Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pharaoh's Birthday Party

By Mary Vee
Genesis 40:20-23

Pharaoh sat back in his throne. He scanned to the right and left at his guests busily drinking, eating, and laughing. Some danced to the festive music composed specially for this birthday celebration others listened intently to lively conversation. Pharaoh clapped his hands together. The music stopped and the guests quieted down. "Bring forth the chief butler and chief baker."

The butler and baker's eyes grew wide. They looked at each other then at hundreds of eyes staring at them. The baker gulped and the butler wiped sweat from his brow.

"Come forth," Pharaoh commanded. The chief guard gave them a nudge forward. The butler abruptly threw his hands out to keep from falling. Their boots clattered on the floor one--step--at--a--time. The butler bit his lower lip as his legs marched forward, nearing death. Pharaoh picked up his glass and held it high then rose before his guests. He paused a moment. "You who are in this hall today are honored. No other has been chosen to attend this celebration of my birthday. You've served me well." The guest applauded. Pharaoh raised his hand and they quieted. "And now, in your presence, I've decided to announce my judgment regarding the butler and baker in your presence. Step forth, Chief Butler."

The Butler sighed. His eyes scanned to the right and left then he looked at the ceiling and whispered a few words. Pharaoh lowered his head to stare into the Butler's eyes. "You have been found innocent."

A servant stepped forward and placed the king's cup in the butler's hand. The butler smiled and filled the cup. He tasted the drink to be sure it had no poisons, waited a moment then handed it to Pharaoh. "Your drink."

Pharaoh raised the cup and sipped. He smacked his lips together and nodded. "You are hereby restored to your position as chief butler."

The Butler closed his eyes and bowed. "Thank you, Pharaoh." The guests applauded and cheered.

Pharaoh straightened his back and pressed his shoulders. "Baker, step forward." The baker boldly stepped forward, flicked himself in a quick bow then raised his eyes. Pharaoh scowled. "Baker, you are guilty, as I suspected."

The guests gasped and stepped back. Pharaoh raised his voice toward the guests. "That you all may know, Pharaoh will discover any evil act--" He turned to the guards and flung his left arm in the direction of the court. "Take him. Hang him--now!"

The baker's jaw dropped. He collapsed to his knees and pressed his hands together. "No! Pharaoh. I beg you. It will never happen again! Please. My family--I--I--" His voice faded as the guards dragged him out of the banquet hall. The doors slammed behind them.

The banquet hail stood silent.

Moments later Pharaoh cleared his throat. "It is my birthday. Start the music."

The guests looked at each other. They appeared to be frozen. Then one note sprang from an instrument, followed by another. The music invited all to dance. Some did. Some did not.

The butler sighed and sauntered to his seat. He sat down and tapped his fingers on the table. He turned to a friend. "I'm forgetting something."


"Well, if I knew, then it wouldn't be forgotten. What was it--I promised someone I would do, or say, or go--oh, maybe it will come to me tomorrow. Let's eat."

The Bible tells us God has kings, or pharaohs, or any other who rules to do His will--even the one's that don't believe in Him. How do you think Pharaoh found out that the baker was guilty instead of the butler? Why did the Pharaoh really invite the servants to his birthday party? What lesson did you learn from this Bible story?

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