bread for Pharaoh is devoured by the birds.
18 So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days.
Once again there is a three-day fulfillment of the dream. As we’ve seen so many times in the Bible so far, and as we will see time and time again in the future, when two things are placed side by side, there is a contrast and yet a confirmation. This is no different. The confirmation is the three days. day/night; OT/NT; good/evil; Jesus – God/Man
19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
As obvious as this verse seems to read, its not really sure how the baker would die. Some translators say that his head would be lifted off by decapitation and then his body would be nailed to a tree. Some say it means that he would die either by hanging or crucifixion. Josephus says that he was crucified.
However he dies, he would hang on a tree and the birds would eat his flesh. The confirmation is that these events will come in three days. The contrast is that he will die. In the dreams there is life and there is death.
We are in Christ or we are in the devil. There is a curse upon man from sin; there is a blessing upon man in the cross. These dreams likewise contrast and yet they confirm.
20 Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.
Only two birthday parties are mentioned in the Bible, Pharaoh’s and Herod’s. Because both were rulers who supposedly didn’t worship Jehovah, the Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the conclusion that nobody should celebrate a birthday.
This is the crazy kind of thinking that should let you know you’re in a cult. But if you’re in a cult, you won’t think the thinking is crazy. Such is the nature of not paying attention in life. The fact that these rulers’ birthdays are noted has nothing to do with a general celebration of birthdays by the world’s people.
They are mentioned because they are rulers and the celebration affected the outcome of the decisions they made. In the case of Pharaoh, it was the time to reassert his rule and reaffirm his nobles. This is exactly what he will do. His rule and authority will be established through decisions concerning life and death.
Specifically, that of his butler and baker. And so he lifts up their heads. The meaning of this comes from the surrounding context. It means something like “to hold a trial.” Imagine a group of people entering into the presence of the king. They would have their heads down and their eyes averted from his as a sign of respect.
To lift up one’s head then would be to meet their gaze. For those who are in the king’s favor, they would be looked on with approval. For those who were out of his favor, their meeting his eyes would be with a note of disapproval. His gaze would then be their sentence – be it imprisonment or death.
Which is exactly what we see in the next verses…
21 Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.
Whatever made Pharaoh angry with the cupbearer, it was forgiven. He lifted up his head with a favorable gaze and his status was restored. In acknowledgement of that, it says he “placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” In Hebrew, it’s much more revealing. It says he “set the cup upon Pharaoh’s palm.”
The imagery would be the Pharaoh opening his hand palm up, and the cupbearer gently placing it into the palm.
22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Exactly as Joseph interpreted, so it came to pass. The chief baker went to his death, and the word used here for his hanging is talah. It can mean hanging in a variety of ways, including crucifixion.
However he was hanged, he would have been left in the air for the birds to eat. This would be especially troubling to an Egyptian who believed in embalming and then a trip into the afterlife. Such wouldn’t be the case with the chief baker.
23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
In a sad state of affairs, our last verse today closes with the fact that the cupbearer didn’t remember Joseph. If you think about it, who would want to bring up a matter like that to Pharaoh when you just got back into his good graces. You can’t blame the guy.
It’s the most obvious path to take in such a situation, but the fact that Joseph was forgotten stuck with the Jewish people hundreds of years later as the book of Amos records. Joseph’s suffering became an idiom for any time when someone forgot about the affliction of another. In Amos 6, it says this –
“Woe to you who put far off the day of doom,
Who cause the seat of violence to come near;
4 Who lie on beds of ivory,
Stretch out on your couches,
Eat lambs from the flock
And calves from the midst of the stall;
5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments,
And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;
6 Who drink wine from bowls,
And anoint yourselves with the best ointments,
But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” Amos 6
So, once again, we’re at the end of a story which tells us about things that really happened and what the events ultimately lead to. They are interesting and they give us hope that God is also watching out for us in our moments of affliction. But as always, there is more than just the surface story.
The minute detail is given not just as curious elements of a story that could have been told in far fewer words, but rather to get us to search out those details in order to see the work of Christ for us.
At the ending of the last chapter, we read this – “And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”
A few things we don’t want to lose sight of are that Joseph is picturing Christ, and that Joseph has been sold by his brothers who picture the Jewish people. So what is happening here is an interim story of some sort before he meets up with them again.
Joseph is in prison and all the prisoners have been committed into his care. Regardless of the length of time he is there, this account is picturing the effect of Jesus’ work as seen in His time in the tomb. What occurs here though of long duration for Joseph, is reflecting that short interval and how it bears on the souls of all men.
Joseph has been given charge over the prisoners. Jesus, likewise is in charge of all who are in the prison of death. In Revelation 1:18, it says this – “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
In order to have those keys, He first had to die and prevail over death. Now this power is in His hand, just as Joseph is in charge over those in prison. Paul tells us the reward which followed after the time of trial for Jesus –
Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
So what we have in this chapter is a story of that time in the “lower parts of the earth.” There in the tomb are the souls of men. Into that place two men come, nobles of Pharaoh’s court. There is the cupbearer and the baker. It is the captain of the guard, Potiphar, who entrusted them into Joseph’s care.
The two men picture the saved and the lost of humanity. Both are given a dream and each dream is explained. Both dreams will be fulfilled “on the third day.” Jesus’ time in the tomb was ended on the third day. But His time in the tomb also looks forward to another 3-day interval.
In this instance, the day represents a thousand years. Peter, quoting the 90th Psalm says, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8
The reason why it pictures a thousand years is that Christ came at the year 4000. The final judgment of all men will occur between the year 6000 and the year 7000 depending on if it is the first resurrection or the second resurrection, but all will be judged by the end of the third day – the year 7000.
This is why the Hebrew is specific – “yet three days.” In other words, from the time of Christ’s substitutional and sacrificial death, pictured by Joseph’s time in prison, until the end of the 7th millennium, it will be 3000 years; 3 prophetic days.
This is why it’s important to remember how Joseph was put into prison in the first place. He went, not for his own wrongdoing, but in place of someone else. The two nobles were placed in prison by Potiphar, the captain of the Guard. Potiphar’s name, as explained a few sermons ago, means “Priest of the Bull.”
All people have gone, or will go, into the place where Jesus went. And they are placed into His care by the Priest of the Bull, the sacrificial Mediator between God and man. Either their sins were dealt with before they died, or they weren’t. Only through the death of Christ can we hope for release from the prison of death followed by eternal life.
And then come the dreams. The first dream is that of the cupbearer. He sees a fruitful vine. It buds, blossoms, and bears fruit. The cupbearer then is the person who is found to be in Christ, the true vine, as He himself said –
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” John 15:1-3
On the other hand, there is the baker. He has bread to offer to the king, but instead it is eaten by the birds. This symbolism is seen elsewhere in the Bible. Abraham made an offering to God and the birds came down to it, but he was vigilant to drive them away.
In the gospels, Jesus speaks of the word of God being like the seed that is sown. The seed which fell by the wayside was eaten up by the birds. So it is with this man. His offering was eaten up and Pharaoh found no favor in Him. He pictures the person who is not vigilant, nor does he bear fruit. He is in Adam, not in Christ.
Each of them is told their fate in the interpretation of the dream. The cupbearer will live and be exalted, the baker will die and his flesh will be eaten away. This is by the judgment of Pharaoh, who in the next chapter will represent God, the supreme ruler.
The cupbearer, the wise soul who is fruitful in the true Vine, will be restored to the position he originally had – fellowship with God. Adam had that fellowship in Eden before being sent to the prison of death. This is represented by the cupbearer’s fellowship with Pharaoh before he lost favor and was sent to prison. What he lost, he will have restored.
The baker, on the other hand, had his offering stolen away. When he came before Pharaoh, he had nothing to offer but himself. He was taken from prison and executed. This is what will occur to all lost souls at the final judgment. They will be brought from the prison of death (bowr and ha’sohar), and with nothing acceptable to offer to God, they will receive their sentence – termination in the Lake of Fire.
This passage is a sobering reminder that we all will face God. And it will be on our own, insufficient merits, or on the merits of Christ. The symbolism of death as a prison is given in 1 Peter 3 –
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison…” (18, 19)
Jesus Himself tells us of this fact in John 6 – “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (63)
There are a million more details in this chapter which show the work of Christ, but I’ve tried to give you enough to show you the marvel of what He has done for us. He went to the grave, and carried away our sins so that we might be restored to our original favor with God.
If you have never received this gift of life and of righteousness, please give me just another minute to explain to you why it is so important and how you too can participate in the greatest gift of all, God’s precious Son, Jesus…
Closing Verse: Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14, 15
Next Week: Genesis 41:1-13 (Speaking Out When the Time is Right) (100th Genesis Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you and He has a good plan and purpose for you. Call on Him and let Him do marvelous things for you and through you.
Restored to the Favor of the King
It came to pass after these things
That the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt
“Pharaoh,” as his title rings
Offended their lord, and so he flipped
And Pharaoh was angry with his officers, these two
The chief butler and the chief baker
Their status he withdrew
So he put them in custody
In the house of the captain of the guard
In the prison which must have been dusty
The place where Joseph was confined, life was looking hard
And the captain of the guard
Charged Joseph with them, into his care
And he served in this regard
They were in custody for a while, staying there
Then the butler and the baker of Egypt’s king
Who were confined in the prison
Had a dream, both of them, a curious thing
Each man’s dream in one night
And each man’s dream with its own interpretation
It made them both rather uptight
And Joseph came in to them in the morning
And looked at them, and saw that they were sad
And as if in a forewarning
He wondered what trouble these two had
So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him
In the custody of the house of his lord
Saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”
How can your happiness be restored?
And they said to him, almost in a fit
“You see, we each have had a dream
And there is no interpreter of it
It’s like having a bowl and no ice cream
So Joseph said to them in an attempt to appease
“Do not interpretations belong to God?
So then, tell them to me, please
To give a dream and not reveal it would be kind of odd
Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph
And said to him, “Behold, you see
In my dream a vine was before my eyes
And in the vine were branches, three
It was as though it budded
Its blossoms shot forth as well
And its clusters with ripe grapes were studded
And there is still more to tell
Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand
And I took the grapes and them I pressed
Into Pharaoh’s cup so grand
And placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, thus the dream progressed
And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it:
The three branches are three days, this I do submit
Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head
And restore you to your place, get ready, it’s just ahead
And you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand
According to the former way
When you were his butler and life was grand
Get ready, it’s three days from today
But remember me when it is well with you
And please show kindness to me
Make mention of me to Pharaoh, this please do
And get me out of this house quickly
For indeed I was stolen away
From the land of the Hebrews, I submit
And also I have done nothing here, even till this day
That they should put me into this pit
When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good
He said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream
And there were three white baskets on my head
And there’s more, so let me continue with the theme
In the uppermost basket (I can’t wait for the explanation ahead)
Were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh,
And the birds ate them out of the basket on my head
So Joseph answered and said
“This is the interpretation of it:
The three baskets are three days, just three days ahead
Like previously, this detail I do submit
Within three days, Pharaoh as you will see
Will lift off your head from you
And hang you openly on a tree
And the birds will eat your flesh, this they will do
Now it came to pass on the third day
Which was the day of remembering Pharaoh’s birth
That he made a feast for all his servants
A feast of happiness and mirth
And he lifted up the head of the chief butler
And of the chief baker among his servants in the land
Then he restored the chief butler to his place again
And he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand
But he hanged the chief baker
As Joseph had interpreted to them
Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph
Instead, he carelessly forgot about him
There is a prison where men’s souls are bound
And the only release from it is in the work of Jesus
Only through His shed blood can renewed life be found
God has done all of this, all of it, for us
Each story tells us of His glory
Each word shows us of our Lord
It is an amazing and beautiful story
And we find it revealed in His Superior Word
So let our lives be filled with pursuing what He has given
In this glorious book is the recipe for eternal livin’
Hallelujah and Amen…