Life of Joseph – Part 16 – Bad Dreams

Last week Joseph shared the interpretation of the cupbearer’s dream. And it was good!

So that gave the baker the motivation to tell Joseph what he dreamed. However, the outcome wasn’t the same. In fact, it was pretty bad!

Here’s what happened:


Genesis 40:16-19 / Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, I also dreamed, and behold, I had three cake baskets on my head.

17 And in the uppermost basket were some of all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds [of prey] were eating out of the basket on my head.

18 And Joseph answered, This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days.

19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head but will have you beheaded and hung on a tree, and [you will not so much as be given burial, but] the birds will eat your flesh.


Yuck! That doesn’t sound too appetizing. Except for the birds.

It makes me wonder why the cupbearer’s life was spared but the baker’s wasn’t. Maybe it had to do with what they each did to make Pharoah angry. But then the decisions about each of them could have just been a whim of Pharoah’s. We don’t know. And that brings us to our first truth.

– We don’t all get a happy ending . . . at least not here on planet Earth. (We’re not guaranteed a pain-free life. But we are guaranteed that whatever we have to go through, God is right there with us and will redeem it for good if we will cooperate with HIm.)

– Sometimes we have to tell someone things that aren’t fun or pleasant. (Joseph was definitely the bearer of some bad news in this situation.)

– Our life is not going to look like our friend’s life. (We shouldn’t expect that just because some particular situation turned out well for someone else, that if we follow in their steps it will turn out well for us, too.)

– Nothing about us is cookie cutter, which means each one of our lives is going to be unique. (So although there are some basic do’s and don’ts in life, we each need to seek God’s will and pray and discover His solutions for the unique life He’s given us.)

Application Questions:

When have I had a happy ending that a friend didn’t have, and vice versa?

When have I followed a friend’s steps and gotten a different result?

When have I had to share something unpleasant with someone, and vice versa?

In what areas of my life would having a cookie cutter life be easier to navigate?

What am I facing now that needs a unique solution?

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