III. JOSEPH CONFIRMED AND STRENGTHENED
BY THE FULFILLMENT OF THE DREAMS
OF HIS COMPANIONS IN PRISON
It was just a matter of days before the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker were fulfilled. When the dreams of Joseph’s companions were fulfilled, Joseph was confirmed and strengthened. If I had been Joseph, I would certainly have been encouraged, and I would have said, "Even though I have not yet seen the fulfillment of my dreams, I have the confirmation that the fulfillment will certainly come. I interpreted the dreams of these two men, and the interpretations have come to pass. This will also happen in the case of my dreams. My fulfillment will also come."
IV. JOSEPH TRIED FURTHER BY HIS DREAMS
NOT BEING FULFILLED
FOR ANOTHER PERIOD OF TIME
The fulfillment of the dreams of Joseph’s companions came in a few days. But Joseph was tried further by the fact that his dreams were not fulfilled for another period of time (40:14, 23). Genesis 41:1 indicates that another two full years went by. During these last two years, the test was most difficult. Before the cupbearer left the prison, Joseph pleaded with him to remember him, saying, "But remember me with thee when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house" (40:14, Heb.). Joseph seemed to be saying to the cupbearer, "When you are restored, remember me with you. Don’t just remember yourself. When you are doing well and everything is going well with you, please remember me." Nevertheless, the chief cupbearer forgot Joseph (40:23). Joseph’s dreams were confirmed, but they were still not fulfilled.
Before the confirmation of Joseph’s dreams, Joseph had faith; and after the confirmation was given, he had more faith. The more faith we have, the more testing we shall suffer. Suppose you were Joseph there in confinement. What would you have said? Joseph might have said, "I had two dreams many years ago, and they have not been fulfilled. But these two men had a dream, and their dream was fulfilled after three days. How long will it be before my dreams are fulfilled?" Thus, the last two years were the most difficult period of Joseph’s time of testing.
What we are describing in this message is not a mere doctrine. As we follow the heavenly vision, we shall trace Joseph’s footsteps. Never think that Joseph was enthroned immediately after he saw the vision. No, he had to pass through a long period of trial and testing. The visions Joseph saw not only controlled his life; they also sustained his faith. This does not mean, however, that if your faith is stronger, the length of time until the fulfillment of your dreams will be shortened. Rather, the stronger your faith is, the longer the period of testing will be. Joseph’s time of testing was much longer than that of his companions because he was more valuable than they. Because they were not so valuable, the time of their fulfillment came very quickly. Actually, for those two latecomers, there was nearly no testing. They each had a dream, and a few days later their dreams were fulfilled. Because Joseph was important and valuable, the time of his testing could not be shortened.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 112, by Witness Lee)