Life of Joseph – Part 15 – Good Dreams

Don’t you love waking up from a good dream. For me, it just sets the stage for a great day.

But how about those mornings you wake up from a confusing dream? Sometimes I lie in bed for a few minutes after I wake up wondering what in the world my dream meant and how it relates to what’s going on in my life.

That’s what’s happening with the chief butler and baker — they’re confused by their dreams. And today we’re going to hear the chief butler’s dream and Joseph is going to interpret it.

Then the butler gets a little extra from Joseph.


Here’s the story . . .

Genesis 40:9-15 / Amplified Bible (AMP)

And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph and said to him, In my dream I saw a vine before me,

10 And on the vine were three branches. Then it was as though it budded; its blossoms burst forth and the clusters of them brought forth ripe grapes [almost all at once].

11 And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup; then I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

12 And Joseph said to him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days.

13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will again put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, as when you were his butler.

14 But think of me when it shall be well with you and show kindness, I beg of you, to me, and mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.

15 For truly I was carried away from the land of the Hebrews by unlawful force, and here too I have done nothing for which they should put me into the dungeon.


So the chief butler’s dream had a good interpretation. He was going to be restored to his position. Within 3 days he would be back serving Pharaoah his drinks. I know he was relieved!

But then Joseph tacks on his request for a favor. Joseph knows that his own personal destiny is not in this prison. The dreams God gave him early in his life showed him in a much more elevated position. And personally I think he’s tired of waiting. I know I would be.

Between his time as a slave in Potiphar’s house and his time so far in the dungeon as a prisoner, he’s been in Egypt for 11 years. Away from his family. Away from his homeland. Serving as a slave in a foreign country. Serving a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

And away from anyone else who worships the God of Abraham.

And I think Joseph sees the chief butler as a connection he could use to get out. To get Pharoah’s attention and let him know he’s innocent of the crime he’s imprisoned for. And that he wasn’t in this country lawfully to begin with.

And who knows, maybe God showed Joseph in a dream that the chief butler was going to be his way out. And Joseph is just trying to help God along.

Whatever his reason, we learn a few verses down that his tactic doesn’t work. And he’s stuck in the dungeon another 2 years.

Hey, it was worth a try. I’m sure I would have done the same thing.

Here are the truths I found:

– Dreams can be important and can prepare us for our future.

– There are believers who are gifted at interpreting dreams.

– Sometimes we want payback or a favor from people when we use the gifts God has given us to help them.

– It’s hard to let go of our resentment, especially when we’ve been bullied, mistreated, betrayed, or punished for something we didn’t do.

Application Questions:

– What dreams have I had that prepared me for something?

– Who do I know who can interpret dreams?

– When have I shared one of my gifts with someone and then asked for a favor in return?

– When have I shared one of my gifts with someone and not expected anything in return?

– What was the difference in how I felt and in the final outcome?

– What resentment for past mistreatment am I still carrying? How is it affecting me? My relationships?

– What do I need to do with my resentment?

Life of Joseph – Part 14 – More Dreams

Last time we learned that Pharoah’s butler and baker were thrown into prison and put under Joseph’s care. He’s the exact person they need right now because they both have disturbing dreams on the same night. And if there’s anyone who’s a dream specialist, that would be Joseph.

Here’s what happens today.


Genesis 40:5-8 / Amplified Bible (AMP)

And they both dreamed a dream in the same night, each man according to [the personal significance of] the interpretation of his dream—the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison.

When Joseph came to them in the morning and looked at them, he saw that they were sad and depressed.

So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were in custody with him in his master’s house, Why do you look so dejected and sad today?

And they said to him, We have dreamed dreams, and there is no one to interpret them. And Joseph said to them, Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me [your dreams], I pray you.


I love watching how the pieces of Joseph’s life are woven together into a beautiful story. It’s especially enjoyable since I already know the outcome!

But Joseph didn’t have that privilege. He was having to live through it a day at a time . . . just like we live our story.

In my life right now, I’m watching some pieces start to move together that are very exciting. However, a couple of months ago, it was not as exciting. In fact, some days it was more than a little scary.

Sometimes I find it easy to trust and sometimes I find myself doubting. I firmly believe God can do ANYTHING! It’s just that I don’t know exactly WHAT He’s going to do and WHEN He’s going to do it.

I think Joseph had to feel some of the same feelings you and I have felt at times. We believe God is going to come through . . . we’re just not sure HOW and WHEN . . . and we’re not sure what we should do in the meantime.

Today we find Joseph still being faithful. Still serving whoever is in his path. Still using his God-given gifts to help others.

Hmmm. Maybe that’s what we should do “in the meantime.”

Here are the truths I found:

1. No matter where we find ourselves, there are opportunities to use our gifts and talents.

2. We need to use our gifts and talents to serve whoever around us needs help, no matter where we are or who they are.

3. We always needs to give God credit for the gifts He’s given us.

4. We never know who is going to be a “connector” for us, so we need to do our best work in every opportunity we’re given.

Application Questions:

– In what situation am I surprised to find myself?

– How can I use my gifts and talents there?

– Who have I met who needs my gifts/talents?

– How can I give God credit for how He uses me?

– What “connectors” has God brought into my life?

– How have I been able to share my gifts/talents with them?

Life of Joseph – Part 13 – Timing

Last week Joseph went to prison, even though he was innocent. And we talked about how God is with us . . . no matter WHERE we are.

This week is not so much about our geography as it is about our time . . . or should we say . . . God’s timing?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m not so worried about where I am as I’m worried about when He’s going to do something about it!!

Here’s what’s happening with Joseph today.


Genesis 40:1-4 / Amplified Bible

Now some time later the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, Egypt’s king.

And Pharaoh was angry with his officers, the chief of the butlers and the chief of the bakers.

He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.

And the captain of the guard put them in Joseph’s charge, and he served them; and they continued in custody for some time.


I’m not a Bible scholar, but here’s a couple of things I noticed.

It says “some time later,” so apparently by the time today’s events took place, Joseph has already been in prison for a while. And we know from later verses in Genesis that it’s at least two more years before Pharoah lets Joseph out of prison.

We learn from Genesis that Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt at age 17 and that he was 30 when Pharoah let him out of prison. I don’t know how many of those years he spent in Potiphar’s household and how many he spent in prison, but it was 13 years total. Too long for me in either place, how about you?

Something else I noticed in today’s verses is that it looks like the prison is possibly part of Potiphar’s house . . . where earlier Joseph was put in charge of the household and where the wife falsely accused him of attempted rape. And Potiphar (the captain of the guard from Genesis 39:1) is possibly the same captain of the guard that plays a part in today’s events.

Here are the truths I found:

1. God’s timing is not our timing. I know that’s a “duh!” But sometimes I need reminding. I believe God’s timing is more event-driven while I’m more clock-driven and calendar-driven.

2. God can and will bring to us the exact connections we need. It doesn’t matter where we find ourselves–even if we think we’re “out of commission.” And it doesn’t matter how elevated their status and how lowly we believe ours is, God will bring us the connections necessary to fulfill His destiny in our lives.

3. The same person who dismissed/demoted us still knows the excellence of our work and God can use them to make connections for us that we can’t even imagine! Assuming this is the same captain of the guard (see above), he KNEW from experience that Joseph would take excellent care of these two high-level prisoners.

4. Our job is to do our best work no matter who our boss or client is. Because we never know who THEY know that might need us one day . . . or that we might need to fulfill our God-given destiny.


Application Questions:

– What timing am I struggling with right now?

– What events could God be waiting on?

– Which ones are under my control?

– So what do I need to do?

– In what areas do I feel “out of commission?”

– What connections do I see as “impossible” but necessary to fulfill my destiny?

– What can I do to make them more “possible?”

– Who has demoted or dismissed me?

– What kind of work did I do for them?

– What important connections could they make for me?

Life of Joseph – Part 12 – Prisoner

It didn’t matter how innocent Joseph was, he couldn’t fight the charges brought by Potiphar’s wife and was immediately thrown in prison.

But as we read today, it didn’t matter what Joseph’s location was, God was right there, bringing His favor to whatever work Joseph did.


Here’s today’s passage.

Genesis 39:20-23 / Amplified Bible

20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him in the prison, a place where the state prisoners were confined; so he was there in the prison.

21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy and loving-kindness and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison.

22 And the warden of the prison committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison; and whatsoever was done there, he was in charge of it.

23 The prison warden paid no attention to anything that was in [Joseph’s] charge, for the Lord was with him and made whatever he did to prosper.


Did you notice that Joseph’s “assignment” ended up being the same in prison as when he was in Potiphar’s house? I believe part of the reason was because Joseph’s “behavior” was the same in prison as it had been in Potiphar’s house.

It didn’t matter where he found himself, Joseph did whatever job he was given to do and apparently did it excellently. I think he was able to do that not so much because of the dreams God had given him, but because of the God who had given him the dreams. He trusted God with his future . . . no matter what his present looked like.

And geography REALLY doesn’t matter to God and His purposes for us or His favor to us. He can bless us in prison as well as He can bless us in a mansion.

Where is it easier for you to serve God? Why?


1. No matter what hopeless place we find ourselves in — even situations totally out of our control and through no fault of our own — God is right there with us. And He can make us prosper there, grant us favor, make us successful, give us meaningful work to do and opportunities to help people and be an influence in their lives.

2. God can and will fulfill His purpose in our lives no matter where we find ourselves. We can’t get away from God or His purposes for us. We can refuse to do it . . . and sometimes we do when our situation doesn’t please us. But there’s no place God CAN’T use us!

3. Even unbelievers can see and make use of our gifts and abilities. And they can unknowingly help us fulfill God’s purpose for our life.

Application Questions:

1. What places have I been in that seemed hopeless?

2. How did I get there?

3. What did God do for me there?

4. Who did I help while I was there . . . that I wouldn’t have met otherwise?

5. Who am I continuing to help because of the time I spent in that hopeless place?