Our Daily Bread Devotional For August 14, 2023 : Topic – Lonely, but Not Forgotten
Bible in a Year:
The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
This isn’t the first time in Genesis that God spoke in dreams to individuals who weren’t His chosen people. He’d warned King Abimelek in a dream not to touch Sarah, the wife of Abraham (20:3). Then there was Jacob’s father-in-law Laban, whom God warned in a dream not to harm Jacob (31:24–29). In chapter 40, Joseph was careful to credit Him for the interpretation of dreams (v. 8). Later, God would use the dreams of Pharaoh to show His power, not Joseph’s (41:1–16), a point Joseph highlighted repeatedly (vv. 16–32).
Message : When you listen to their stories, it becomes clear that perhaps the most difficult part of being a prisoner is isolation and loneliness. In fact, one study revealed that regardless of the length of their incarceration, most prisoners receive only two visits from friends or loved ones during their time behind bars. Loneliness is a constant reality.
It’s a pain I imagine Joseph felt as he sat in prison, unjustly accused of a crime. There had been a glimmer of hope. God helped Joseph correctly interpret a dream from a fellow inmate who happened to be a trusted servant of Pharaoh. Joseph told the man he would be restored to his position and asked the man to mention him to Pharaoh so Joseph could gain his freedom (Genesis 40:14). But the man “did not remember Joseph; he forgot him” (v. 23). For two more years, Joseph waited. In those years of waiting, without any sign that his circumstances would change, Joseph was never completely alone because God was with him. Eventually, the servant of Pharaoh remembered his promise and Joseph was released after correctly interpreting another dream (41:9–14).
Regardless of circumstances that make us feel we’ve been forgotten, and the feelings of loneliness that creep in, we can cling to God’s reassuring promise to His children: “I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15).
Reflect & Pray
When have you experienced the pain of being forgotten? How does the reminder of God’s constant presence provide comfort?
Heavenly Father, help me to reach out to You when I feel forgotten and remember that You’re always with me.