Genesis 40:1-23, “Do not interpretations belong to God?”
Only God knows the future. In the Bible, God recorded all of the knowledge of the future that God wants us to have. The Bible is the word of God and can tell us what is important. The philosophy of man, the religions of man, the interpretations of man, and the idols made by men, cannot help a person when he dies. The interpretations of man, false religions and prophets, are erroneous.
Joseph is an example to the every Christian who wants to have a close relationship with God and walk in the Holy Spirit. God gave us the story of Joseph to show us how to walk with God.
In Genesis 40:1-23, in the confines of a prison, while suffering tremendous adversity, we can see several fruits of the Spirit in this passage in the life of Joseph: longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and faith. Galatians 5:22 and 23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Because Joseph walked in the Spirit of God; he could have the proper interpretations of the dreams.
Verse 1-8 Interpretations belong unto God.
Astrologers and false prophets cannot accurately foretell the future. The reason why we have so many different interpretations of the prophecies of the scriptures is due to the fact that false prophets, and false teachers, cannot accurately interpret the scriptures. The apostle Peter clearly stated that only holy men of God, using the scriptures as their standard, can properly interpret the scriptures. 2 Peter 1:20 and 21 says, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
“… but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Because Joseph was ‘holy,’or as Galatians 5:23 states, ‘temperance,’ God gave him the proper interpretation. The meaning of temperate is; (1) marked by moderation: as, keeping or held within limits: not extreme or excessive; and, marked by an absence or avoidance of extravagance, violence, or extreme partisanship. A saint cannot be ‘holy’ without having ‘temperance’ in his character.
Daniel 2:27 & 28, “Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.” The false prophets, and false teachers, in the churches, the false gods of the Taoists, the Confucian, and the Buddhists, cannot reveal the end times. Only the Bible can give us the events of the end time.
The prophecies of the scriptures are true and will come to pass. Joseph was a true prophet. God gave him dreams and Joseph could interpret the dreams of others. In this story God gave us two examples.
As with Daniel, God gave Joseph the proper interpretation and Joseph gave the honour and glory to God. “Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.” Daniel 2:27 & 28
Even though Joseph was in prison unjustly, Joseph still had goodness in his life to help the Baker and the Butler in their trials of life in the prison. Please take note that Joseph saw the sadness of these men and had an inward desire, without the prospect of a reward, to help both of these men in their sorrows of life.
Is not this act of goodness, this act of kindness, without any prospect of reward, like the goodness and kindness of the Lord Jesus? “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38
Verse 9-13 The dream of the Butler.
The butler told Joseph the dream and Joseph told the the butler the correct interpretation of the dream. Only God could have told Joseph the interpretation.
Verse 14 and 15 Joseph's Request and Testimony.
Joseph asked the butler to make mention of him to Pharaoh. Joseph then told the butler his story. Joseph reminded the butler that he did nothing wrong. The life of Joseph, as the life of the Lord Jesus, was above reproach.
Verse 16-19 The dream of the Baker
The chief baker told Joseph his dream and Joseph told the baker the correct interpretation of the dream.
Verse 20-22 The Fulfillment of the Two Dreams
The interpretations of Joseph were correct. God gave the interpretation to Joseph and Joseph told the interpretations of the two dreams to the butler and to the baker. The dreams were fulfilled in public.
As with Daniel, God gave the correct interpretations of both of the dreams.
The interpretation of a true prophet is always right. Deuteronomy 18:22, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
Verse 23 the Butler forgot Joseph
Man forgets, but God does not. In God's proper timing, and in His proper ways, He will fulfill His will. In the life of Joseph we know that he had a good relationship with God. Even though he is in prison, he did good, the butler forgot him and Joseph remained in prison. Even in intense adversity, Joseph was kind to those around him.
In spite of the other peoples failure, Joseph still trusted in God. In spite of his still being in prison, Joseph still trusted in God and did good. Joseph, throughout his life, and in this instance, had longsuffering, gentleness in adversity, goodness and faith.