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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“It came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord . . . So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined.”—Genesis 40:1-3 (NKJV)
By God’s grand design, Joseph’s path now crosses with two men in prison. Both held high positions in the Pharaoh’s household. One served as his butler while the other served as his baker. But despite their favored status, both did something to upset the Pharaoh, who decided to throw them in prison.
It’s here they encounter Joseph, who’d been unjustly imprisoned. And it’s here we continue to see Joseph’s character shine amidst the darkest circumstances imaginable. God pours out His favor on Joseph, and he’s entrusted with the responsibility of tending to the needs of the butler and baker: “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while” (Genesis 40:4 NKJV).
Don’t miss the fact that Joseph served these men “for a while.” It’s easy to gloss over this detail in a few words, but in reality, there was a lot of hard work involved. Joseph was faithful to tend to the needs of these men over a long haul. And this faithfulness led to something more significant: “Then the butler and the baker . . . had a dream . . . And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked . . . ‘Why do you look so sad today?’ And they said to him, ‘We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.’ So Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please’ (Genesis 40:5-8 NKJV).
If you know how this story unfolds, you know that these dreams become a turning point in Joseph’s journey. We will get to that in the days ahead, but in the meantime, take note of how willing Joseph was to listen to and interpret the dreams these men had.
Why was Joseph willing to do this? Because it was a continuation of who he truly was—a servant who was always faithful in the moment and in the now. Whether it was the unrecorded acts of service “for a while” or the pivotal interpretation of these dreams, Joseph was going to be faithful with whatever the Lord had placed in front of him.
What a lesson for us! God wants us to have the same heart when it comes to faithfully serving Him in the opportunities that He ordains. They may or may not always appear sensational, but they are always significant because they’re ordered by God. Joseph understood this, and it’s how we need to see our service, as well. May we always be “faithful in the now!”
DIG: What aspect of Joseph’s character do we see on display here?
DISCOVER: What are we to learn and emulate from Joseph’s example?
DO: Determine what it means to be “faithful in the now.” Then consider if this applies to you.