Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Divine Dreams in Genesis 37

Dreams are part of faith. Dreams are part of walking with God. And walking with God will take you into situations that are often way over your head—but that are well within God's abilities to reach out and save.

So this week I'm going to look at a dreamer in scripture—a boy named Joseph.Joseph was a dreamer. So far so good. But his dreams and their father's favoritism angered his older brothers. They were mad that Joseph had been given a special coat.

Joseph dreamed of a day when he and his brothers were out gathering wheat into sheaths in the field. He dreamed of their 11 shieves bowing down to his one sheath in the middle standing tall and strong. His older brothers, all ten of them, swore they would never bow to him. What a little punk. Jospeh this no good dreamer—did he really think he'd be their king.

The next nighttime vision he shared was of the stars, moon, and sun all bowing down before him. This was just too much.
This time he told his father as well as his brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What do you mean?” his father asked. “Will your mother, your brothers, and I actually come and bow before you?” 11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father gave it some thought and wondered what it all meant. Genesis 33:10-11 NLT
His brothers went to Shechem to graze their father’s flocks. And old Jacob, now called Israel, the man who'd wrestled with God sent his favorite son, Joseph, out to see how his brothers were doing.

The trip took a while. He went first to Shechem but a man there told him to head on to Dothan. They spotted Joseph while he was still far away and they hatched a plan—kill him.

There's a marble marker with these words in front of the old Loraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis Tennessee. It's there in that hotel in downtown Memphis where Martin Luther King Jr was shot and killed.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. Genesis 37:19-20 (KJV)
Dreamers aren't always welcome or wanted. The visions they offer don't always receive acclaim or welcome from everyone in our world. But God gives us dreams even when they are unpopular because God invites to see beyond today. God gives prophets dreams of justice rolling down like water falls and righteousness flowing like an unfailing stream.

Dreamers often get a bad rap. They are thought of as less than serious—not quite grown up enough. But scripture is full of dreams and dreamers who saw things through their dreams from God's point of view. God gave this dream—and Joseph's brother's rejected it.

Just because you have a dream from God doesn't mean everyone around you will share it or rejoice in it with you. Joseph's brothers grew angrier and angrier. Who is this little punk. He deserves to die. Hatred grew deep in them. Evil welled up that they could think to take his life. Petty jealousy—fear of losing their privileged places as older brothers—the list of possible motives for their crime is long. But God had another plan for them and for Joseph. And God still sends dreams to dreamers today--who see past what is to God's greater future.
Peace, and thanks for reading.

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