A Cupbearer's Dream

Genesis 40:5-13, 20-21

One night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.” Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days; within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.”

On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.

God has a dream for all of us, a dream that we might all be cupbearers – not cupbearers for Pharaoh, but cupbearers of God. The cupbearer in this reading bears only a cup of the finest wine the nation has to offer, but we bear in our hands the cup that contains the very presence of God. The cup we bear is far more precious than any cup owned by Pharaoh. The cup we bear is for us to drink and for us to share. The cup the cupbearer held in his hands was not for him to drink, it was meant for one and only one person, Pharaoh.  The cup we hold in our hands in for all the world.

The cupbearer was restored to his ministry of cupbearing by Pharaoh’s favor. We are restored by the cup itself and the precious drink within it that washes away every sin and restores us to favor with God.

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