Genesis 40 Commentary

Genesis 40 Commentary

The LORD takes charge of events in ordinary life to achieve His purposes. The dreams of the baker and the cup bearer are two events that are ordered by the LORD in order to achieve the LORD’S will. Chapter 40 is both transitional but also contains elements of importance by themselves.

Joseph is confined; the blessing is not confined.

“We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
Genesis 40:8 NIV
The human author puts it down for us from Joseph’s own mouth. The LORD is responsible for good things flowing out of his life. He acknowledges the LORD as the source. He makes no reference to his experience. Human beings don’t write CVs like this!

Glory belongs to God and Joseph gives it back. He will interpret the dream but it won’t be him. The LORD will do it.

The cup bearer gets his favorable answer and in a moving statement Joseph enlists human help from the hopeless and helpless. His own situation is bad. He doesn’t at all doubt God’s presence nor the mighty working hand of the LORD in his life but at this moment he doesn’t understand what the LORD is doing. We have all been there. It’s a Christian’s well-trodden path!

The cup bearer is released and the chief barker is impaled and Joseph remains at his post and in his post. It can be a minister’s worst frustration that the LORD attends to others around him (through him) but the minister himself remains dry. I fully understand Joseph’s request for help. This too isn’t new. His great grandfather Abraham once walked this path. Will the LORD truly give me a child by Sarah? May be I need to help the situation. The human help gave him Ishmael. The LORD will not have any of it this time around. Joseph would stay in his post for a further two years.

You don’t want to be the one to be sent to encourage a brother in this situation! Let the LORD HIMSELF handle it.

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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