Bad News, Good News


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Bible Reading: Genesis 40:1-5, 12-23

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends. . . . Great is his faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

IMAGINE HOW YOU’D feel in this situation.

Joseph had been falsely accused and thrown into prison. After he’d been there a while, two other prisoners joined him: Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker. One night the cupbearer and the baker both had dreams, and they mentioned them to Joseph. When they described their dreams to Joseph, he told them what their dreams meant.

“Good news,” he told the cupbearer. “Three days from now Pharaoh will take you out of prison and make you his chief cupbearer again.” The cupbearer was overjoyed. “And please have some pity on me,” Joseph asked him, “when you’re back in Pharaoh’s good favor. Mention me to Pharaoh and ask him to let me out of here, too.”

Then Joseph turned to Pharaoh’s former baker. “Bad news,” he said. “Three days from now Pharaoh will cut off your head.”

Things happened exactly as Joseph had said. Within three days Pharaoh gave a banquet. He called for his former cupbearer to be released from prison and ordered that his former baker be executed. But the cupbearer quickly forgot Joseph’s request, and Joseph remained in prison.

But even though the cupbearer was unfaithful to Joseph, God was faithful. Two years later Pharaoh had a dream, a dream that none of his magicians and wise men could figure out. It was then that the cupbearer remembered Joseph. He told Pharaoh how Joseph had told the meaning of his dream and the baker’s dream. Pharaoh took Joseph out of prison and told him his dream. Joseph listened and, with God’s help, explained the meaning of the dream to Pharaoh.

Joseph’s story (found in Genesis 40-41) shows how unfaithful people can be. It also shows that, no matter how unfaithful your friends or even your family members might be, God is always faithful. The prophet Jeremiah said, “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends.. . . Great is his faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

In fact, that’s how we know that faithfulness is right—because it’s like God. God commands faithfulness, because God is faithful. He never lets us down. He never abandons us. He never ignores us. He never forgets us. He is faithful. And because God is faithful, we should be faithful, too.

REFLECT: Did the cupbearer do the right thing in today’s Bible reading? Why or why not? What makes faithfulness right and unfaithfulness wrong? Have you ever acted like the cupbearer? If so, in what ways? Are you being faithful to God? to your family? to your friends?

 PRAY: “God, your unfailing love never ends. Great is your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful to you and to my family and friends.”

 

 


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