some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of egypt. and pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where joseph was confined. the captain of the guard appointed joseph to be with them, and he attended them. they continued for some time in custody.
and one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. when joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. so he asked pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “why are your faces downcast today?” they said to him, “we have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” and joseph said to them, “do not interpretations belong to God? please tell them to me. [genesis 40:1-8]
the irony of God’s plan.
we’ve all been in situations in which we find ourselves asking God, “why?” maybe it was a strange and confusing encounter. maybe it was a tragic loss. maybe it was undeserved and unexpected gladness. or maybe you’re in it right now. spinning your wheels day in and day out, seeming to have no purpose and with no end in sight. and maybe that is the same boat joseph was experiencing, sitting in prison, no end in sight, caring for prisoners with no promise of release, only the promise of a faithful God to remain with him.
but God was unfolding a plan.
it was something he had worked out from before the beginning of time, a plan full of joy and sorrow, success and tragedy, obedience and sin. but all would be for his own glory and for the good of his people. just like he is doing with us in each unexplained situation. the same faithful God, with his same steadfast love, with the same promise of his presence, is working all things together for the good of his children, including us, for the purpose of that same glory. do you trust him?
had joseph not been brutally treated by his brothers, falsely accused by potiphar’s wife, wrongfully imprisoned, given responsibilities because of his good conduct, received the assignment of these two servants of the king, and offered his gift of interpretation, then the entire nation of israel, the people of egypt, and so many surrounding countries may have been wiped out completely! (i won’t give too many spoilers.)
but God was unfolding a plan.
joseph clung to the truth he knew about the God who had made a covenant with him and his fathers before him. he clung to the character of God that had been tried and proven over and over again. he clung to the sovereignty of the God who holds all things in the palm of his hand. and so can we. when uncertainty looms large over our lives, we cling to the unchangeable certainty of an absolutely good and sovereign God.
God is unfolding your plan. trust him! we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. [rom 8:28] for the sake of his name he does it, [ez 20:44] to the praise of his glorious grace. [eph 1:6]
~ arwen eastman