The News Isn’t Always Good

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 39-40, Matthew 11

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He asked the officers of Pharaoh who were under arrest with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so distressed today?”

They answered, “We’ve both had dreams, but there’s no one to interpret them.”

Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Describe your dreams to me.”

The chief wine steward described his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine right in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. When it budded, its blossoms appeared, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, crushed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 Joseph said to him, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three branches are three days. 13 After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and return you to your position. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just the way things were before when you were his wine steward. 14 But please, remember me when you are doing well and be loyal to me. Put in a good word for me to Pharaoh, so he sets me free from this prison. 15 I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews, and here too I’ve done nothing to be thrown into this dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “It was the same for me. In my dream, there were three baskets of white bread[a] on my head. 17 In the basket on top there were baked goods for Pharaoh’s food, but birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 Joseph responded, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three baskets are three days. 19 After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and will hang you from a tree where birds will peck your flesh from you.”

20 The third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a party for all of his servants. Before all of his servants, he gave an audience to the chief wine steward and the chief baker. 21 He returned the chief wine steward to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had said would happen when he interpreted their dreams for them. 23 But the chief wine steward didn’t remember Joseph; he forgot all about him (Genesis 40:7-23, Common English Bible).

Joseph, it would seem, lives a good news, bad news sort of life. Still, he seems to be around an awfully lot of bad news for him anyway. Good news? Dad gave him everything. Bad news? Dad gave him everything so his brothers want to kill him. Good news? He can be an obnoxious jerk and get away with it. Bad news? His brothers sell him into slavery. Good News? Potiphar buys Joseph and is really good to him. Bad news? Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph and he is sent to prison. Good news? The baker and the wine steward have dreams and Joseph interprets them. Bad news? Pharaoh has the baker executed as Joseph’s prophecy warned. Good news? The wine steward is freed and returns to his position. Bad news? He forgets the promise he made to Joseph to speak well of him to Pharaoh.

When it came to the interpretation of dreams it was a good news/bad news thing for the baker and the wine steward. The wine steward would be freed from jail and restored to his position. Good news for the wine steward. For the baker? Not so much. Joseph said, in essence, “You gonna die.”

As we go through this life we watch the news. We live news. Some of the news is good. Some news is bad. And, we are told that some news is fake. We encounter it all and we may or may not be happy about it but at times we are going to feel pretty good and at times we are going to feel pretty bad.

Yesterday I talked about Joseph being a spoiled brat. I still stand by that judgment though you may not agree. It won’t be the first time someone has disagreed with me. I feel pretty certain it won’t be the last either. Though Joseph might be a spoiled child in chapter 37, now in chapter 40 it becomes very easy to see that God is with Joseph. Every time the world crashes in on Joseph, God is there and where God is, there is always hope. And. Joseph never loses hope.

The news may not always be good for us. Things happen in life that shows the world is not always kind to us no matter how good we might be. But, we can rest in the assurance that God is always with us. And, just as Joseph had hope in the Lord, we too can hope in God and our hope is not misplaced.

The news is not always good, but we can and should have hope. God is with us and where God is there is always hope. Friends, that is good news that should stay with us always.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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