Day 161: Respect For Humanity

Genesis 40:1-8

It happened after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison many days. They both dreamed a dream, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison. Joseph came in to them in the morning, and saw them, and saw that they were sad. He asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”

They said to him, “We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it.”

Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me.”

When I read this story this time, I noticed that the Bible says that Joseph “took care of” prisoners. Usually prisoners are not treated very well and the idea of “taking care” of them is probably not very common in this world. The Bible tells us some very important things that we must keep in mind regarding every human who is alive on earth. First, everyone sins. This means that everyone is in God’s jail from birth. Second, every man was made in the image of God Himself. There is respect that the image of God alone demands. It is clear that Joseph understood this and was willing to take care of any person, even convicted prisoners.

Notice that Joseph even cared about the sadness on their faces. Perhaps, because of the false accusations that got him put in jail, he was able to recognize that not only where there bad people everywhere, but that sometimes, good people end up in jail too. In any case, he was even willing to do what he could to help them. Another thing I noticed was that Joseph put people first even though he was an excellent administrator. Being good with administrative tasks and dealing with people on a personal level can go together.

Finally, we see that “interpretations belong to God.” There was a point in time that I
considered this to possibly mean that all dreams have an interpretation, but that is not what it says. All it says is that the proper interpretation of a dream comes from God. I honestly believe that the interpretation of some dreams could be that you watched a movie the day before or have been under a great deal of stress. Whatever the real interpretation is, God knows because He is the one who can interpret it properly. I know that I can’t. Joseph refused to take credit for interpretations. That’s how we should be too.