The Restored Orchard

Deeper Roots – Genesis 40:5-23

photo of an open book on a tree s roots

A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom to be planted. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 40:5-23.

While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them.

And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.”

“Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”

So the chief cup-bearer told Joseph his dream first. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a grapevine in front of me. 10 The vine had three branches that began to bud and blossom, and soon it produced clusters of ripe grapes. 11 I was holding Pharaoh’s wine cup in my hand, so I took a cluster of grapes and squeezed the juice into the cup. Then I placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 “This is what the dream means,” Joseph said. “The three branches represent three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. 14 And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. 15 For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.”

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given the first dream such a positive interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream, too. In my dream there were three baskets of white pastries stacked on my head. 17 The top basket contained all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them from the basket on my head.”

18 “This is what the dream means,” Joseph told him. “The three baskets also represent three days. 19 Three days from now Pharaoh will lift you up and impale your body on a pole. Then birds will come and peck away at your flesh.”

20 Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials. 21 He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup. 22 But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted when he interpreted his dream. 23 Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.

Genesis 40:5-23 NLT

Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows that God’s gifts are not for our glory. Our scripture selection begins while Joseph is in jail. He served as a caretaker to the prisoners and noticed that two of them, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker, were troubled. They both had dreams that they were unable to understand. Joseph tells them that interpreting dreams is God’s business. Then tells them to share their dreams. The cupbearer begins to tell his dream and Joseph tells him in three days’ time he would return to his position. At the time of the interpretation, Joseph asks the cupbearer to remember him once he ascends back to his position. Next, the baker begins to share his dream. This time, Joseph has an interpretation that is not as favorable. In three days, each of the interpretations came to pass, but the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph.

Joseph had an opportunity to ignore the state of the cupbearer and baker and carry on with his duties. But, he understood that the dreams that each of Pharaoh’s servants had received could only be interpreted by God. He understood the favor that God had blessed him with. He used God-given gifts to help others, instead of standing by passively. He could have been discouraged by his surroundings and operated in discouragement. Yet He became a vessel and partnered with God to impart meaning to something that confounded those men. And it happened just as God said it would. Because God’s word always comes to pass.

There will be seasons when we will have to be vessels for the Lord to work through us. Situations in which we can serve as an instrument to bring words of comfort or correction to others from God. It is our responsibility to be sensitive to situations that only God can intervene in and allow God to be God. Not for our own gain, but God’s glory alone. We should not stand by passively, but get engaged, because we never know how our interactions will impact those around us or future seasons.

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