Interpretations Belong To God


image courtesy of

Genesis 40:8 (KJV) …. We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

What do we do when nothing seems to make sense?
What do we do when the trials keep on coming?
We rest in God, trusting in His Word.

Proverbs 3:5 Every Word of God is pure: He is a Shield unto them that put their trust in Him.

A Butler, a Baker, and a Brother named Joseph are all in prison. Two are discouraged, but Joseph is not. Why is that? Because Joseph learned a lesson that we all need to learn.

… interpretations belong to God

Our God is the God of all that occurs. He is the God of whatever may come my way. When we come to the valleys of life let us – like Brother Joseph – focus on our Lord. God says …

Isaiah 50:10 (KJV)  Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

You Can Love God And Be In A Valley

Joseph was in a valley. He was imprisoned because of sin – not his sin – but the sin of others. He was in prison not because he did something wrong, but because he did something right. Joseph was the patriarch Israel’s favorite son. The Bible says …

Genesis 37:3 (KJV) Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children..

It is a parenting mistake to love one child more than another – particularly when you show it. Israel spoiled Joseph even to the point of giving him a coat of many colors, an expensive garment back in those days. Because of what his father did Joseph was hated by his other brothers. Hatred is sin. Pride is sin. And I’m sure their attitude hurt Joseph. Can you imagine being hated by the brothers you wanted to play with every day? Joseph probably cried himself to sleep at night. I don’t know this. The text doesn’t tell us.

But Interpretations Belong To God.

I’m just guessing. But being bullied as a child myself I can tell you that it makes you bitter and frightful and shy. I lay awake many nights fearing the sun rise, knowing that I would be punched and ridiculed in just a few hours. I could fall into despair, or look up. I could let the darkness swallow me or look up. Praise the Lord, He grabbed me before I became part of the darkness.

Psalms 34:17-18 (KJV) The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

God loves those who will love Him. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). If you are bullied, if you are lonely, if you are in the darkness of depression – look up. God is there. Jesus loves you!

God spoke to Joseph in the midst of his suffering.
God was going to turn a bad thing into a good thing.

Interpretations belong to God

God spoke to Joseph and told him that he was going to raise Joseph up above his brothers and even above his parents. Joseph should have cherished this Word from God. But he was an impetuous 17 year old, so he went and shared what God told him in a dream. Joseph told them …

Genesis 37:7-8 (KJV) … behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

It threw gasoline on the fire for him to share this Word. His brothers threw Joseph in a pit, and sold him as a slave to a band of traders headed toward Egypt. Joseph could have drowned in despair or surrendered to bitterness, but he didn’t. He kept looking up because …

Interpretations belong to God

Sold to a high ranking official named Potiphar Joseph did not despair. He continued to walk with God throughout his enslavement. The Bible tells us that

Genesis 39:2-4 (KJV) … the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

Joseph did not allow his circumstances to define him.
He allowed the LORD to define him.
Joseph was with the LORD, and
The LORD was with Joseph.

Remain Faithful To God No Matter How Dark It Is

The Bible is filled with stories of people who were in darkness and yet trusted God. Job comes to mind, or the Prophets Habakkuk or Jeremiah. In the New Testament I think of John the Baptist imprisoned, waiting to be beheaded by an evil king. Trust in God no matter how dark the night, for God is in control.

Though enslaved, things are going well for Joseph. He is actually prospering and gaining ground though a servant. Joseph is prospering because he is serving God. You cannot out give God.

When times get tough, serve God.
When things are rough, serve God.
When the valley seem deepest, serve God.
Trust the Lord to do the best for you.

Joseph was not done being tested. In time his master’s wife decided that Joseph would become her sex toy. She approached Joseph and said “Lie with me”. Joseph was not tempted. The Bible tells us that Joseph told her …

Genesis 39:9-12 (KJV) … how then can I do this great wickedness, and SIN AGAINST GOD?

Some would have justified their sins. They would have said, “Well, God let me be a slave in this household … and if that’s what she wants, then fine!” Yet Joseph knew that God would never tempt him to sin. The Bible says:

James 1:13-14 (KJV) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

God cannot look on sin, and God does not tempt us to sin. Joseph refused her advances. This woman kept tempting him daily, but the Bible says

Genesis 39:10 … as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

Joseph wouldn’t even stay in the same room with her. One day she caught him, and demanded that he lay with her. The Bible says that Joseph …

Genesis 39:12 … left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Joseph did the best thing he could do. He FLED. He ran away from sin. This is the best thing we can do when confronted with sin. We should PLEAD THE BLOOD OF CHRIST and RUN AWAY. The Bible says …

2 Timothy 2:22 (KJV) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Interpretations belong to God
If God has said it is wrong, should we not flee it?

Joseph did the right thing and ended up in prison. If you read your Bibles you’ll see that Joseph was released from prison when he was 30 years old (Genesis 41:46), and he was 17 years old when his brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:2). Joseph could have been imprisoned up to 12 years. Again, he could have become bitter over his circumstances, but he wasn’t. What kept him from bitterness is that he trusted the promise of God.

Interpretations belong to God.
God promised Joseph that his family would bow before him.

Numbers 23:19 (KJV) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Apply this to your life, dear Christian. Has not God promised:

Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) … I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Hasn’t God promised you eternal life?

1 John 2:25 (KJV) … this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Beloved of God, has not God made you exceedingly great promises? Haven’t you been promised Heaven?

Revelation 21:7 (KJV)  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Hasn’t God promised you that He is overlooking your lives, controlling all things for your good if you love Him?

Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Joseph had a dream that he held on to.
We have a Word from God just as sure.
God is faithful.
Like Joseph, God wants to bless you.
He wants to lift you up.
He does this in His own time and in His own way.

Romans 8:32 (KJV) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, HOW SHALL HE NOT WITH HIM ALSO FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?

Interpretations belong to God!

Is He not good. Is God not gracious? Would God be so unjust as to make a promise that He would not keep. Kathy sings one of my favorite songs:

For the God on the mountain, is the God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right.
And the God of the good times
Is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night”

So when Joseph is in prison he is not discouraged.

Let Us Live Our Lives CONSISTENTLY Leaning Into God

Joseph embraced the Word God gave him, and kept on leaning into God’s arms no matter what came his way.

One day two of the King’s men, the Baker and the Butler, did something to offend the King. They ended up in prison. Now Joseph is in prison with them. The Bible says:

Genesis 40:4 (KJV) And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

Joseph is a prisoner of even the prisoners. The jailer said “Now Joseph, you serve these other prisoners.” It seemed as if Joseph couldn’t even get a break in prison! Yet Joseph did not despair. He kept looking to God. He kept trusting His Savior and Lord.

One day Joseph came in and saw that the Butler and the Baker looked sad. Joseph asked them …

Genesis 40:7-8 (KJV) … Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? 8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. …

Joseph asks that wonderful question – one that we have repeated throughout this message:

Do not interpretations belong to God?

And then he says … “Tell me them I pray you”.

Interpretations belong to God. Joseph was not putting himself in the place of God when he told the Baker and the Butler “Tell me your dreams”. Joseph knew that interpretations belonged to God. But Joseph had spent his life listening to God, obeying God, loving God. He knew that he was loved of God. So if these men would tell their dreams, Joseph knew that God would give him the interpretation.

You gain power with God by CONSISTENCY.
You CONSISTENTLY read your Bibles.
You CONSISTENTLY pray daily.
You CONSISTENTLY adjust your behavior to please Him.
The Grand Canyon was carved by
consistently dripping water.
The snail made it to the Ark by being
CONSISTENCY does not rely on feelings but on faith.
CONSISTENCY does not depend on the mountain,
Nor the valley, but

What does the Bible say?

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Joseph diligently sought God in the light and in the dark.
Joseph diligently sought God in the good and in the bad.
Joseph diligently sought God in freedom and in slavery.
Joseph diligently sought God when bullied and when blessed.
Joseph trusted God so much that he knew God would tell him.

The Butler told Joseph:

Genesis 40:9-11 (KJV) … In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 11 And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

Interpretations belong to God. Almost without a pause Joseph shares what the Lord tells him. He says,

Genesis 40:12-13 … This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

You’re going to get your old job back. That was good news! Then the Baker told his dream:

Genesis 40:16-17 (KJV) … When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: 17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bake meats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.

The baker expected to hear some good news. The Butler after all had good news. Why not the Baker. But Interpretations belong to God, not to Joseph. Again without a pause Joseph says:

Genesis 40:18-19 …. This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: 19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

Do not interpretations belong to God?
Joseph doesn’t add to God’s Word.
He speaks the truth as God gave it.

Interpretations belong to God

It all happened exactly as Joseph said, for Joseph spoke what God told him to say. And yet the Bible says:

Genesis 40:23 (KJV)23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

But God never forgot Joseph. In time God would raise Joseph up, and fulfill every promise He made to him. God is like that. God is good like that. God would use Joseph to do a great thing that would glorify the Lord. Why?

Interpretations belong to God

Oh Beloved, live your lives looking unto Jesus. Look unto Him Who loves you and gave Himself for you. Do not let your circumstances define you, but let your Savior define you. This is where life is the most blessed. Let God be God. Surrender your lives to Him, in Christ’s name I beg you!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Genesis, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.