A Study in the Life of Joseph Lesson #4 Joseph Dealing with a Tough Situation

  A Study in the Life of Joseph

 Lesson #4 Joseph Dealing with a Tough Situation (Genesis 40:1-23)

In the previous lesson Joseph wound up in prison for something he did not do. But the Lord was with Joseph even in the prison. In this lesson we will deal with the subject of how to prosper during a hard time.

While Joseph was in prison he was put in charge of the other prisoners. One day the chief baker and the chief butler of Pharaoh were thrown into prison. Both men dreamed dreams and Joseph with the help of the Lord interpreted those dreams. The interpretation for the butler was that he would be restored to his position. Joseph asked him to remember him and speak favorably to Pharaoh on his behalf. The interpretation for the baker was that he would be hung by Pharaoh. The interpretations came true and Joseph was not remembered by the butler and continued in prison for another two years.

Joseph as a type of Jesus Christ in this passage:

1)  There are two key prisoners with Joseph (verse 2) – see Matthew 27:38 for Jesus.

  • One of the prisoners is restored the other is cursed (Luke 23:39-43)
  • One is hanged on a tree (Galatians 3:13)
  • The one who is cursed is the baker who dreams of bread and fruit of the vine (Matthew 26:26-29)

2)  Joseph is bound (verse 3) – see John18:12 for Jesus.

3)  Joseph is numbered with the criminals (verse 3-4) – see Mark15:28 for Jesus.

4)  Joseph wanted to know why the baker and butler were sad (verse 6-7) – see Luke 24:17 for Jesus.

5)  Joseph served these men (verse 4) – see John 13:1-13 for Jesus.

6)  Joseph gave interpretations (verse 12-13) – see Luke 24:45 for Jesus.

What can we learn from this passage in regard to prospering in hard times?

1)  Recognize that God is with us (Genesis 39:21-22)

  • If you are saved and following the Lord, then we must look at it as God has us in this situation for a reason (Proverbs 3:5-6)

2)  Find a way to serve others (Genesis 40:4)

  • When we are in a hard time we tend to focus on just what is happening to us or make everything about us.
  • Instead of this just get busy serving others (2 Corinthians 11:28)

3)  Honor God in what you do (Genesis 40:8)

  • Whatever is done in the hard times honor God with it (1 Corinthians 13:31)

4)  Trust God and not man to get you out of those situations (Genesis 40:14,15,23)

  • Note we are right back where we started at, we must simply trust God (Proverbs 3:5-6)

A Study in the Life of Joseph

 Lesson #4 Joseph Dealing with a Tough Situation (Genesis 40:1-23)


1)  What is happening with Joseph in this passage?

2)  How is Joseph a type of Jesus Christ in this passage?

3)  What can we learn in regards to prospering in hard times?