Week Six: Day 3

    February 14, 2024 | Be God's Light

    The Dreams of the Cupbearer and Baker

    Scripture: Genesis 40(NIV)

    1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.

    After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

    6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

    8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”

    Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

    9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

    12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

    16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

    18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

    20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

    23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.


    Joseph ended up in Egypt because his dreams angered his brothers, who sold him into slavery. After a run-in with his master’s wife, he was thrown into prison and there met Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and baker, also doing time. Tormented by vivid dreams, the two officials came to Joseph who was running the prison on behalf of the warden.

    I’ve always felt sorry for the chief baker. He must have been excited when Joseph gave such a favorable interpretation of his buddy’s dream. But alas, nothing but the cruelest execution awaited the chef. Even in death, his memory would be humiliated as his impaled body would be left on a pole until ravenous birds devoured his flesh.

    Still, there was hope for Joseph. When he gave the chief cupbearer the good news that Pharaoh would restore him to his position, he said “remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” But he didn’t. He forgot that Joseph ever existed.

    Sometimes people remember and reward you for kind deeds you have done. Sometimes they forget, ignore, or even discredit you, taking credit for their own good fortune. Proverbs 3:27 states, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” We are called to do right, simply because it is right.

    Jesus put it like this: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:32-36).

    Admittedly, this is hard to do in a you-get-what-you-deserve world. Actually, sometimes you don’t. Love anyway. Do good anyway. Give anyway. That’s the way of God.


    Interpretation, please...

    Amid the black and stench of prison
    Three cell mates whispered
    Of life

    Each had been surprised to find
    Himself with the other

    I shouldn't be here, I've done no wrong
    I'm having nightmares

    Please, interpret my present lot for me
    Put the pieces together for my

    Only God knows and holds the Future
    Present and past, keeping it

    Until God chooses to reveal the purpose
    Through a vessel of the Spirit's

    Whether life or death, fame or disaster
    Who will remember the source of the

    And who will remember, in Fortune's seat,
    The name and care of the

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