Then Joseph said to the cupbearer, “This is its interpretation; the three branches are three days. In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. Genesis 40:12-13
Have you ever been shamed? No matter the context, the experience is gut-wrenching. Your mind runs tapes of the accusations. Your face feels hot when you think about it. Your body language turns inward.
Joseph told the cupbearer, the one who was falsely accused, that Pharaoh would lift his head in three days. The Hebrew idiom paints a beautiful picture. It is when the one shrunken in shame is restored to his position of power. It’s used other places in scripture that expand its beauty.
God speaks to His people and joyfully commands them to lift their heads. He has gone out to battle on their behalf and has come back victorious. Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Psalm 24:7
King David, betrayed by his son Absalom, on the run with just the clothes on his back, turns to God for vindication. He climbs the Mount of Olives, covers his head, weeps, and says, “You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3 As king, he could have formed an army, or at least a posse, to get back his throne but he abandoned all ideas of conniving, battling, and manipulating. He recognized that God was his rescuer.
Who has stripped you of your honor? Have you given up all hope of restoration? Perhaps you have even abandoned prayer. If you’re a fighter, however, you may have vowed to take revenge. You intend to get back what you’ve lost no matter who must pay. Turning aside from God as your Redeemer, you’ve taken up your own cause.
David left the battle to God. So did Joseph. They did the thing that is the hardest for any of us ~ they waited on God to move. He always will. We just don’t know when. In the meantime, the waiting is never wasted. God draws near, comforts, teaches us what He suffered under the same circumstances, and pours out treasure upon treasure that is only found in the darkness. He is, and will be, the lifter of our heads.
Satan offered you a way out of waiting when he offered you the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. Thank you for not caving. Everything would have been lost. So teach me to wait! Amen