Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Genesis 37:5-11

Today’s segment of Genesis 37 has many warnings for us, that go way beyond the flannelgraph version of the story of Joseph’s dreams.

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.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

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.”

When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (Gen 37:5-11)

Beth Moore jokingly calls Joseph a 17 year-old “brat” here. Not only did he tattle on his brothers, but then he revealed to them the dream that indicates that he will one day rule over them. Their reaction was to hate him even more! Bad enough - but then he reveals to them the second dream! Even his father, who adored him, thought this was just too much. Beth suggests that sometimes it’s wiser to keep our dreams to ourselves.

Whenever God gives a vision, it is not for the glorification of the man who receives it, but for God’s glorification. Beth poses an interesting thought when she says we need to guard our hearts against SELF-promotion, because pride is also Satan’s biggest problem, and the trait which got him kicked out of heaven (remember he wanted to be like God - which is exactly what he tempted Eve with). Therefore, when we sense that God is calling us to a work for Him, or has given us a vision for some ministry, Satan loves to come alongside and tempt us to somehow promote ourselves. Beth uses a good test: if God gave you a vision, but then told you He was giving the ministry to someone else, would you be as excited about the vision?

That is NOT to say that you should NEVER share the vision God gives you. The reality is that Joseph was acting as a prophet here, and speaking forth the truth. However, what the brothers didn’t get was that these dreams were for their BENEFIT. Joseph’s eventual rule in Egypt would be for the salvation of his family. Jon Courson points out the parallel between Jesus and Joseph here. Jesus came to save His own people, but they would not have Him rule over them (see John 19:15).

We can see the tension building here in this family. Oh my! I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s verses!!! I’m off to the first day of school! I only had two hours of sleep last night. Woke up at 1:00 and could not shut off my brain! Just like the kids, I always get a stomach ache the first day! Thankfully, this is a minimum day!

Just wanted to make one plea to you all. Please forgive me for constantly referring to Beth Moore and Jon Courson - but after 35 years of Bible study, I’m an amalgamation of all those I’ve learned from. There isn’t an original thought in my pea brain! And that is scriptural, for Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Love you all!


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