Devotional & Reflection

Week 1, August 2004

Gen 40:6-8 :
In His Service

By Pang Hee Hung, Katartizo Resources Ltd

Gen 40:6 When Joseph came to them (the cupbearer and baker) the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. v7 So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with him in his master's house, "Why are your faces so sad today?" v8 "We both had dreams," they answered, "but there is no one to interpret them." Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams."

Have we felt so down that we do not feel like serving anymore? Have we been hurt, betrayed, misunderstood, accused, retrenched, and we feel like we need to be ministered than ministering to others? Joseph should have been such a man when he was imprisoned for an offence he did not commit.

Joseph was falsely accused of attempted rape and he was convicted for an act that he did not commit. The conviction defiled God's name along with Joseph's reputation because Potiphar identified Joseph with God. Potiphar "saw that the Lord was with him (Joseph) and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did" (Gen 39:3). This event tarnished Joseph's otherwise impeccable record. Joseph had worked in a responsible position and was entrusted with everything Potiphar owned (Gen 39:4).

How would we have felt if we were in Joseph's position? Would we be angry with God? Can we even serve God?

Joseph offers us an inspiring example to follow. He shows us that we can be In His Service (IHS) Anywhere - even in prison. Despite being imprisoned unjustly, he was sensitive to the needs of people around him. He noticed that the cupbearer and baker were dejected (Gen 40:6) and offered his services. Joseph learned to meet the needs of others rather than focus on his own problems and hurts.

When we learn sensitivity to the needs of people around us – people who need help and a touch from the Lord - God will open our eyes. We may proceed to ask these troubled people, "Can I pray for you? Tell me your needs. Tell me what's troubling you. Do not healing and solutions come from the Lord?" This is akin to what Joseph said, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams." (Gen 40:8).

A good guide in serving God is to know our gifts and offer our God-given gifts for His Majesty's Service. Dreams and interpretation of dreams were Joseph's gifts (Gen 37:5-9; 40:8-22; 41:12-39). He used these gifts to serve the two dejected prisoners. When we serve with our gifts, God will use us. When God called Jacob/Israel and his family with the view of preserving the future kingdom of Israel, God provided the requisite gifts to this man, Joseph, as his instrument of preservation.

Although the cupbearer was reinstated just as Joseph said he would, sadly he forgot Joseph’s request to restore him out of prison (Gen 40:14). Did Joseph give up serving? Whatever the case may be, be prepared to be forgotten for our good deeds when we serve. But do not lose heart. Continue to serve. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Gal 6:9). We will reap blessings. The blessings may or may not come in the immediate future. Some blessings can come much later - as in Joseph's situation. But like Joseph, we continue to serve because we can be IHS - Anywhere.

1. How can we be more sensitive to the feelings of people around us?
2. What gifts are we blessed with?
3. When and what was the most recent incident whereby people forgot about you? Could you still serve God?
4. When was the last time people appreciated you as you served them? Praise God!

Forget Oneself To Serve Others,
And Others Will Not Forget You.

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