Among the other prisoners in the care of Joseph while in the prison was Pharaoh’s chief of the butlers and chief of the bakers, Genesis 40:1-3. It happened that each of them had a dream the same night and they were troubled. Joseph noticed their sad countenance and out of concern and kindness enquired from them what the issue was. They told him it was about the dreams they had and he encouraged them to tell him about them and each of them narrated his dream to Joseph. Joseph with the help of the Holy Spirit of God interpreted each of the dreams correctly for each of them. The dreams were fulfilled as he had interpreted them – on the third day, the chief butler was set free and restored while the chief of the bakers was sent to the gallows, Genesis 40: 5-20.
Joseph knew that the chief of the butlers was one of the top-ranking officers to Pharaoh and was in the position to talk to Pharaoh to facilitate his release from prison, so he said to him, “think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: for indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into this dungeon,” Genesis 40:14-15.
Many things could have made Joseph ask the chief of the butlers to remember him and help bring his case before Pharaoh and facilitate his release such as:
1) He might have known by intuition or revelation that the chief butler would be used one way or the other by God to facilitate his release from the prison.
2) He might have witnessed the release of many of the prisoners and had become restless and troubled of been forgotten or being the only one remaining. As at the time he interpreted the dreams for them, it was almost eleven years he had his own divine dreams which were yet to be fulfilled and no view of the time of fulfillment in sight.
3) Also, he was already in the prisons before the chief butler who was about to be set free and reinstated back to his former position in three days’ time came, meanwhile no time of his being set free from unjust prisons in view. Endless waiting is tiring; truly hope delayed makes the heart faint!
4) He desired being set free from the unjust imprisonment! Although, because of God’s mercy and favor he was made a prison overseer, yet life within the confines of the prison no matter the position held is a miserable one. Nothing compares to being free.
Joseph must have trusted that the chief butler whom he had shown kindness and love while in his care in the prisons would help and facilitate his release from the prisons by remembering and mentioning him to Pharaoh within the first few days of his being released from prison. However, this was not so because after the chief of the butlers had been released from prison and restored to his position at the palace as predicted he did not remember Joseph. He totally forgot all about him and did not mention him to Pharaoh, Genesis 40:23.
MAN WILL FAIL YOU
Joseph must have waited and waited in anticipation for his release from the prisons believing the chief butler would soon come with the good news of his release by Pharaoh, but it never happened. The chief butler had forgotten all about him! The chief butler had let him down, his hope of being released from prison had been crushed! Joseph remained in prison for two more years! Of a truth, vain is helped hope for from man (Psalm 60:11; 108:12).
Being disappointed or let down and forgotten by fellow men at very crucial times when their help is most needed is a common experience most of us have had at one time or the other. Anyone including one’s parents, siblings, best friend, spouse, lover, biological children, employers, employees, the government, and several others can disappoint or let you down at any time most especially when least expected. In life, you are bound to face failed promises and other disappointments.
Some disappointments/let-downs and being forsaken could be deliberately done to hurt or spite the victim, out of revenge, cruelty, wickedness, and man inhumanity to man such as in the case of Joseph and his ten elder brothers. At times disappointments and being forgotten could be unintentional but due to circumstances beyond the supposed helper’s control and power such as sudden sickness, death, lack or sudden downturn of life, and demonic manipulations. When we consider the fact that it is even possible for an individual to disappoint or letdown oneself in certain circumstances by doing what he/she would later regret doing and the fact that at times we leave many things we ought to have done undone due to forgetfulness, then we would understand that the problems of disappointment, letdown and forsaking others are general with humans. This is simply because we are all fallible, fickle-minded humans with limitations and shortcomings living in a world full of uncertainties under the rule of the devil! Therefore, being disappointed/letdown or forgotten by man is inevitable. It is part of life. Furthermore, disappointment/let down or being forgotten by man could be divinely ordained as the case between the chief butler and Joseph simply because it wasn’t yet God’s appointed time for his release from the prisons. When it was the right time for Joseph to be released two years later, God created the right avenue for him by giving Pharaoh two dreams that none of the dream interpreters in Egypt could interpret and this made the chief butler remember Joseph; the one who had given correct interpretation to his dream and mentioned him to Pharaoh. Joseph was released from prison.
Being disappointed/let down or forgotten by anyone at all and for anything leaves one sad and broken-hearted. However, the level of one’s trust in the supposed helper and level of expectations determines the level of the disappointment experienced. Failed high expectations and betrayal of trust by loved and trusted ones can be very devastating and if not well handled are capable of making one become traumatized, frustrated, withdrawn, shattered, downcast, dejected, depressed, despair, and suicidal. For these reasons, we are charged not to think highly of anything, and not to trust/rely on any man – Psalm 146:3-4; Micah 7:5; Jeremiah 17:5; 2.
DARE TO BE LIKE JOSEPH
Although anyone would have been very sad and discouraged when disappointed in such a situation as it happened to Joseph by the chief butler; however no negativity was recorded about his response or reaction in this instance. This implied he accepted what had happened in good fate as had always been his response to unpalatable situations all along. He got over the incident, put it behind him and continued with his life as if it never happened. This can only be as a result of strong and grounded faith, trust and sound knowledge and understanding of God he had! “… the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits, Daniel 32b, Psalm 125: 1; Isaiah 40;31
GOD NEVER FAILS
Many years of waiting for the fulfillment of a divine dream or promise especially when many terrible things one never envisaged in the course of the fulfillment of such dreams/promises are happening in one’s life can be frustrating. They are capable of making it seem as though God has failed or forgotten one thereby making one feel discouraged and disappointed and let down by God. However, far be it from God to fail or forget His children; this is because doing so is not in His nature and character. He is the Omnipotent God therefore no power or situation can alter His divine character or promises (Isaiah 46:9-11, Deuteronomy 7:9). He has the power, capability, and resources to do all things because He is the Almighty God, Creator and Possessor of heaven and the earth. Therefore, He has more than enough to supply for His children, Genesis 14: 19; Psalm 24: He is the God of all flesh, the architect of our life who in His power had known, planned, and timed everything about each individual even before we were created, thus He is in total control of everything concerning each of us (Psalm 139). Nothing is too hard for him to do (Jeremiah 32:17). He is a Faithful God who can never go back on His words. He has never failed in fulfilling any of His promises as Joshua testified in Joshua 21; 45. He is the Omniscient God before whom nothing in heaven and on earth is hidden from so He knows everything about everything He has created, Job 42:2. He is the God of love and compassion who is ever-loving and mindful of all his children. He is ever mindful of His children as He says in Isaiah 49:15-16. He is the only wise God therefore he knows the right thing to do and solution about anything confronting His children. He never forgets His Children as the Scriptures reveal examples of his marvelous interventions in the lives of His children (Genesis 21: 1-2; 30:22; Exodus 2:24;19:29; 21:45). God remembers and takes action according to His promise, purpose and timing.
The major problem confronting us humans is that most times, we measure God with the measure we use for our fellow man. Our inability to be ever mindful of the fact that God is God and not a man is affecting us seriously in the area of our faith in God, Numbers 23: 19. God not being man implies He is Spirit, John 4:24. He has no physical form, blood or flesh which happened to be what causes growth, size, limitations, aging, changes, weakness and decay in man. He does not grow old tired or weary, His love does not wane or grow cold (Isaiah 40: 28-29; Lamentations 3: 22-23). God is The Truth which means he can never lie, Numbers 23:19. God is Sovereign, He is Lord over all situations of life. He is unstoppable. He is the Omnipresent God – He is everywhere, even right there where you are therefore distance is no barrier to Him. Who to use to accomplish any assignment He desires for anyone is no problem because all are His servants, Psalm 119:9. He used the ravens to feed Elijah and fish to bring gold for Peter to pay tax (1 Kings 17:6; Matthew 17:24-27). He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ever ask or think … ” Ephesians 3:20. You may be neglected and abandoned by men, but never by God. He will never forget or forsake you (Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 49:15). He never casts any of His own away, John 6:37. You are before Him always, Psalm 139: 2-12. His eyes are watching over you always, 2 Chronicles 16:9. He is thinking of you always (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 139:17-18). Nothing is impossible for him to do, Jeremiah 32:17
Furthermore, it is also important that we remember that God’s time and ways are entirely different from ours. God works in His ways and in His own time and according to His plans and purpose, Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 60:22. However, we can be sure of the fact that His plans for each of us are wonderful plans to bring us to an expected end, Jeremiah 29:11. Whatever time He chooses to do anything in our life is the best time just as the time of the release of Joseph from the prison was.
So, my dear esteem reader, regardless of whatever you may be passing through and the years of waiting, don’t feel abandoned because God has not forgotten you. Don’t stop trusting and relying on Him. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up on waiting for that which He has promised as if it won’t happen again; He will do it at the right time you need it. He would do all He has promised without leaving anything out. God cannot disappoint you, whatever He says will surely come to pass, it may look delayed in your eyes but know that,” For the vision is for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habakuk 2:3). God knows exactly what you need and when you need it. God will do what he has promised because he faileth not, Zephaniah. 3:5. He fails not in His power, wisdom and He fails not in His love, love fails not.
Asking people for help cannot be totally ruled out, because God created us to be each other’s brothers and sisters irrespective of race, color of our skin, language, and religious beliefs. We are each other’s keeper and helper. Each of us is God’s means of rendering help and assistance to each other as the need arises. However, the fall of man into sin in the Garden of Eden made man become selfish and self-centered and concerned only about himself. Therefore be cautious when asking for help from fellow men and have it at the back of your mind that there might be failures and disappointments.
You can save yourself the heartaches and pains of being let down by others by heeding the advice given below;
1) God alone can bring to pass whatever promise or dreams He gave you and whatever the help needed is. Therefore rely and depend on God with all your heart, serve Him with your whole heart, and wait for His time for you (Psalm 4:5; 62:2; Isaiah 24:4)
2) Don’t ever believe you are entitled to be helped by those you have helped before. It takes only those with grateful hearts to remember those who had previously helped them and reciprocate.
3) Lower your expectations from people.
4) Don’t ever expect that someone will help you because you are related by blood, Children, brothers, kinsmen because relationships are not a guarantee for receiving help.
5) Don’t make it a habit to ask everybody you see for help such as former classmates, friends, town mates, and church members.
6) Don’t have the mindset that people should know you are in need of help without you telling them. No one is a magician or mind-reader. If they are unable to help, take it like that because each person has his/her personal problems to attend to.
7) Be open-minded when seeking for help after you might have asked God to help you because it can come from unexpected sources even from your enemy because all are his servants.
8) Take every disappointment in good fate. Remember Jesus’ statement that “No one can have anything except being given from heaven”
9) Always show appreciation for any help or assistance rendered to you because ingratitude prevents further help.
10) Know that being previously helped by anyone does not make the person indebted to you. Being helped is a privilege and not a right.
Knowing that a disappointment suffered could be a blessing in disguise should make one take disappointment lightly. It could happen to teach you patience, perseverance or to make you resolute to do it by yourself. It could happen to protect and save your life. You see, apart from the fact that the disappointment suffered by Joseph was because it was not yet God’s time for his release, I also believe that the disappointment might also be a means God used to save his life. Remember it was Potiphar who jailed him, which means Pharaoh was not aware of this. Had the chief butler mentioned Joseph to Pharaoh, he would probably have asked Potiphar what happened and Joseph would have further been lied against. Pharaoh might have ended up taking sides with Potiphar and believed the false allegation of his wife to be true and get Joseph killed.
Don’t take it hard on yourself when someone fails or disappoints you; just accept it as not being ordained to be. Therefore, take every disappointment easy with a grateful heart, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
When at a fix and not knowing what to do while waiting, when your heart overwhelms you, know that God knows all about it (Psalm 142:3). Look on the bright side of life. Look unto Jesus Christ. Sing songs of praises to God. Encourage yourself in the Lord as King David did. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up on life. At God’s expected time, everything would work out perfectly well. Wait for your time, Ecclesiastes 3:11.
While waiting, keep on praying and keep yourself busy doing anything legal that you can lay your hand on. Continue doing good and helping others in whatever capacity you can.
Be steadfast in faith because faithful is He that promised (Hebrews 10:23). Remember, God remains our help in the ages past and our hope for the years to come.
If you are reading this and have not yet embraced God’s gracious salvation through Jesus Christ, please, come to Jesus now by taking the steps written below:
- Admit you are a sinner – Romans 3:23; 6:23.
- Repent of all sins – Acts 3:19. 1John 1:9
- Believe that God loves you and that Jesus His only Son died for you – Romans 5:8, Acts 10: 40 & 43.
- Invite Jesus into your heart – Revelations 3:20.
GOD LOVE YOU AND SO DO I.