Joseph's Two Dreams

joseph's dreamsContinuing from my last post, in Genesis chapter 37 Joseph had two dreams that he related to his brothers and father. He dreamed that his brothers' sheaves of wheat were bowing down to his, and still yet another dream where the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars were bowing down to him. His father rebuked him and his brothers hated Joseph even more because they perceived that Joseph dreamed of reigning over them all.

A Natural, Immediate Reaction

My initial reaction and assessment toward Joseph's dreams were similar to that of his family. I thought Joseph was just a naive, arrogant boy, but recently I attended an in-depth study of this particular section of the Bible and came across these points:

"In his first dream Joseph saw sheaves in the field bowing down to his sheaf; this dream reveals that, at the most Joseph was just a sheaf and that, at the worst, his brothers were also sheaves; Joseph was a sheaf, and his brothers were sheaves.

The only difference between him and them was that God had chosen him to reign, but this does not mean that he was better than they were; God's people are all sheaves of life in Christ."

I felt exposed while reading these. I felt like my view had been pickled in the worldly concepts of "fairness" and "politics." That is why to some extent I actually sympathized with his brothers' jealousy and vengeance. Terrible, isn't it? Precisely what the world's all about: justifying evil for good but none of it is God. I need to be saved from such view and attitude by seeing God's view.

God's View

God views His people as sheaves of wheat full of life and heavenly bodies full of light. Yet oftentimes when we view other Christians, we only focus on their shortcomings and condemn their weaknesses. There are multiple times in the Bible that God says He has not beheld iniquity in His people nor has He seen trouble in them, that He has reserved for Himself a particular group of people. Obviously we have read about the iniquities and troubles in Israel, among God's people. Yet God's view transcends time, all the way to New Jerusalem, where there is nothing but sheaves full of life and stars full of light.

Joseph was such a one who understood and was governed by this view. The proof that his dreams were not a matter of boasting but they became his controlling vision to fulfill God's dream was the way he lived a life that corresponded to his vision. Because he saw that he was a sheaf full of life and a heavenly star shining in the darkness, unlike his brothers who vented their anger and indulged in their lust, Joseph subdued his anger and conquered his lust.

Furthermore, he also saw that his brothers were also sheaves of life and stars of light. Thus he never had to forgive them because he had never blamed them for throwing him into a pit, selling him to slave traders, which later led him to be jailed for most of his youth, and grieving his father. Joseph treated God's people, his family, according to God's view.

To reign for His people, God requires such maturity of life. God needs us to reign for Him, for His people. This reigning is not a ruling over, but a matter of feeding, distributing God's supply to all His people. This was Joseph's role exactly in Egypt.

Wrapping up

When Joseph saw his own dreams, actually he also received a commission, a calling from God, to reign in behalf of God's people. He had a revelation that it was his responsibility to reign. Eventually this was proven true, if Joseph did not reign in Egypt, God's people would perish in the famine that swept through the land. Not only God's people, the whole earth would perish. Joseph's ruling to distribute the supplies to all the earth saved everyone.

In closing, whether I feel like I have completely internalized God's dream or not doesn't matter that much. When God appears to us, He grants us a dream, a vision. With every true vision there lies a commission, a responsibility. The key issue is do I want to obey the commission or lay it aside? Do I obey the dream or do I just let it go?

Why not answer a higher calling? Why not obey a higher dream? Why not give ourselves to fulfill God's dream?


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