'The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him,' Genesis 40:23.
Joseph was in the prison set aside for Pharaoh's prisoners,(39:20), and because the captain of the guard trusted him, he made Joseph responsible for the care of a number of prisoners including Pharaoh's chief cupbearer and chief baker, (40:4).
Despite the injustice of his own situation, Joseph seems to have been more concerned with the welfare of his fellow prisoners, even though they probably deserved to be there. Does that not remind us of our dying Saviour on the cross? One morning Joseph noticed the change in the faces of the baker and cupbearer, and I ask myself do I always look into the faces of the people I meet and even notice their sadness and/or dejection?
'Why are your faces so sad today?' Again, I'm challenged. If I look into their eyes and detect their sorrow or anxiety, am I always eager to know the reason why? Or am I more concerned that to enquire might result in a problem for me or might mess up my well planned, well ordered day? However, Joseph was full of compassion, and asked what was troubling them. When told of their troubling dreams, he wanted to do something to help. Although aware that he himself might not know the answers, he believed in a God who did, (v 8b).
For the cupbearer God's revelation through Joseph was good news, but for the baker it could not have been worse. Again I am challenged. Am I always ready to tell someone I care for what they need to hear, even when it is unpalatable or unpleasant? The truth can hurt, however sensitively we might share it. But the positive thing for the baker in being told he was going to be executed in three days, was that he had time to put some things right, to remind his love ones of his love for them and prepare himself for his departure from this life.
Sadly, having helped the cupbearer in his hour of need, when the cupbearer returned to his elevated position and all was again going well for him, he forgot Joseph and what he had done for him. Have you ever been there for someone in crisis, maybe at great sacrifice to yourself, giving time, money and much else, only to be forgotten completely when their crisis has passed. You feel used, abused even...what then? 'Lord help me to give and not to count the cost, even when seemingly I'm treated with contempt. Lord, fill me with that Spirit that filled Jesus, that I might exemplify him and not be controlled by the me in me. Amen.' God bless you all.