Committing to follow Jesus is not a guarantee of an easy, trouble-free life. On the contrary, believers are to expect unjust suffering and be prepared to respond rightly. Alistair Begg demonstrates from Genesis 40 that the godly response is not to give up or seek revenge, but to trust God and care for others, even in the midst of personal struggles.
1Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. 2And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. 4The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.
5And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. 6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. 7So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” 8They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
9So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11Pharaoh'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.” 12Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13In 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. 14Only 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. 15For 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.”
16When 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, 17and 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.” 18And Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19In 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.”
20On 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. 21He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
A great disservice has been done to the cause of Christ by those who have tended to suggest that Christianity is all brightness and laughter. Such a perspective is neither true to the biblical record, nor to the human experience. The joy of which the Bible speaks is not found in isolation from the rigors of life. James encourages us to "count it all joy" when we face trials of various kinds. The studies contained in this album make it very clear that Christians grieve, too. They, also, seek to provide a biblical framework for dealing with affliction, trial, and disappointment. Underpinning it all is the doctrine of God’s providence, which affords the believer the opportunity to rest in the awareness that our times are in His hands. This album may well prove to be a great help to friends and neighbors who are trying to make sense of some of life’s storms.
|Why Suffering||Job 16:7-17|
|God's Faithfulness in Affliction||1 Peter 4:12-19|
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|When Trials Come, Part Two||James 1:2-4|
|Good News, Bad News||Genesis 40:1-23|
|Lessons from the Dungeon, Part One||Genesis 40:1-23|
|Lessons from the Dungeon, Part Two||Genesis 40:1-23|
|Stilling Life's Storms||Mark 4:35-41|
|On Death and Dying||Ecclesiastes 12:1-14|
|Christians Grieve Too||1 Thessalonians 4:13|
|My Times in Your Hands, Part One||Psalms 31:1-24|
|My Times in Your Hands, Part Two||Psalms 31:1-24|