Yesterday we talked about suffering.
Today I’m in Genesis 40. Today we’re STILL talking about suffering. Imagine that. I’d like to tell you that after all of Joseph’s suffering we discussed yesterday that life got easier for him. It did not. This chapter records yet another challenge for Joseph. He’s still in prison. Two of the king of Egypt’s servants commit offenses against the king and they are brought to the same prison as Joseph. While in prison, the servants have dreams that Joseph then interprets. When the interpretations prove true, Joseph asks one of the servants to remember him to Pharaoh. He pleads his case: “Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.” (vs. 14-15) It’s a plea for help, right? A cry for release from the pit.
This is Joseph’s first glimmer of hope. A whole ray even.
Maybe, just maybe, the servant will remember Joseph and he will be shown favor by Pharaoh and get out of prison! ”Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” (vs. 23) Sweet. Even sweeter? Chapter 41 starts like this: “After two whole years…” And that’s when the cupbearer finally remembers Joseph and when Joseph finally gets out of the pit.
Let’s review. Sold into slavery by brothers. Tempted to sleep with his master’s wife. Accused of raping his master’s wife. Falsely imprisoned for raping his master’s wife. Forgotten for another two whole years. Here’s the thing. The cupbearer FORGOT Joseph. It’s obvious. For not one year, but two!
But God never forgot Joseph. God never left Joseph. God never gave Joseph an ounce more than he could handle.
We continue to read of God being with Joseph, even in prison. He granted him favor and success, even enabling him to successful interpret the servant’s dreams. And, two years later, when Pharaoh has his own dream, God reminds the cupbearer of Joseph and BAM!, he’s out of jail. “Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit.” (41:14) Just took a little longer than Joseph had hoped. So here are some journal questions to develop a deeper theology from the pit.
Let’s Get Journaling:
What do you do while you’re in the pit?
What is your pit?
How long have you been there?
What happens when your stay is longer than anticipated?
Are you tempted to believe that God has forgotten you?
What’s different about praising God from the mountaintop and praising God from the pit?
Do you see the pit as a gift or a curse?
What pits has God already delivered you from that it would do you a world of good to remember today?
How do you want to respond to God from the pit?
And here’s a great post by my friend Sabrina on suffering and rejoicing!