The Man Who Forgot

Genesis 40  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Our last story was about the butler who was released from the king’s (Pharaoh’s) prison after his dream about the grapes.
Joseph, his helper in prison, had been very kind to him, and the butler had good reason to remember this kindness all his life. But Joseph had been more than kind. He was a believer in the living God, and he had given the butler the meaning of his dream - a message from God which came true in the butler’s life. This is a great deal more important than ordinary kindness. A message from God is worth listening to, more important than all friendly kindness that others may show to you.
“Show kindness.   .   . unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh,” said Joseph when the butler left the prison. He explained to the butler that he had been stolen away from the land of the Hebrews, and that he had done no wrong in the captain’s house to cause them to put him into prison.
Doesn’t that sound like a true believer? If you have read the whole story in the Book of Genesis, you will know that Joseph’s mean brothers were to blame, because they had stolen him away and then sold him as a slave. And then the captain’s wife was to blame for having him thrown into prison. But Joseph does not blame anybody. If we are true believers, let us take this lesson to heart. Our God makes Himself responsible for us, and we should not hold bitterness against those who wrong us.
The butler was released on the king’s birthday to go back to his old position of honor, to carry the wine cup to the king. But in all the excitement and honors of the king’s court, the butler forgot about Joseph in prison. Two years of freedom and easy living slipped away for the butler, and there were two more years of unjust prison life for Joseph, servant of the living God. Even though the butler had forgotten, God had not forgotten. God never forgets His own.
Trouble came into the king’s life. He had dreams at night which troubled him all day, and no one could tell him what they meant, not even the magicians who knew all the tricks. And when the king had a problem, everyone had a problem, even the butler. His easy living was clouded with trouble.
Perhaps your easy living is troubled too. Do you remember the One who died to set you free? He is still unwanted in this world, but He has asked you to “remember Me.” Do you remember?
Finally the butler remembered, and he told the king about the prisoner whose explanation of his dream had come true. Joseph was sent for at once. With a shave and clean clothes, he was soon standing before the king. And when the king explained his problem, the young prisoner said, “[The answer] is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
In our hearts we can praise his answer. He took no credit to himself at all, but only to God “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Joseph explained the dreams. The land was going to have seven years of good crops, followed by seven years of terrible famine. This was going to be a far bigger problem than the king himself could handle. And so young Joseph was immediately appointed prime minister. His job was to make a plan and carry it through.
Is the living God worth trusting? Is He able to move kings and nations to carry out His plans? This story has many more details which you may read for yourself in Genesis 41, and each word will teach you that God is God, and His hands control all men and nations. This is not hard for Him to do, even in this year, since He has all power and all wisdom.
But there is one problem that required the hardest thing that God Himself ever chose to do. He could create the whole world with the word of His mouth, but He had to give up His only beloved Son to save one sinner for eternity. He did this for you! He did it because He loves you! Have you thanked Him? Today is the day to thank Him, and then live your thanks in your everyday life.
“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).