Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
19 March 2023
“We are like tools in the Lord’s hands for doing His work. Let’s draw near to God and He will make known His will to us.”
The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.Gen. 40:23
When I first read the story of Joseph, it was at this point when he correctly interpreted the dream of the chief cupbearer and made this request of him:
… when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.Gen. 40:14-15:
… that I thought, this will be Joseph’s way out of prison, then his dreams will be fulfilled. However, the chief cupbearer completely forgot about him, but that’s human nature for you – and he didn’t even return to thank Joseph!
This is one of the agonising parts of the will of God – the waiting time! There is a time in “prison”, be it a literal prison like Joseph had to suffer, or a prison of the ‘not-yet’, of frustration, of closed doors, or of the ‘in just a little while’ – that never seems to come.
However, throughout it all God is preparing His vessel for the task that only He knows lies ahead. If a ‘Master Potter’ here on earth needs great skill and goes into so much care, detail and attention to make that special item, how much more the Lord – ‘The Master Craftsman’!
Joseph was not yet ready; Although his “apprenticeship” had lasted 28 years, he still needed another two years preparation (Gen. 41:1,46) of which 13 years (Gen. 37:2) of it had been in very difficult circumstances; betrayed and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers; falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned by Potiphar. What a life! What about those dreams he’d had – they were supposed to be from God! So much for ‘Joseph the Dreamer.’
But the Lord has to bring us to the end of ourselves! John the Baptist said,
“He must increase, I must decrease!”John 3:30
The important point to note is that the Lord was always with Joseph through all the difficult times whether he realised it or not, e.g.
The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household, and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.Gen 39:2-6
But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.Gen. 39:20-21
Once Joseph’s training was complete nothing could stop the fulfilment of the Lord’s promises to him,
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”Gen. 41:41-43
Even his jealous brothers had to acknowledge the Lord’s will in his life,
His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”Gen. 50:18-21
Quote of the week
“Sometimes, when we face difficulty and trouble, it may look like it will never end. It will carry on forever. Yet, God is faithful. And when we are anchored in Him, He will bring us through.”
Verse of the week
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28
Heavenly Father, may Your will be done here on earth, here in the UK, as it is in heaven. May it be all for Your glory, through Your church, in and through Jesus Christ, Amen!