Summary: Let’s drive into our text for today and glean the lessons that are revealed in these verses. I want to preach on the subject: Forgotten, but Not Forsaken.
Forgotten, But Not Forsaken
Our text finds Joseph in the midst of a great trial of faith. He has been mistreated, misrepresented, falsely accused and imprisoned. In the midst of it all Joseph remained patient and kept his testimony intact. He did not see himself as a victim, but as a victor waiting for his liberty!
A brief glimpse at Joseph’s life reveals the trials he was called upon to endure.
• He was treated unfairly by his own brothers and sold into slavery.
• He became a slave in a foreign land.
• He was falsely accused of attempted rape and imprisoned.
Through it all, he refused to be a victim. Joseph knew that the Lord was with him. That truth alone made the prison bearable for Joseph.
I want us to take a look at Joseph in his prison time. His experiences there have some much needed lessons for the people of the Lord. This passage finds Joseph shut up, shut down and shut off, but still serving the Lord. In that prison he was forgotten by many, but Joseph was not forsaken by the Lord.
You know the path of life leads us into prison situations from time to time. We all face hardships and trials. That is the way of life. Sometime we feel like we are shut up, shut down and shut off too. And, we feel that we are forgotten in that prison. Many times we are forgotten by those around us. Even though man may forget us in the prisons of life, the Lord never forgets and He refuses to forsake us while we are there.
Let’s drive into our text for today and glean the lessons that are revealed in these verses. I want to preach on the subject: Forgotten, but Not Forsaken.
I. PRISON DUTIES (vv. 1-4)
A. While Joseph waits in the prison, he receives some company.
• Two men, former highly placed servants of Pharaoh, are thrown into the prison with Joseph.
o These two men are Pharaoh’s butler and his baker.
• The butler was Pharaoh’s “cupbearer”.
o When anything was to eat or drink was brought before Pharaoh, the cupbearer would taste it first to make sure it was safe for Pharaoh.
o In other words, if anybody died from bad food or from poisoning, it would be the cupbearer and Pharaoh would be saved.
o These cupbearers, by the very nature of their jobs, were close to the rulers they served.
o They were so close that they had conversations, and sometimes, cupbearers were privy to royal secrets.
o They were highly trusted servants.
o In some way they were the most trusted servants in the court.
o The cupbearer literally held Pharaoh’s life in his hands.
• The baker would have been over Pharaoh’s kitchens.
o He was responsible for cooking the food that Pharaoh ate.
o He too would have been a trusted servant in Pharaoh’s household.
• Apparently, there had been a problem with Pharaoh’s food and these men are in trouble.
o They have been cast out of their positions and find themselves locked up in prison.
B. When these men get to prison, they receive preferential treatment.
• They were treated like the celebrities of our day.
• They even have a servant assigned to minister to their needs.
• Joseph is handpicked to be their servant while they are there.
• On the surface, this seemed to be just another assignment given to a slave in the prison.
• In reality, this was the providence of God at work in Joseph’s life.
• God had just brought Joseph face to face with the man God would later use to secure Joseph’s release from prison.
C. We should never discount the seemingly small twists and turns of this life.
• Some people would have said, “Oh well, just another job for poor old Joseph to take care of.”
• What no one could see was how God would use this small matter in a great way down the road.
• The same is true in your life and mine.
• Never discount the small moves of life.
• What we see as a “chance” encounter may just be the meeting of lifetime.
• What we see as an “accident” or as “coincidence” is really God at work in your life in a great way.
• God orders the minute details of our lives!
• There are no accidents with Him!
II. PRISON DREAMS (vv. 5-19)
A. One morning Joseph checks on his charges and they are both sad.
• They tell him they have dreamed dreams and can’t figure out what they mean.
• When Joseph hears about them dreaming, it must have made his mind go back to his own dreams.