“…I do remember my faults this day.” (Genesis 41:9)
How important are our words? Read Matthew 12:36-37, especially Matthew 12:37, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
James tells us in James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Therefore, it is very important that we speak truth at all times, for there is always a consequence to our words.
So it was with Joseph as he was in the king’s prison. The captain of the guard placed Joseph in a position of serving the king’s Chief Butler and Chief Baker, who had both been placed in prison by the Pharaoh for offending him. The Chief Butler and the Chief Baker each dreamed a dream. Joseph came in to see about them one morning and saw their sadness. Joseph inquired why they looked so sad; they answered him concerning their dreams and that they had no interpreter of their dreams.
Note there were Three Parts to Joseph’s conversation:
First, he said, “… Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you” (Genesis 40:8c). The conversations that God honors are those that honor Him. Joseph made no pretense that any but God could interpret dreams. Joseph’s conversation was not worldly, but heavenly. His words pointed not to the pride of man, but to the wisdom of God. When we speak, we need to speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11) (or the utterances of God through His servants). Christ said in Matthew 5:37, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
Secondly, Joseph spoke truth as he told the Chief Butler and Chief Baker the interpretations of their dreams. It was easy to tell the Butler, for he would be restored as Pharaoh’s Chief Butler in three days. But it was hard to tell the Chief Baker, because he was to be hanged in three days on a tree and the birds would eat his flesh from off him. But Joseph stood to the truth and declared it. So must the man of God, the spokesman of God, and the pastor. He is to stand in the gap and proclaim the pure Word of God. Some it drives away and some it draws. The preachers or the interpreters are delivery boys only. They are not the message, but the message bearers. A prophet is only established to be a prophet if his words come true (Deuteronomy 18:22). God only blesses truth. The truth will make you free (John 8:32).
Thirdly, Joseph had patience in his request. Joseph made request to be remembered by the Chief Butler. But the Butler forgot about Joseph until Pharaoh dreamed a dream and no one could give the interpretation. Two full years had passed since Joseph had interpreted the Chief Butler’s dream. (Genesis 41:9), “Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:” In Genesis 41:10-13, the Chief Butler told Pharaoh of his dream, and that Joseph had interpreted it. Then Pharaoh called for Joseph (Genesis 41:14). Joseph told Pharaoh, “…It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Genesis 41:16). Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41:17-36); and in Genesis 41:37, “And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.”
How to be successful in a crisis:
- Your conversation must be Godly, even in prison;
- You must speak the truth regardless;
- You must be patient and wait on God’s timing concerning you conversation in the crisis.
What is your Conversation in times of Crisis? Do you speak up for God or do you speak up for the flesh? Joseph could have taken the credit for being an interpreter of dreams. He could have lied to the Chief Baker. He could have given up after so long a time, and tried to take matters into his own hands. But he did not; Joseph stayed true to God and to His Truth, and followed by being patient.
It paid off for Joseph and it will for you.
(This is a re-post from December 27, 2011, as Part 3 of The Joseph Collection Series.)