Day 163: The Fear Of God

Genesis 40:16-23

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head. In the uppermost basket there was all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”

Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days. Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off you, and will hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off you.” It happened the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants, and he 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 position again, and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Joseph, but forgot him.

A way to recognize a man who fears God is that he isn’t afraid to speak the truth when it’s unpopular. Fearing the Lord usually also means not fearing men. I have not seen many of these kinds of leaders in my lifetime. In fact, I don’t see many people like this at all, but this is what God expects.

The amazing thing about this is that when we fear only God, we are actually freed from the fear of mankind. I believe that the fear of God is the fastest way to freedom from the tyranny of man.

Joseph knew that the baker’s dream was a bad one, but he didn’t hesitate from telling him the interpretation. God’s word must be told whether people want to hear it or not. We shouldn’t be listening to a preacher because we like what he says. We should be listening because we are getting the truth, no matter what it happens to be.

Now it could have been quite tempting for Joseph to give in and not tell him the interpretation. After all, Joseph got in trouble with his family after talking about his dreams. Also, telling the baker this interpretation might have cast a negative light on Joseph to the cupbearer who had the opportunity to help him get out. The fear of the Lord was still powerful in Joseph, even after all of his suffering. This is what a good leader should be like.