“Behold, this dreamer cometh”

Joseph is one of the sterling characters of the Biblical canon. From Genesis 37-50, Moses records the history of Jospeh, which is an absolute roller coaster. Joseph is the young son of Jacob, and is loved in a special way (Genesis 37:3). The brothers were very jealous of Joseph, and like siblings often do, Jospeh seemingly added salt into the wound. Joseph revealed dreams to the brothers about their submission and obeisance (Genesis 37:5-8). Joseph dreamed another dream and revealed it to his brethren and his father, and Jacob rebuked him for it (Genesis 37:9-10). The brothers were so consumed with envy and hatred that they conspired to kill Joseph (Genesis 37:19).

Jacob sent Joseph to see how his brethren were and bring back word about them and the flocks (Genesis 37:13-14). So, Joseph, being the obedient son he was, set out to find them. He traveled to Shechem and then on to Dothan, where he found them (Genesis 37:14-17). It is here that they looked up to exclaim, “Behold, this dreamer cometh” (Genesis 37:19).

Jospeh not only dreamed, but Joseph was able to interpret the dreams of others. In an exceptionally low point in Josephs life, Joseph was incarcerated with two men that both had dreams. They were Pharaoh’s former butler and baker. Joseph was able to reveal to these men the meaning of the dream, and they came to pass just as he told them (Genesis 40:1-22). In this, Joseph gave the honor to God (Genesis 40:8). Next in the narrative, Pharoah also had two dreams (Genesis 41:1-8).  None could give the interpretation, and finally, the butler remembered this man who had the ability to reveal the meaning of the dream (Genesis 41:9-13). Pharoah sent for Joseph and he delivered the meaning and gave the glory to God (Genesis 41:25ff). Not only did God reveal the dream, but He gave Jospeh the solution to the problem (Genesis 41:34ff). This was very pleasing to Pharoah, and he elevated Joseph to rule over all Egypt, second in command only to himself, and Egypt prospered greatly (Genesis 41:41-57).

This author is going to pause right here in the narrative of Genesis, so as to not lose the purpose of this particular article. This article is not so much about what this dreamer dreamed, but what he never dreamed.

Many times, life happens and someone will exclaim, “I never saw that coming.” The shock and surprise of the torrents of life catch the most diligent of men off guard. It is within the pages of the last half of Genesis that one comes across this spiritually “in-tune” character in Joseph, who never dreamed of some of the things that happened in his life. It is to this end this author directs our attention.

First, Jospeh never dreamed of being a slave. Joseph was born to the great patriarch Jacob (Israel), and was the apple of his eye. Jospeh surely had his future mapped out. He was going to ascend the rank within the blessed family and enjoy the favor of God. But life happened and his brethren ended up selling him to the Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:26-28). The Bible doesn’t reveal to us the emotional or mental state of Joseph during this betrayal. Men are only left to do as this author suspects, put themselves in Josephs shoes. Isn’t that the point of much of the text? Shouldn’t auditors of the Bible make personal application each opportunity? Where would you be if in a moment in time you went from the “baby of the family” to the shackles of slavery, sold as livestock and taken to a place you didn’t know, against your will and beyond your control? Joseph never dreamed of this. Surely, the dreams he dreamed painted a different picture than the reality he was living. Jospeh never dreamed of this.

Second, Joseph never dreamed of being falsely accused of rape. While the text doesn’t reveal the inner strife of Joseph being taken from home and robbed of his life as he knew it, the text reveals the advancement of Joesph within his nightmare. Joseph never dreamed of being sold a slave and bought by a King, but such was the case. He went from living in a tent with his brethren, to being cast in a pit, sold into slavery, and then to be elevated to serve in potentially the finest house in the world. The life of Joseph continues its extreme “ups and downs” as Pharaoh’s wife made a sexual advancement to Joseph (Genesis 39:7). She was scorned when Joseph refused and laid a false charge that he tried to rape her. This angered the master and he put Joseph in prison for an offense he never committed (Genesis 39:12-20). Joseph never dreamed of this.

Third, Joseph never dreamed of being forgotten in prison. Joseph had now ridden the peaks and valleys of life, from being exalted at home to slavery. From being bought by the Pharaoh of Egypt and exalted to being falsely accused and imprisoned. While serving his time, Joseph transitioned from a dreamer of dreams to an interpreter or dreams. Two men, also incarcerated with Joseph, each had a dream (Genesis 40:5), and the meaning escaped them. Joseph was able to reveal the meaning (Genesis 40:8) and it came to pass just as he said (Genesis 40:20-21). Now, Joseph did the favor, and requested for the butler to remember him when it was well with him (Genesis 40:14), but the butler forgot Joseph (Genesis 40:23). Joseph never dreamed of this.

Fourth, Joseph never dreamed of being the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt. Although the chief butler forgot Joseph, Pharoah himself ended up having a dream (Genesis 41:1). Furthermore, he dreamed a second dream (Genesis 41:5). Pharoah was greatly troubled by the dreams (Genesis 41:8) and called for the magicians and wise men, but none of them could produce the interpretation (Genesis 41:8). This event caused the butler to remember the one who had previously helped him two years prior (Genesis 41:9; 41:1). Joseph gave the interpretation and a solution to the problem ahead, and it pleased Pharoah (Genesis 41:16-37). Joseph was elevated to “second in Egypt” and was over the entire land and rode in the second chariot and wore the Pharaohs ring (Genesis 41:38-46). Joseph never dreamed of such an elevation after being charged with an offense worthy of execution. Joseph never dreamed of this.

Finally, Joseph never dreamed of saving the world from famine. Joseph took the dreams of the Pharaoh, and turned them into a plan to survive through the onslaught of famine. It was divine wisdom in action, and the details of this plan and the unfolding of its success is recorded in Genesis 41:47-57. Joseph never dreamed the famine would cause the increase of the Egyptian state to the degree that it did. Joseph never dreamed that his family would be driven into his presence to seek after food to sustain their lives. Joseph never dreamed of this.

It would be difficult to find someone, beside the Christ, who was rejected by his own people and endured the highs and lows of life than Joseph. What do you suspect got Joseph through all the tragedy that fell at his feet and often engulfed his life? Let this writer suggest the answer is found in the text. Twice, the text reveals, “And the Lord was with Joseph” and “because the Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:2, 23).

Friends, the presence of God and the favor of God is the difference in the life of someone facing a challenge they could never have contrived. God is able to show His favor and blessing in the midst of trial! “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:2-5). God, through the trying of faith is working in a person something far greater than that person could ever dream. The Father desires that one that is found in affliction- cry out to Him for rescue. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15). And God is faithful to His word! “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the mirey clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:1-2). Do you hear the faithfulness of God during human distress in these verses? How about this one? “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

When the fatigue of life’s abuse sets in, and the despair of unfair situations depresses you, run to God. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). When you find yourself in a situation you never dreamed of, lean on the one who “knows the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10). When nothing seems fitting but to give up, “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12). God is with you, and He knows exactly what you are facing. “The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Faithfulness in the trials, and in the race, receives the reward of the crown of life (2 Timothy 4:7-8). The joys you receive in the end will be far beyond anything you could ever dream of (Romans 8:18).

If the Eastside Church of Christ can be of assistance to you in your desire to know God, please, reach out below.

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God Bless.



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