How should we expect an all-knowing, all-powerful Deity to act? As a dictator? A celebrity? A self-absorbed ruler? No matter what we expect, God blows the expectations out of the water time and time again. In this chapter of Genesis, what I see is a God who is more concerned with making His creatures look good, a God who shares His honor with His subordinates.
Joseph is still in prison, and actually, this is the first time I’ve ever realized that he is in Potiphar’s prison. Verse 3 says that the cupbearer and baker were put "in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined." Chapter 39 identifies the captain of the guard as Potiphar. After a little research into Egyptian culture, it sounds like this would have been a prison, or dungeon, underneath Potiphar’s house.
No wonder Joseph got put in charge of the prison! And in this chapter, too, it says that it was the "captain of the guard" (Potiphar) who assigned the cupbearer and baker to Joseph. All of this makes me wonder if Potiphar really believed what his wife had accused Joseph of. In any event, Potiphar certainly knew where the good help was! If Joseph wasn’t going to be in charge of the "upstairs" any longer, he could rule over the dungeon below.
Here was Joseph, an outsider to Egyptian culture, a slave, and now apparently a "criminal," being promoted to power and authority no matter where he goes. Furthermore, after the cupbearer and baker have been in prison for a while, they start having dreams and (surprise, surprise!) Joseph has the correct interpretations.
Undoubtedly, God was beginning to communicate to the Egyptians that He was the true God, and He was doing that through Joseph. But there were lots of ways God could have communicated. He could have found a way to come down and dazzle the Egyptians, saying, "Look at Me!" Instead, He communicated about who He was by blessing and honoring Joseph to such an extent that people started to sit up and take notice.
God isn’t a dictator or a celebrity or an ego-maniac. He doesn’t reserve honor and glory for Himself. Instead, He freely shares it with us. He honors us. He blesses us. He makes us shine with His glory. The more glory we can handle, the more He will give. He is definitely not a hoarder!