Three Men in Prison

Genesis 40  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
It was not fair that Joseph was in prison. It was all a lie, but he had no chance to answer. He wore iron chains too, and where he had to stay was not a cell, but a dungeon.
However, Joseph was a believer in the living God. His belief shone in his conduct so much that the keeper of the prison noticed it and promoted him to be over the other prisoners. His belief in the living God was the real thing.
The crime he was accused of was against the king, which made it even more serious. His fellow-prisoners were the king’s prisoners too. One had been the “chief butler,” which was a very high position. He brought the royal wine-cup to the king. Another had been the “chief baker,” which was a high position too, since eating was of top importance in the king’s life.
But Joseph, you remember, was a servant of the living God, and since he knew God was taking care of him, he could give his time and thought to taking care of others. One morning when he found the butler and the baker extra sad, he asked them why.
Both men had dreamed. The butler had dreamed that he was back in the king’s court. In his dream he squeezed three bunches of grapes into a cup and then gave the cup to the king. What could this dream mean?
“Interpretations belong to God,” said Joseph. Then he explained that in three days the butler would be restored to his former position of chief butler.
How did Joseph know what would happen? He didn’t seem to have any doubt about it, even though there was no court announcement and he had no other way of knowing. The answer is one word - “God.” Do you know that answer too? You can, because you can have God’s Word, the Bible, if you want it. You and I can be sure of what will happen to us after this life, if we simply believe what God says in the Bible.
The butler had three days waiting time. And for me, I don’t know how long the waiting time may be, but I am sure that God’s Word is true, and the Savior who died for me has given me everlasting life. The Lord Jesus promises, “He that believ-eth on Me hath everlasting life” (John 6:4747Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47)). I am sure of another of His promises: “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:33And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)).
The baker was pleased to hear the butler’s news, and so he was ready to tell his dream too. He told Joseph that he dreamed that he carried three white baskets on his head, and the top one was full of all kinds of baked goods for the king. And then birds came and ate them out of the basket.
I can imagine how proud the baker was of his baking skills, and he must have waited eagerly for Joseph’s answer. But it all came to nothing. Joseph explained that in three days the king would hang him on a tree, and the birds would eat his flesh.
And it all came true, just as Joseph said. Why does God tell us such a sad story? You have heard many sad stories of warning against fire and accident and drugs, but this is God’s story and it is far more serious for you than death and disaster. This is forever. Can you see what God is showing to you?
It was God who made the grapes for the butler, but it was the baker’s own hard work that prepared the goodies, and it was the baker who carried his gift on his head.
Are you listening to the lesson? Don’t prepare your own gift and expect God to accept you. Don’t carry your gift on your head, where your brains and your own ideas are. There is only one gift that God will accept to receive you into His home with joy forever. That gift is something that He Himself has prepared for you. Here is the answer as God Himself has written it for you. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)). “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-98For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8‑9)).
Read this story in the Bible, and you will see that we have left out some details. Read it as God wrote it, and be sure that you have accepted God’s gift to you: “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)).