Bible Readings for February 7th
In yesterday’s reading, Joseph ended up in prison through no fault of his own. After being ambushed by his brothers and sold into foreign slavery, Joseph had gained the respect and admiration of his Egyptian master. But when Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to rape her (despite the fact that he had repeatedly turned down her advances), Joseph once again finds himself in a situation he did not deserve: Egyptian prison.
But when the entire world had turned against Joseph, God did not forget his servant. So, while Joseph was in prison, God blessed Joseph by continuing to give him prophetic insight into the dreams of his fellow prisoners. When Pharaoh’s cupbearer dreams about again putting Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, Joseph interprets the dream as signifying that the cupbearer would be restored to his office in a matter of only three days.
Sadly, though, Pharaoh’s chief baker does not receive the same good news. When he dreams of birds eating from the bread in a basket on his head, Joseph interprets his dream to mean the baker would be hanged in the same time frame of three days, so that the birds would eat his flesh.
And over the course of three days, everything goes exactly as Joseph had predicted. On the third day, the cupbearer is raised up from death to life and the baker is sent to his death by execution. Indeed, all interpretations belong to God (Gen. 40:8), and God blesses Joseph by granting him the ability to interpret the dreams of others.
Once again, we see in Joseph a shadow of who Jesus would eventually become. Yes, the story of Joseph is historical, and yes, we should read it to learn about Joseph and what he can teach us about how to follow God through difficult situations. But this story also drops clues about the identity, character, and nature of the ultimate innocent, suffering servant of God: the Lord Jesus Christ.
So in Genesis 40, we see a foreshadowing of the mission of Jesus. Through his own death and resurrection on the third day (the same day the cupbearer was restored to his position!), Jesus came to set captives free from their prison. He didn’t come to set people free merely from the prison of Egypt but from the prison of the curse of sin and death. Just as in the dreams that Joseph interpreted, Jesus stands with a promise and a warning: Jesus will raise up to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4) all those who believe on him, but those who do not believe on Jesus will be cursed to death.
And in tomorrow’s reading, we will read about the vindication and glorification of Joseph—as well as what that teaches us about the vindication and glorification of Jesus in the process.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.