Summary: Waiting is difficult but it teaches us lessons that we cannot learn any other way. After he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh's officials, Joseph thought that his time in prison would soon end. But God had more to teach him as he waits another two years
Three weeks ago I suffered a ruptured biceps tendon. It did not hurt much at the time, but it required surgery and now a six week recovery. I have learned much during this time.
I learned the importance of receiving. I am usually the one to take care of others in my family and even in the church. But for the first time I am the one needing help tying my shoes, getting dressed and driving the car. Being on the receiving end of things makes me appreciate the love shown by those who give generously. It also makes me realize how difficult it is to be the recipient and not the giver.
I’ve learned to have more sympathy for those whose limitations are more severe than mine, especially those with permanent disabilities. I am more sympathetic toward those who have the knowledge and desire to perform difficult tasks, but whose bodies will not allow them to do those things. Our older members go through this difficult transition and I have learned to a small degree how difficult this must be.
I have learned that growing old is not to be feared. One day I will be caring for my wife, or she will be caring for me. I learned during the past few weeks that this can be a beautiful thing! Kim and I have enjoyed each other’s company, and we laughed that this was a foretaste of what lie ahead for us in our future, at a time of God’s choosing. We don’t fear this. It is a part of God’s plan for our lives and it can be a great demonstration of the love between a husband and wife.
I’ve learned that encouragement means a lot! I’m not a “Hallmark” guy. I don’t like paying for greeting cards and I lament the so-called “Hallmark” holidays. But I’ve have been greatly encouraged by the dozens of cards and hundreds of Facebook posts, text messages and phone calls from so many friends and loved ones. It brought great encouragement and I realize how important that encouragement is for someone recovering from an illness or injury.
So, I am thankful for all that the Lord has brought me through. I can say with the Psalmist,"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees." Psalm 119:71
Today we continue our Study in the life of JOSEPH
There are some familiar themes in his story. Today we read about:
Another cloak (Potiphar’s sife uses Joseph’s cloak to falsely accuse him)
Another Imprisonment (thrown into Pharoah’s Prison)
Baker and Cup Bearer
Betrayed by his brothers
Falsely accused by Potiphars wife
Forgotten by the cup bearer
This time, Joseph is in Pharoah’s prison. His punishment there is unjust, and the Lord uses him to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker.
Genesis 40:12–15 "“This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. " "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. " "But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. " "For 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.”"
Can you see Joseph waiting?
When he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s officials, he thought that this would be his deliverance. Imagine Joseph thinking that he would finally be delivered! I imagine that he was planning all of the things that he would do once he was freed from his injustice. But God had other plans. Although the injustice against him was real, God allowed Joseph to remain in prison another two years!
Genesis 41:1 "When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile,"
We are accustomed to believe that “Blessing follows Obedience.” As a general rule, this is normally how things work. God promises to bless us if we obey Him.
Proverbs 2:21–22 "For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; " "but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it."
Psalm 128:1–2 "Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. " "You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours."
But there are times when it seems that God has forgotten about us, and that our obedience is followed by silence from heaven.
What do we do when God says WAIT?
It is hard to wait