Joseph’s brothers called him “that dreamer” in a derogatory manner. But Joseph himself knew that God had spoken to him in a dream.
His father Jacob also knew even though he had rebuked Joseph concerning the subject of the dream, that Joseph would rule over his brothers and parents.
But it is clear that Jacob believed Joseph. After all, Jacob himself had had the infamous ladder dream at Bethel, of angels ascending and descending between earth and heaven (Gen. 28:12). And God had spoken to him in another dream when his father-in-law Laban had attempted to cheat him of wages (Gen. 31:10-12).
But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.Genesis 37:10-11
When the brothers sell Joseph into slavery and tell Jacob that he is dead–both Jacob and Joseph are devastated. These two dreamers who had been blessed by God in every way and who had heard from God on such personal levels, now hear nothing.
I am a dreamer. Not in the sense that God has spoken to me in a dream like Jacob and Joseph. But in that it is my dream to serve God. It is my dream to serve God and NOT to be forced to have a secular job. The wrinkles, anger, and shouting this has caused is impossible to express.
I ran across the devotional below from Martin Luther which seemed like it would be another about Joseph. About how he had been sold to slavery, then put in prison, how he had to wait until God’s timing to get a “dream job.”
But Luther focused the devotional message on Jacob. One of the three patriarchs who had walked so closely with God–even he was distraught and at a loss when his favorite son Joseph was no more.
When Nothing Makes Sense
“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.”Genesis 37:19–20
God promised to care for his people. But when Joseph’s brothers said a wild animal had killed Joseph, Jacob and Joseph were both put through a severe test. This appeared to go totally against God’s promise. You would think that God would pay some attention to them and show some concern. But God didn’t send an angel, or even so much as the leaf of a tree, to stop the devil or force him away. Instead, he opened all the doors and windows to let the devil rant and rave, attacking both father and son in horrible ways.
God had given Jacob an important promise. In his twelve sons, Jacob had living proof that the promise would be fulfilled. Still, many problems came his way, as if he had no God and no promise. But despite all these problems, God hadn’t deserted him.
We can be certain that God’s promises will always remain: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15–16).
So why do our own flesh and blood—our children and family members—cause us so many terrible problems? This is a part of God’s plan. It’s the way God works in the lives of his people in this world. So we desperately need wisdom that is above our natural reason. On the basis of that wisdom, we can say, “God won’t lie to me or deceive me, though at times, nothing in life will seem to make sense.”
(quoted from Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther, James C. Galvin, Zondervan 2005.
We desperately need wisdom that is above our natural reason.
Based on God’s Holy Word, you and I can be assured and say with confidence “God won’t lie to me or deceive me, though at times, nothing in life will seem to make sense.”
God thank you for the witness of Jacob and Joseph. Both were greatly blessed by You, received direct communication from You, yet both endured times when nothing in life made any sense. Father, for all of us who find ourselves in that situation today, strengthen our faith, comfort our spirits, and please help us look past our desperation to You. Stay close Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.