I was talking to my daughter a few weeks ago about the Grace of YHVH in my life – how real He is, the things He’s shown me, and how the same thing which happened to people in the Bible happened to me. She didn’t seem all that convinced, so I explained by comparing a season in the life of Joseph with a season in my life to illustrate my claim. I still don’t think she was convinced, and that’s ok. She’s still very young. (I just had a thought: I don’t think the basis of teaching my children biblical truths is for them to understand YHVH or His Word better. That’s the overall motive, but I think it’s for them to understand me better – as a person who lives and speaks the gospel, as a son of Him, as a man, as a father who reflects the Father! Therefore, by me reflecting Him they gain more of an understanding of Him in an authentic way. It’s like Yahusha and His disciples for example. He wasn’t just another Rabbi teaching students. It was the Father sending the Son – the perfect reflection and expression of Himself – to father them in an authentic relationship! It’s not important she understands right now. What’s more important is I am convinced and I understand, and I live and continue to speak those convictions to my children whether they “get it” or not!) I was in deep thought when I finished talking to her, overwhelmed with gratitude and humility for what YAHUAH has done in my life. It was a moment for me, and I wanted to capture and document it.
The two years in which Joseph sat in prison after the chief butler/cupbearer forgot about him were the hardest two years of his life. After interpreting the cupbearer’s dream while they both are imprisoned, and in essentially a last ditch effort to free himself from bondage, Joseph begs the cupbearer to remember him when he’s released and show him kindness by telling Pharaoh about him so he can get out. Joseph wanted no part of the dungeon, and honestly, who does? He further pleads his case for grace by telling the cupbearer he was not only stolen out of his native land by unlawful force, but he also had done nothing while in Egypt deserving of prison. Joseph was right to a degree. He had done nothing. Things were done to him. In fact, he was only in bondage because his master’s wife lied on him! However, it’s possible to be right to a degree and not right in full. So, with this judgment in mind, his own judgment mind you, he looked to the cupbearer who represented his last chance at freedom; his only hope to see the light.
Examining this exchange with the cupbearer more closely, we can see the internal complexities and impurities in Joseph, namely resentment. He was hurt about what was done to him – what his brothers did to him, how he was regarded as nothing and sold as property, how he was lied on, how he was undeserving of all these events – and he harbored bitterness and resentment because of it. The past still had a grip on him in other words. The pain, the offenses, and the slights were too much to bear, and while his concern was freeing his body from physical bondage, YHVH’s concern was freeing his soul from spiritual bondage. All the resentment, all the bitterness, all the blame-shifting, all the potential revenge had to die. Why? Well, (1) all of those things had marred his identity and judgment (2) because his purpose awaited; an assignment to govern an entire land’s food supply in a drought, to “save much people alive,” including the lives of the very people he harbored ill feelings towards. There’s no place for soul bondage in purpose. All of it needed to die.
Joseph’s plan/hopes were dashed when the cupbearer “forgot” about him. His dreams were crushed. Has your hopes ever been dashed? Has your dreams ever been crushed? Days turned into months for Joseph, and then months slowly turned into years. I love how the Amplified translates Psalms 105:18. It gives accurate insight into the soul of Joseph. It says “his soul went into the iron,” which means as those days and months passed with no cupbearer in sight, Joseph began to confine himself to confinement. His hope waned from a lot, to a little, to none at all. He was going to die a prisoner in a dungeon. So, with this judgment in mind, his own judgment mind you, Joseph reserved himself to contentment in bondage. All of his trying, planning, and hoping were over. In other words, he surrendered his will – the exact thing he had to do – so Elohim could make him see and know Him and himself on a deeper level.
Some would also say since Joseph’s true identity and purpose was that of a high position of influence, a powerful work needed to be done inside him to rid him of any fleshy desires or motives. I agree! In other words, when Pharoah did send for Joseph and put him in charge of everything, he probably could care less about what came with the position – success, fame, influence, notoriety, women, etc. Joseph was dead. His will was surrendered. All he lived for and cared about was worshiping and honoring YAHUAH with what was left of him – his new, true self. This was salvation and sanctification occurring simultaneously in my perspective. Joseph had never known YAHUAH like this. He knew of Him and was a decent man at heart, but this was different. This was El-Shaddai converting him to His will for his life and bringing him into the reality of the dreams He gave him thirteen years before.
Joseph did not sit in prison for those two years by happenstance; it wasn’t the result of the cupbearer forgetting about him. YHVH was sovereignly working behind the scenes – as He had done all of his life – humbling and preparing His son for the purpose He predestined for his life. What a story. What Grace!
Stay tuned for Pt. 2! Grace & Peace ✌🏾