16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.” 18 And Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” (Genesis 40:16–23 (ESV)
Joseph’s interpretation of the chief cupbearer’s dream was favorable. The chief baker assumed that he also would receive a favorable interpretation from Joseph regarding his dream. Such was not the case.
Joseph informed the chief baker that in three days Pharaoh would have him executed. He would be hung on a tree and the birds would eat his flesh.
Both of Joseph’s interpretations were fulfilled. On Pharaoh’s birthday, he restored the chief cupbearer to his positon. However, Pharaoh had the chief baked hung until he died.
When Joseph interpreted the chief cupbearer’s dream, he specifically asked him to remember him when Pharaoh restored him to his position (Gen. 40:14-15). This was the only thing Joseph requested. It would be a simple act of kindness. However, the text informs us the the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph. Rather, he forgot him.
Have you ever been forgotten? Has a promise ever been made to you and never fulfilled because the person who made the promise forgot? Those incidents of forgetfulness are never truly forgotten by the individual who was forgotten. The pain of an overlooked promise remains deeply ingrained in one’s soul and never really leaves.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “So often we join with David and cry “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Ps. 13:1) because of the seemingly endless wait that defines the Christian life. We know that our present troubles are nothing in comparison with the “eternal weight of glory” guaranteed for God’s people (2 Cor. 4:17), but in the midst of our pain it can seem like this glory will never come. Encouraged on by the saints, we know we must run the race of faith set before us (Heb. 12:1–2), but the finish line can seem invisible when trials spring up as hurdles.”
“In theory it is easy to understand the premise that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), but to get this into our bloodstreams is another matter. It is one of the most difficult tasks of the practicing Christian. It involves not only believing in God but believing God.”
Do you believe in God? I hope that you do by grace alone, through faith alone, and in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. However, do you believe God? Do you take Him at His Word? Do you believe what He says? Genesis 41:1 informs that it would be another two years before the chief cupbearer would remember Joseph. Yet Joseph never lost faith in God (Gen. 50:20).
Dr. Sproul concludes by saying, “God will never forget His people. Even when we do not see His helping hand, the Lord remembers us in our trials and afflictions. The assurance Moses gives us that God was with Joseph (Gen. 39:21) is for all those who trust Jesus. Do not despair, no matter what is happening to you, for the sovereign Lord of all can by no means ever forget you (Heb. 13:5).”
Soli deo Gloria!