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So, last night, Bryce continued.
We left Joseph in prison. And here, Bryce put in an awesome word: Sometimes we get betrayed by people we thought we could trust, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t with us.
So, in the same jail Joseph was in, there were two other guys: a cupbearer and a baker. Now, even in jail Joseph rises to the top, so he gets put in charge of these guys. And one night, they both have dreams.
In the morning, Joseph notices that they’re sad. Now, let that sink in. Joseph’s life has gone from good to bad to worse, and he cares when other people are having a rough go of it. That’s pretty amazing. Joseph was a really good guy.
The cupbearer’s dream went like this: He was in a field, and there was a vine. On the vine, there were three branches. The branches blossomed and soon bore ripe grapes. The cupbearer squeezed the grapes into a cup and gave the cup to Pharaoh.
Now, this is what sort of makes Joseph special. He is able to interpret the dream. Well, God is able to interpret it, and Joseph is able to speak what God tells him. Joseph tells the cupbearer that in three days, his head will be lifted up, he’ll get out of jail and become cupbearer to Pharaoh again.
Now, the baker sees that the cupbearer’s dream was favorably interpreted, and takes a shot at it. He tells Joseph his dream, which went more or less like this:
He was walking with three baskets of bread balanced on his head. Birds swooped down and started eating the bread, and the baskets fell.
Joseph says that this means in three days, his head will be lifted off. As in, he’ll be executed. So this is where the cupbearer and the baker learn that there is a big difference between having one’s head lifted up, and having one’s head lifted off.
Sure enough, in three days, Joseph’s predictions come true. But before the cupbearer leaves, Joseph asks him to put in a good word for him with Pharaoh so he can get out of jail. The cupbearer says he will.
But then get this: the cupbearer forgets.
So for two more years, Joseph sits in jail. Two more stinking, blathering years rotting in jail, wondering whether or not the cupbearer remembered.
But then Pharaoh has a dream. He calls all his magicians and wise men, but none of them are able to interpret it.
Conveniently then, the cupbearer remembers Joseph.
So Pharaoh calls for Joseph, and speaks of his dream.
In the dream, from the Nile came seven fat, healthy cows, grazing on the grass. Also from the Nile came seven lean, starving cows, and they ate the fat, healthy ones.
Then Pharaoh woke up, went back to sleep, and dreamed again.
In his next dream, seven good ears of grain on a healthy stalk came out of the ground. Then seven bad, rotten ears of grain came up on a thin, spindly stalk, and the bad grain ate the good grain.
Joseph says it means that there will be seven years of plenty in Egypt, and, following that, seven years of famine and drought so terrible the plenty will be forgotten. That’s pretty bad.
So Joseph suggests that, to avoid starvation, Pharaoh should place a new tax, and have farmers give him one fifth of their crops every year. Then he should store this, and give it back to the people during the famine.
Pharaoh is so happy with the interpretation and plan that he goes right ahead and appoints Joseph his second-in-command.
All of this started with Joseph’s dream he had back at home. You know, the one that really ticked his brothers of and caused them to throw him in a pit and sell him to slave traders? Yeah, that one.
The moral of the story is this: We don’t know the road to our destiny. But God does. If you remain confident in Him, you will be totally fine. It shapes your character to walk through troubles.
Consider this: Joseph, in the beginning, was, let’s face it, a little arrogant. But being a slave, even though it was miserable, did a smashing job of taming him down, and helped him be ready for what came next. If he hadn’t gone through all that before he became second-in-command, it wouldn’t have ended well.
Your destiny will ruin you if your character can’t handle it. Wherever you are in life, if you realized God is with you, He will shape your character so he can bring about your destiny.
Life is hard, but we should’t try to escape it. We should embrace it.
Part III is coming next week, as soon as Bryce preaches it!
So, I was at Youth Group last night, and Bryce said some stuff that really stuck with me…so I figured I’d share it here, and maybe someone needs to hear it.
He was talking about the story of Joseph, in the Bible. So, our dear friend Joseph (let’s call him Joe) had sort of a rough go of it. His bros didn’t want him around, so they were, like, ‘Let’s kill him’. But then they thought, ‘Oh, no, let’s throw him in a pit and then sell him to slave traders’. So that’s what they did.
Okay, so, maybe that’s not exactly how it went, but you get the idea.
But there is this verse that keeps popping up when all this crappy stuff is happening to Joe: ‘And God was with him.’
So, Joe get’s sold to this important dude in Egypt, called Potiphar. Now, Joe’s the sort od dude that, even though he’s a slave, rises to the top. So pretty soon, he’s in charge of the whole house, and Potiphar trusts him with everything.
The Potiphar’s wife gets eyes for Joe. Uh-oh, right?
So she tries to convince him to lie with her. Now, you’ve got to understand that this wasn’t just a one-time deal. She kept persisting and persisting, and it probably wasn’t easy for Joe to refuse. As Bryce put it, Potiphar was an important dude, and he probably had a hot wife. But Joe stands his ground.
He does the right thing and keeps refusing, so he didn’t really deserve what happened next.
One day, all the other people were out of the house, and Potiphar’s wife tries to force Joe to lie with her, and he refuses and runs, but, as he was taking off, the nasty lady got a hold of his jacket and he left it there. So she screams and calls everyone else back and tells them that Joseph was doing what she had been doing.
So guess what? Joe gets thrown in prison. He does all the right things, and the wrong thing happens. That’s how it is sometimes. What’s with that?
We get thrown into these situations that we can’t change and we had nothing to do with. But just because you do the right thing and the wrong thing happens doesn’t mean God isn’t with you.
That’s as far as Bryce got. I’ll do a continuation of this as soon as he does a continuation next week. Hopefully someone reading this really needed to hear it.