9 “So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.” (Genesis 40:9–15 (ESV)
Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker look to Joseph to give them the proper interpretation of their respective dreams. Today’s passage gives us the Lord’s interpretation regarding the cupbearer’s dream.
Dr. John Walvoord explains, “Joseph interpreted the dreams of the two servants of Pharaoh. The chief cupbearer’s dream had a favorable interpretation. His dream reflected his profession, but with accelerated activity. The dream of the three vine branches of ripening grapes signified that Pharaoh would lift up the head of this man, that is, restore him to service within three days.”
Following the interpretation, Joseph pleaded with the chief cupbearer. He asked that the cupbearer would remember him and his kindnessin interpreting the dream. Joseph was confident that he had given the right interpretation.
Joseph wanted his freedom from prison. He gave the cupbearer two reasons. First, he was unlawfully stolen from his home. Second, he had done nothing wrong that he should be in the pit. Pit is another word for dungeon or prison. Joseph does not appear to be bitter but willing to forgive; not only his brothers but also Potiphar’s wife.
One commentator writes, “Joseph’s plea to the cupbearer shows he is no fatalist. He does not simply sit around waiting for one of the guards to come set him free. Joseph understands God’s providence well, and he knows that the Lord’s sovereignty, properly understood, encourages us to seize opportunities for the kingdom (Est. 4:1–5:3; Matt. 25:14–30; Acts 27:13–44).”
Consider this principle from the journey of Joseph: God’s providence does not mean that our actions are pointless. Believers in Christ are responsible to act for the sake of the kingdom of God and for the Lord’s glory.
Soli deo Gloria!