The Power of a Dream
When Pastor Jeff spoke about Joseph the dreamer (from Genesis 37) and how his brothers conspired against him and sold him into slavery, I remembered Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
But Joseph at this point was 17 years old, and we are told, “still a youth” (verse 2) and we have no evidence that he worshipped the God of his father. We, the audience, know that his dreams were prophecies from God and later in chapter 39 we are told that the Lord was with him, but here, in this disaster, there is no mention of Yahweh. There is just his arrogance and his brothers envy.
For he was arrogant: he walked around in the special robe his father had created to honor him and he had no hesitation about telling his family about how he dreamt, twice, that he would one day be lord over all of them. And in verse 12, Jacob sends him off to check on his brothers who were working, watching the livestock in faraway fields. Why isn’t Joseph working in the fields as well? And why did he go alone?
I’ve known many 17 year olds; I’ve volunteered with the Youth Group at Hope for many years. I was also 17 myself, many years ago (however my children may disbelieve me). Hormones added to a taste of power often precede recklessness and, sometimes, catastrophe. Which is a good reason to mentor and encourage the students around you to make good choices. Yes, I am always advertising for more Youth Group volunteers. But I digress….
Back to the passage from Romans. We know that Joseph, later in his life when he is in power in Egypt, is pivotal to saving Israel from starvation and destruction. Could God have saved his people a different way if Joseph hadn’t been first sent to Egypt as a slave? Of course. But, in Joseph’s life, God used the things that were meant for evil to bring about a good not only for Joseph, but for all of Jacob’s children.
- Sarah Webber
Questions to Ponder:
1. Are there events or circumstances in your life that were originally devastating but that God has turned into good?
2. Have you told your story to others so to encourage them to reexamine tragedies in their own lives through a different lense?