A Word for Today
“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” Genesis 39: 21-23, NLT
After these verses, the story of Joseph continues in Genesis 40. Let’s review the chapter:
· While Joseph is in prison, Pharaoh gets upset with his butler and baker and has them thrown in
· The butler and baker have disturbing dreams and share them with Joseph
· With divine help, Joseph interprets the dreams. When the baker hears the favorable interpretation of the butler’s dream he comes forward with his. Joseph asks the butler to put in a good word for him when he is restored.
· While the butler gets his position back, the baker does not. Rather he suffers a brutal death
· For two years, the butler forgets about Joseph.
Three things we can take away from this part of Joseph’s life:
1. When necessary, make use of the opportunity to make things right with God and others
In Genesis 40, we are not told specifically what got the Pharaoh upset. It’s highly possible that there was a plot to poison and kill him. We don’t know for sure; however, it appears that the baker knew something. See Genesis 40:16. When the chief baker saw that the butler got a positive interpretation he then came forward with his dream. Was he hoping to get away? A lack of confession on his part implicated the butler. With the interpretation of the baker’s dream came confirmation of his guiltiness. Nevertheless, in God’s mercy, the baker is told that he has three days to live. We don’t know what happened in those three days, but hopefully the time was not wasted, rather, used for introspection. The baker had ample time to confess, and to make things right.
If we are willing to humble ourselves and be sincere, God is willing to forgive. When we are at fault, let us not delay or miss the opportunity to make things right.
2. Remember not to forget
Now the butler was restored and got back his job. But then he forgot about Joseph’s request to have his name cleared. It took a troubling dream of the Pharaoh to trigger the butler’s memory of Joseph. This was two years after he had been released from prison! In all fairness, the experience of the butler might have been a very traumatizing one. Something that he wanted to forget. He could have considered it scary to think that someone was able to foretell his release and also the death of the baker. After the butler’s acquittal, he may have been so overjoyed and consumed that he thought, this was a good time to live and enjoy his newfound freedom. Unfortunate for Joseph.
How can we be more mindful of those less fortunate than us? At times we need to make a concerted effort not to forget those who may have helped us along the way. We cannot afford to forget those who need our help. As we progress through life, let us remember our roots, where we came from and those whom we may have left behind.
The impact of the corona virus has had far reaching effects. One of the challenges of many is the ability to remit contributions to loved ones and friends abroad. We are certainly living in a crisis that has not only affected us socially and health wise but also financially. On a practical level, we can be grateful for courier and mail services that facilitate transportation and delivery even while national borders are closed. At the end of the day, if there is an opportunity to alleviate a burden or be of assistance why not grasp it?
3. Aspire to rise above a negative situation
Although Joseph was thrown in prison, he didn’t resign himself to staying there. He had a desire to be free. Sometimes we get comfortable in our situation and fail to attempt to rise above our circumstance. God’s timing may not be our timing. We might just be in training for greater responsibilities. However, there’s no need for complacency. We can use our voice to advocate for change, to be proactive and communicate with others who can help us. It is important to build a reputation worthy of reference. When the opportunity comes for advancement, we must be ready to go to the next level.
Jesus told the parable of ten servants in Luke 19. A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Occupy till I come….’ Luke 19:12-13, KJV.
In this life, our ultimate goal must be to make it to the kingdom–that place the nobleman has gone to prepare. This earth as we know it can’t be our eternal home! We are only here for a time. Therefore, as we occupy, our actions must reflect our desire and commitment to God who has made a way to secure our future.
A Prayer for Today
Lord we need your grace and mercy. Help us to realize our need of you and our need to confess our faults. Thank you for the opportunity to make things right. Help us to do what is pleasing to you!
Give us retentive minds and help us to help others who may be in need and less fortunate than we are.
Give us the strength to do our best in all circumstances. And we would be mindful to give you all the praise, the glory and honor. Thank you for restoring us through your Son’s sacrifice. We look forward to spending eternity with you. We accept your gift of grace and mercy. Save us we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Sharing a special poem written by my mother with the same title, ‘Bloom Where you are Planted.’ Dedicated to Judy Haynes, Lana Small and all the women who attended a Women’s Ministries Workshop, at Balandra, Trinidad, January 9-11, 2009.
“Bloom Where You are Planted”
by Phyllis L. Andrews
Go ‘Noble Woman,’ take the message clear. Bloom where you are planted and never fear. You’ll see beauty rising where ashes now lie cold, and flower strewn pathways in colors vibrant and bold. You’ll hear the gentle music of the Gardner’s voice as in the dawn He whispers, ‘Make God your daily choice.’
Then bloom like the lovely lily, though rising from the mire. Bless the world with beauty, it is what most desire. Like the resilient dandelion, bloom no matter where; in the cracks or near the shacks of those in despair. Like the lowly cattail, serve, yes, build relationships, though some folks will only give service with the lips.
Be like the stately palm tree, undaunted by the storm; reaching tall and graceful way above the norm. Send your roots like tentacles far beneath the ground, anchor them upon the Rock though substitutes abound. And as your leafy fronds fly high for all around to see, yours will be a witness filled with grace and dignity.
Long may you live, oh ‘Noble Woman,’ as each day you grow gracefully. And like the water pot, though you carry flaws, God will use you to bless bountifully. Go forth in ministry, do your very best; the Master has indeed promised, He will do the rest.
Go ‘Noble Woman,’ with purpose brave and true; enthusiastically, passionately do all you need to do. Be generous in your praise and prayer; let those around you know the Bridegroom will not tarry long, wait patiently the ‘Season of Love’s Song.’
Go ‘Noble Woman,’ tend your garden well. Bloom where you are planted then in heaven you’ll dwell.