So in the first episode, we talked about “dreams as a major spiritual feedback mechanism” and we tried to cover the theoretical aspects of dreams in order for us to have an in-depth understanding of the nature and functionality of dreams. Now it is time for the practical and to kick off this second episode, Joseph the dreamer will do us the honours.
Joseph the Dreamer
Joseph was the 11th son of Israel (Jacob) and 1st son of Rachel (Genesis 30:22-24). He was the 12th born of Israel out of 13 children. As at the age of 17, Joseph fed the flock with his brothers, who apparently did evil or were wayward, and he brought their evil report to their father, Israel. In other words, Joseph, in Nigerian terms, was an Amebo (someone who tells on others) or a snitch. Israel loved Joseph above all others (because he was the son of his old age), making him a coat of many colours, and as a result of this inequality, his brothers hated him and were not in good talking terms with him (Genesis 37:2-4).
From the title of this episode already, you can tell that Joseph was a dreamer of dreams. At the age of 17, Joseph had a dream, which he told his brothers, making them hate him even more and he said,
“Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.” (Genesis 37:7).
This dream meant that he would reign and have dominion over his brothers, and they would literally bow down to him one day.
He then had a second dream, this time it involved his parents (please note that Rachel, was dead at this time and the mother referred to here is his step mother). He said,
“Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” (Genesis 37:9).
This dream had the same interpretation with the last one, only that this time, his parents alongside his brothers, bowed down to him also. It’s funny how according to this translation (King James Version), he keeps saying ‘behold’ It must have really been annoying to his brothers, I can just imagine the way he must have been narrating these dreams.
Joseph didn’t know the potency of his dreams, he didn’t know how literal his dreams were, so each time he had a dream; he went and told his brothers. Let’s not forget that his brothers already hated him because of the inequality in their father’s love for them, loving him above all of them. Just imagine going to tell somebody whom you know already hates you, that you had a dream of him polishing your shoes with his tongue, especially when it is sure that the dream is from God. In fact, after telling his father the second dream, he (his father) rebuked him (Genesis 37:10). How can you be telling your father that he and his wife (your mother) would come and bow down to you one day? I am telling you that in some homes, this is the question you’ll get, ‘Are you mad?’ You can see that the more he leaked his dreams, the more his brothers hated him, it was only his father, even though bothered, that really understood the potency of his dreams and therefore took note. As for his brothers, they had already marked him, he was about to become another Abel in the hands of Cain, and it was not long before they sold him off to the Ishmeelites who then brought him into Egypt (Genesis 37:28). This was even after his brothers had changed their minds about killing him, thanks to Reuben.
The Outcome of Events
Now let’s sharply look at the outcome of the dream in Genesis 42:6-9a, it says,
“And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them.”
For Joseph to have remembered his dreams, it means he had totally forgotten about them during that period. Remember I said earlier that he didn’t understand the potency of his dreams, so he had no idea that his life was actually shaping out based on his dreams. It was after the outcome of events that he finally realized that he had seen it, he remembered his dreams. His unrealistic dreams of his brothers bowing down to him and him ruling over them actually came to pass literally.
Why the Delay?
As God had shown Joseph in the dream, so did it come to pass in due time. Joseph dreamt those dreams at the age of 17, and they matured and were finally fulfilled at the age of 30, that gives us a time frame of 13 years. Joseph told his brothers that even though they sold him, it was God who actually sent him to preserve their lives and their generation by a great deliverance (Genesis 45:5-8). I am of the personal opinion that Joseph wouldn’t have gone through all that pain if he hadn’t run his mouth the way he did and if he had understood the potency of his dreams. I have come to this conclusion because even though his brothers hated him, this was because their father loved him more, there was no record of any plot against him, the hatred was just normal. I mean, when parents favour a child more, it is normal for the siblings to be jealous and actually develop hatred for the more favoured child. This is usually the case with the last born and as you can see, Joseph was actually the second to the last. Again, Joseph had been going with them to the field and bringing their evil report back to their father, so it was not a new thing (Genesis 37:2-4). The hatred grew and graduated to the plot against him because of his leaked dreams (Genesis 37:8, 18). In fact, these were the clear words of his brothers in Genesis 37:19-20,
“And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 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.”
He was spitefully tagged a “dreamer” They said, “this dreamer cometh” (Genesis 37:19). Even though a prophecy was already in place that the Israelites would be slaves in a strange land for 400 years (Genesis 15:13), and Joseph just turned out to be the forerunner of that prophecy; it is very clear from the above findings, that his predicament was because of his leaked dreams, but all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28). So even though he ran his mouth, and his brothers sold him off as against killing him, all things still ended up working together for his good.
All dreams are secrets, they are secretive in nature. That is why you are the one who closes your eyes and dreams, not someone else dreaming for you; this is because God wants to talk to you alone, He wants a personal relationship with each and every one of us. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 29:29,
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law”
Those things which are revealed belong to us, and how are they revealed? Through our dreams, visions, prophecies, etc., as we have discussed in the first episode. Some dreams like Joseph’s are personal secrets and are to be kept as top secret, highly confidential and highly classified information, they are to be acted upon with wisdom, faith and the leading of the Holy Spirit. How can God show you an idea that would make you the richest man in the world and you go and start telling everybody? How can you see the location of a hidden gold mine in your dream and go about telling the world? Some dreams could be the secrets of others, which you are to tell them discretely, while some are general warnings or information, whichever way, don’t ignore or underestimate your dreams; you must prayerfully attend to them and act discretely with wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!
© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga
Image Credit: http://www.pointofpower.com/files/377/1.jpg