The Purpose of Joseph’s Dreams
Daily Reading: (Genesis 37:5-7):
“Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
“Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me”(Genesis 37:9). It is interesting that Joseph would choose to share the second dream with his brothers after sharing the first caused them to hate him all the more. The reason Joseph shared it with them is that they needed to hear it so that when God’s plan unfolded, they would understand that God’s plan was for their good too. We tend to focus on God’s plan for Joseph but this also included God’s plan of salvation that was for all of Israel’s offspring.
“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.“Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing and they took him and threw him into the cistern” (Genesis 37:19-24).
Do you know what is really cool about this story? Joseph received a robe that was beautiful, but it was quickly destroyed. In Genesis 37:23, he hardly even broke it in before his brothers stripped Joseph of his robe. We too like Joseph have received robes, but much better ones that will never fade, never perish, and no one can strip us of them. Isaiah wrote 61:9-10, “All who see them will recognize them Because they are the offspring whom the LORD has blessed. I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. “
The apparel of our lives is that we are wrapped in is the righteous robe of Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:27: “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” No matter what happens to you in your life, no one and nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, you will always remain clothed in His righteousness.
The rest of the story leads to Joseph being made second in command where he makes preparations for the famine. Because of what God showed him in Pharaoh’s dream and the position he was placed in, after all these years Joseph will be reunited with his family where the dream he had so long ago will be fulfilled. “The brothers come and bow before him” (Genesis 50:18). He doesn’t hold grudges, he doesn’t try to pay back evil with evil instead he recognizes the plan that God had all along for his life and how it all started at age seventeen. This is Joseph’s statement about all that had transpired, “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God” (Genesis 50:19)?
Don’t you see what God has brought about? Just look around you. We would all be so blessed to pause and think about the Lord’s blessings that have been found in our own lives and where they have led us.
“You intended to harm me, but God (had a different plan, a much better plan, and He will use all things together for my good) intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
“Saving” is the Hebrew word that means that others might live prosperously. In Christ, where salvation is found, is the abundant life, a life where we prosper. Do you know what the Hebrew name Joseph means? Joseph’s name means “He will increase.” The purpose of the dreams wasn’t just to bless and prosper Joseph, it was to lead to the salvation of many and the promise of a great increase to Abraham’s offspring (Genesis 50:20).
God’s promise to Abraham was- “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).
God was fulfilling His promise to Abram through the life of Joseph. Hebrews 10:23 says: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that hath promised.” You will discover that there are close to 9,000 promises in the Word of God! Some say it’s more like 30,000, if you include ones made to specific people that were fulfilled, and with so many, God has been faithful to deliver on all of them. The dreams you have can be a way that God is communicating a message to you. Dreams can be interpreted, and ultimately God’s plan is a plan of salvation and prosperity in Christ.