The word “then” follows something that has happened. When I am telling a story I sometimes find myself building emphasis with those two simple words:
So what does this verse follow? The fact that Joseph was the good kid. He was the favored son of Jacob, also known as Israel after receiving his new name from the Lord (Genesis 32:28). Jacob showed his favored love and affection for Joseph in many ways, but the most familiar to us all was in the gift of the “robe of many colors” (Genesis 37:3). This led to his brothers being jealous and hating Joseph.
So if the situation wasn’t bad enough…“then…” entered:
Joseph had a dream which led to an increase in his brother’s hatred toward him…then to make matters worse he a second dream! Both of which showed him as being in authority of power over his brothers, and parents.
Now after this second dream, even his father Jacob was a little disturbed asking: “Are your mother and brothers and I going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” Genesis 37:10 HCSB. We are not told in Scripture what Joseph’s response was when challenged by his brothers, or father. I wonder if he was perhaps lost for words. Did he shrug his shoulders? Did he attempt to minimize damage by saying: “Well, it’s only a dream.” We don’t know Joseph’s response; however, we are told about his brother’s increasing jealously, and that Jacob kept it all in mind (v11).
Due to their jealousy and hatred toward Joseph, the brother’s hatched a plan to get rid of him, and even profit for themselves in the process (Genesis 37:26-28). Their deceitful behavior continued as they misled their father into believing that he had been devoured by a wild animal (Genesis 37:32-33). Their intention ~ to remove Joseph from their lives for good, even if only through denial of the circumstances. However:
God placed Joseph where He could use him!
God’s plan was bigger! He knew what would happen when Joseph told his dreams to his brothers! It was all part of His plan to get Joseph to Egypt where He wanted to use him. However…God wasn’t quite finished using the gifts of Dreamer Joseph yet! Through a chain of circumstances, Joseph found himself in prison and was soon listening to more dreams, this time the dreams of others also in prison:
His interpretations of these dreams proved accurate with the cupbearer restored to his position (Genesis 40:21) and the baker hanged (Genesis 40:22). Joseph had made a deal with the cupbearer that he would repay his kindness by mentioning Joseph to Pharaoh and get him out of prison…however, likely in his excitement, the cupbearer failed to remember Joseph.
This, again, was all part of God’s plan – He had a different plan to release Joseph from prison….through another dream. This time the dream of Pharaoh:
Now the cupbearer remembers! When Pharaoh mentioned this dream to his cupbearer, he remembered Dreamer Joseph back in prison. God needed Joseph to be in prison in order to accurately interpret the dreams of the cupbearer and baker so that he proved reputable in the eyes of Pharaoh and earned his trust.
Joseph was brought from prison, immediately gives God the glory for providing him with the interpretations (Genesis 41:16), and proceeds to interpret Pharaoh’s dream.
This is where things started to look a little more positive for our Dreamer Joseph! Pharaoh recognized that Joseph was one full of Godly wisdom (Genesis 41:39), and placed him over the whole land of Egypt ~ that’s quite the promotion in one day – prison to prince!
Joseph was now where God planned for him to arrive. He is in place for God to work through in order to preserve His people through the years of famine. God worked through the life of Joseph. God gave Joseph the dream interpretations knowing that he would glorify and honor God in the process. God allowed the famine to hit the land so that He could make His name known in all the earth through this Dreamer Joseph and his loyalty, trust, obedience, and God honoring witness.
So…what about those brothers? They assumed that Joseph was long gone and were struggling in the midst of the famine, and went to Egypt where they heard there was food (Genesis 42:2). Of course, they did not recognize their brother Joseph who would likely be dressed as an Egyptian and be surrounded with the signs of great wealth. Joseph realized his own dreams from those Canaan days come to fruition (Genesis 42:9).
After a chain of events in which Joseph tested brothers and saw that they showed deep remorse for their actions (Genesis 44), Joseph revealed himself, reunited his family in the land of Egypt, gained the favor of Pharaoh over his family, and saw them settled in the land of Goshen.
All these things happened so that God would be glorified, His name would be made great throughout the land, His people would be restored, and His plan to make twelve tribes from Jacob could be realized in the coming years.
Please come and join me tomorrow as I take time to learn from Joseph and apply some of these truths to the life of this little dreamer girl!Disclaimer: Welcome to my “31 Days to Dream” and thank you for joining me on this journey. I don’t hold the road map for October–God does! He started the journey by taking me down a path of memories, some of which I had long forgotten. He showed me how He has made my childhood dreams come true in ways that I could never have imagined. He is giving me FAITH and HOPE for the road ahead. Together, we are now spending time looking at dreamers in the Bible to learn from their lives. I am excited to see where He leads my dreaming over this month of #Write31Days 🙂 You can find my other 31 Days to Dream posts here!