The higher you climb, the harder you fall. We get a direct glimpse at this principle when two new “roommates” join Joseph behind bars. Two men, both from the royal kitchen, were thrown onto the stone floor with a thud. I imagine Joseph gulped and asked, “What are y’all in for?” Neither of them gave him a straight answer. At least they didn’t seem violent; that’s a relief.
There’s not a lot to discuss in prison, so one of the prisoners began to share a play-by- play of his dreams with his new friends and felons. The cupbearer, who was in charge of testing the king’s food for poison, discussed wild images that flickered within his mind the night before. Joseph listened intensely and offered to pray to God in order to interpret the dream. After a short prayer, a grin grew across his face. Joseph explained, “within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position” (Genesis 40:13).
This was good news for the cupbearer. I imagine he pumped his fist and gave Joseph a powerful pat on the back, saying, “I certainly hope you’re right.” It turns out the interpretation was spot on. In three days, some bulky guards unlocked the cell to escort Joseph’s new friend back to freedom. Joseph simply asked, “remember me and show me kindness, mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison” (Genesis 40:14).
The cupbearer went back to work with a newfound appreciation for fresh air and freedom. There was just one little problem. He didn’t mention his prison buddy to the king or anyone on the royal court. Genesis 40:23 simply states, “he forgot him.”
Joseph’s life was a series of letdowns. His family let him down. Potiphar let him down. The cupbearer let him down. Letdowns are inevitable in life. We will all meet people like the cupbearer — people who make promises without producing any results. It’s inevitable. Friends may break our trust, family may fall apart, and people may abandon you when you need them most.
God will never let you down. Even when he seems far away, He’s just working. Even when things seem hopeless, God will help. If you’re looking at broken promises, God is picking up the pieces. He will put everything back together. It may take time. There may be a process, but He will come through at the perfect time. You may feel let down, but don’t give up hope.