The story of Joseph is used as an object lesson for a lot of things. Today, I just want to enjoy it as a story. Or maybe not enjoy it. We like to filter all of this garbage that happens to him through the knowledge of how the story ends, but I want to wait here for a second.
“Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” (40:23)
A peek into the beginning of 41 tells us that it was TWO FULL YEARS before anything changed for Jospeh.
Think back to where you were two years ago. That’s a LONG TIME! For me, at this time in 2016, I had just arrived in Greece, and was starting to meet the refugees in a camp in Thessaloniki. Most of them had left home two years prior and were living in a very prison-like camp. Nothing was certain. No promise was worth anything and hopelessness was everywhere. Now, in 2018, some of them are finally getting on with their lives as they struggle to learn the language of their asylum country, but others are still feeling very hopeless.
Just as Jospeh makes his plea to be remembered and says, “I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.” (40:15) these friends haven’t done anything to merit their captivity.
This also makes me think of the massive amounts of incarcerated people in the US. A lot of those people don’t deserve to live there either. It’s not always for us to judge.
The LORD saw Jospeh there, and He took care of him. Jesus exhorts us to do the same, as His people, His hands and feet.
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me…Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-36; 40)
If I could travel back in time, I would have wanted to visit Jospeh in prison and tell him to not lose hope. To be a friend, to listen. And maybe try to get in to tell Pharaoh about him!
We may not know who is a Joseph or a Jesus, but we can do something to show care and compassion to someone.
Spend some time praying with the LORD to brainstorm an idea today.