Friday 1 January, 2016

Genesis 40:1-15

40 Some time later, the Egyptian king’s baker and wine taster did something their master didn’t like. 2 So Pharaoh became angry with his two officials, the chief wine taster and the chief baker. 3 He put them in prison in the house of the captain of the palace guard. It was the same prison where Joseph was kept. 4 The captain put Joseph in charge of those men. So Joseph took care of them. Some time passed while they were in prison. 5 Then each of the two men had a dream. The men were the Egyptian king’s baker and wine taster. They were being held in prison. Both of them had dreams the same night. Each of their dreams had its own meaning. 6 Joseph came to them the next morning. He saw that they were sad. 7 They were Pharaoh’s officials, and they were in prison with Joseph in his master’s house. So he asked them, “Why do you look so sad today?” 8 “We both had dreams,” they answered. “But no one can tell us what they mean.” Then Joseph said to them, “Only God knows what dreams mean. Tell me your dreams.” 9 So the chief wine taster told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me. 10 There were three branches on the vine. As soon as it budded, it flowered. And bunches of ripe grapes grew on it. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand. I took the grapes. I squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup. Then I put the cup in his hand.” 12 “Here’s what your dream means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will let you out of prison. He’ll give your job back to you. And you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand. That’s what you used to do when you were his wine taster. 14 But when everything is going well with you, remember me. Do me a favor. Speak to Pharaoh about me. Get me out of this prison. 15 I was taken away from the land of the Hebrews by force. Even here I haven’t done anything to be put in prison for.”

I love verse 6-7 of this passage. I imagine a diligent Joseph doing his rounds to all the prisoners, checking in on how they were going. And I see a compassionate Joseph engaging in a simple act of human concern – asking how these two men were travelling. And I see him drawing upon his gifts and his faith heritage to aid these two prisoners.

I think it would be fair to assume he was not required to do all this. This was Joseph acting to give dignity and care to other human beings.

Isn’t it wonderful that as he does so, God opens a door for him to become free of the injustices that he personally had experienced over many years, leading to him being in this predicament right now.

Its not all in the big moments that God opens the doors of possibility in my life. It is through the everyday acts of compassion, care, and practical help that God can and often will open up my future. I am reminded by Joseph that God is interested in a lifestyle of care, compassion and giving dignity to others, irrespective of where one finds onself. Even in prison, even when one is unjustly found there.

Lord, help me live a lifestyle of of compassion, care and practical help that honours you and gives dignity to people no matter where I find myself or who I find myself with. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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