The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him” (Genesis 40:23, NIV).
That must have been a cruel disappointment. Joseph does the cupbearer a huge favour in prison and all he asks is that Pharaoh’s servant put in a good word for him when he gets released. After all, the man has the king’s ear.
It’s easy to point a finger until I remember all the people I forget.
That phone call to ask how someone is who has been sick or who is going through a difficult time.
That email to pass along an invitation, or to connect with someone far away.
That person I should have spoken to on Sunday at church.
That letter or card I should have sent to remember a special day.
That person who needed a visit but didn’t get one from me.
That time with the Lord when He was waiting—and I didn’t wait.
The passage doesn’t say that Joseph was disappointed, discouraged, hurt, by the cupbearer’s forgetfulness. Perhaps as a man of faith it didn’t bother him—much. But whether or not the people we forget are able to walk away from our forgetfulness without being hurt, we are not excused from that forgetfulness.
Sometimes it simply slips our minds in the busyness of life. But there is not a whole lot of excuse for that in the age of the Blackberry and the abundance of such ancient technology as calendars and memo pads.
Joseph waited two years to be remembered by the cupbearer (41:1). I wonder how far into that period he went before he realized that he had been forgotten? When did he give up hope? Happily, Joseph’s hope was in the Lord. But what about those you and I know whose only hope right now is us?
Lord, deliver us from forgetfulness.


  1. I forget things like this WAY too often. Great reminder!

  2. As someone who often has so much on her plate that she forgets those little things she's supposed to be doing, I take comfort in knowing that God never forgets me!

  3. Wow! Powerful post, Lynda! Reminded me of many I need to get/stay in touch with. Not because they need me, but rather, the Lord has prompted me to reach out to them, and I've 'forgotten.' Thanks for this timely reminder! God bless!


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