September 13, 2014

The Third Test: Darkness

Genesis 40:1-23

The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
—Genesis 40:23


Look at Joseph’s life now. The once-favorite son became a slave and was honored for a while, but is now in prison. Even though the warden has put him in charge of other prisoners, it’s still prison. We get a sense of the despair Joseph is fighting when we hear what he calls his home: a dungeon. Dungeons are murky and miserable, with little light and even less hope. But Joseph knows that God is with him even in prison.

One day two of the king’s officials become prisoners, and they later tell Joseph they have had dreams they do not understand. Joseph explains that God can interpret any dream, so he urges them to tell about their dreams. With God’s help he explains the dreams, giving the cupbearer an interpretation full of hope. With that, Joseph asks the man to plead his case to Pharaoh. This gives Joseph a ray of hope too!

Though the interpretations are fulfilled precisely, the cupbearer forgets all about Joseph. So Joseph remains in prison, waiting in darkness.

Joseph continues waiting for a long time. But although the cupbearer has forgotten him, the Lord has not. In the next few chapters of this story we will see that God has an important role in store for Joseph.

Have you learned about the plans God has in mind for you?

Lord Jesus, as Joseph’s wait in darkness points us to your suffering on the cross, help us to endure dark times of struggle, knowing you bring the light of life. Amen.

About the author — Kenneth D. Koeman

Rev. Ken Koeman is a pastor at Bellevue, Washington, Christian Reformed Church. He has written Today devotions in past years and has also authored numerous articles for The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. Ken and his wife, Kay, live in Bellevue and have two children and five grandchildren.

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