Psa 105:18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
Psa 105:19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
Psa 105:20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
The word of the Lord, concerning his advancement.....
the word of the Lord tried him: it tried his faith and patience before it was accomplished; and when it was, it purged him and purified him, as silver in a furnace, and cleared him of the imputation and calumny of his mistress; for, even in the view of Pharaoh, he appeared to be a man in whom the Spirit of God was.
“Whose feet they hurt with Fetters.” From this we learn a little more of Joseph's sufferings than we find in the book of Genesis: inspiration had not ceased, and David was as accurate an historian as Moses, for the same Spirit guided his pen. “He was laid in iron;” or “into iron came his soul.” The prayer book version, “the iron entered into his soul,” is ungrammatical, but probably expresses much the same truth. His fetters hurt his mind as well as his body, and well did Jacob say, “The archers shot at him, and sorely grieved him.” Under the cruelly false accusation, which he could not disprove, his mind was, as it were, belted and bolted around with iron, and had not the Lord been with him he might have sunk under his sufferings. In all this, and a thousand things besides, he was an admirable type of him who in the highest sense is “the Shepherd, the stone of Israel.” The iron fetters were preparing him to wear chains of gold, and making his feet ready to stand on high places. It is even so with all the Lord's afflicted ones, they too shall one day step from their prisons to their thrones.
“Until the time that his word came.” God has his times, and his children must wait till his “until” is fulfilled. Joseph was tried as in a furnace, until the Lord's assaying work was fully accomplished. The word of the chief butler was nothing, he had to wait until God's word came, and meanwhile “the word of the Lord tried him.” He believed the promise, but his faith was sorely exercised. A delayed blessing tests men, and proves their metal, whether their faith is of that precious kind which can endure the fire. Of many a choice promise we may say with Daniel “the thing was true, but the time appointed was long.” If the vision tarry it is good to wait for it with patience. There is a trying word and a delivering word, and we must bear the one till the other comes to us. How meekly Joseph endured his afflictions, and with what fortitude he looked forward to the clearing of his slandered character we may readily imagine, it will be better still if under similar trials we are able to imitate him, and come forth from the furnace as thoroughly purified as he was, and as well prepared to bear the yet harder ordeal of honour and power.
Websters definition for Fetters;
1. A chain for the feet; a chain by which an animal is confined by the foot, either made fast or fixed, as a prisoner, or impeded in motion and hindered from leaping, as a horse whose fore and hind feet are confined by a chain.
The Philistines bound Samson with fetters of brass.
2. Any thing that confines or restrains from motion.
Passions too fierce to be in fetters bound.
1. To put on fetters; to shackle or confine the feet with a chain.
2. To bind; to enchain; to confine; to restrain motion; to impose restraints on.
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread.
This speaks of basically chains, placed wherever, even in the mind, chains. This history tells us, we can in time, be set free from the chains that are keeping us down. The N.T. tells us, we are not to faint, lose heart, for in due time our work will be rewarded. There are historic stories of those who were never set free from real chains, prisons, set free after death. Our ultimate setting free, from flesh, circumstances, labors, troubles, warfare, these do not fully end until they fully end in the world. The message is not what I want to bring forth, as in this story, it is true Joseph suffered a very long time, but he was set free and he was used in a great way.
I love what Spurgeon said,
The iron fetters were preparing him to wear chains of gold, and making his feet ready to stand on high places.