“Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot about him. After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed he was standing by the Nile…” Genesis 40:23-41:1
Another broken promise…his hopes once again dashed. Hadn’t Joseph had enough? After being left for dead by his family, sold into slavery and brought to Egypt, and falsely imprisoned, Joseph was due for a break. Sure, God was with him. Yes, God caused all that Joseph did to succeed. But why all the trials, betrayals, and disappointments?
Genesis chapter 41 begins with four short words, but these words speak volumes. Joseph had been interpreting dreams while in prison. God had granted him favor with the prison officials, and things finally seemed to be going his way. He interpreted a dream for Pharaoh’s cupbearer, who in turn promised to remember him when he was released from prison and appealed to Pharaoh on Joseph’s behalf. Genesis 40:23 shows that once again, Joseph was forgotten by those closest to him. The next four words detailing Joseph’s saga are downright horrifying…”After two whole years…”
Two years! Do you mean to tell me that Joseph sat in prison for a crime he didn’t commit for two more years? It seems that not only had the cupbearer forgotten about him, but maybe God had, too. Of course, we know this isn’t true. God had not forgotten or forsaken Joseph. He was in complete control, as always. I’m sure that was hard for Joseph to remember as he sat in prison for 730 more days, though.
It is hard for us to remember, too, when God doesn’t work according to our timetable, isn’t it? We live in a culture of instant gratification. Everything is quicker and easier than ever before. We want what we want when we want it; and most of the time, we can get it. But God is not a drive-through window. We cannot pull up, place an order, and see immediate results.
God’s timing is perfect. It was perfect for Joseph during those two long years, and it is perfect in every situation we face. When man forgets, God never will. When days turn into months and even years, He is faithful. Every day His mercies are new. And no matter how hopeless a circumstance may seem, God is never early, and He is never late.
Father, please help me to trust Your timing. When I face trials, help me to wait on You in faith. In Jesus’ mame, amen.