Genesis37: 5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.
18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired
against him to kill him.
19 They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer.
Genesis45: 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you
sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we
are your servants."
19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring
it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
The term pipe dream originates from the days of the opium den during the
late 1800's. It seems that smoking the drug induced some rather incredible
imaginings. Opium was used quite a bit by writers of that day among many
others. Today the use of the term speaks of a plan or goal which is in essence
beyond actual achievement. It is beyond the power of the "dreamer" to
bring it to reality. Thus it will always remain a dream.
Praise the Lord this is not so with the plan of God.
There are many in the narrative of scripture that have had true God-given, i.e.
Jacob, Joseph the husband of Mary, even Pilate's wife was given a warning in
Probably the most well known passages re: a dream would be that of Joseph, the
son of Jacob.
Genesis 37 gives us the foundation of Joseph's story.
The dream given to Joseph by the Lord was in reality, a revelation of the way
God would fulfill the covenant-promise he had given to Abraham. (Gen12:6-9;
The story is a very familiar one, and like Noah's ark and the Exodus, has
become so familiar even to the unbelieving world, that it also loses it's
significance to the church.
Joseph has two dreams which essentially mean the same thing. His brothers, and
even his father will submit to him.
Now I have heard some say that had Joseph not said anything to his brothers who
already had little love for him, the bad circumstances which were to come upon
him need not have happened. Not so in the plan of God as Joseph and all of his
actions were foreknown by the Lord. God used the "negative"
circumstances to carry His plan to its' conclusion.
So Joseph endures being thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, being falsely
accused by Potiphar's wife, thrown into prison, seemingly left to live his life
out in obscurity and confinement.
However the scriptures also tells us that Joseph was successful even in those
circumstances, as God caused him to have success in the circumstances. 9Gen
It is important to note that in both Potiphar's house and in the prison, Joseph was, in essence, second in command.
Now Joseph was not only given dreams from the Lord, he was also given the gift of
interpreting the dreams of others. Because he had correctly interpreted the
dreams of Pharaoh's cup-bearer and baker, both whom were briefly imprisoned
with Joseph, he was to be set free 2 years later when his ability to interpret
would become known to Pharaoh.
Joseph, at 30 years of age, by interpreting Pharaoh's dream revealing 7 years
of plenty and 7 years of drought was given honor and authority as "second
in command" in all of Egypt.(Gen 41:39-46)
The drought lead to Jacob sending his sons to Egypt for grain and there they
encountered their younger brother who recognized them, but was not yet
recognized by them. They entered into his presence and bowed. Then comes some
of the most profound words in the scripture:
Gen 42:9 And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of
From this point one Joseph began actively co-working with the Lord to bring
about God's will for the establishment of a nation to be born from captivity.
Joseph used his wiles to bring all of his brothers and father's household to
Egypt. The rest, as they say, is history. From this incredible beginning would
the "son of God". (Exodus 4:22-23;Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15) and
the Exodus of the regenerate.
What does this mean to the saints today?
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image
of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he
also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against
Isaiah45: 7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create
calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.
Everything that had happened to Joseph up to the point of his brothers coming
to Egypt for grain were out of his control. All these things were done "to
him" even the Lord giving him the dreams and the gift of interpretation.
Nowhere does it say that Joseph wanted this, or actively participated in
causing these things.
Therefore the Lord who is the source of both, light and darkness, well-being
and calamity, did all these things. So Paul correctly tells the saints that ALL
things work together for good to those who love God, i.e. those who are called
according to His purpose.
Joseph loved God, and showed it by acting with integrity no matter where he
found himself, and he was most definitely called to God's higher purpose.
After his brothers came to him in submission, Joseph remembered the dream God had given him, and began proactively participating in its' fulfillment
He got beyond himself and began to see the big picture. It wasn't about his
destiny to become an important man in the government of a world power,it was
about God's purposes in bringing him to such a place.
Oh that the saints of God would get hold of this vision.
We are no different than Joseph or Paul or any of the other saints They endured
there own set of circumstances and so do we. We are not exempt. Even Christ
endured the circumstances for the higher call. (Hebrews 12:1-3
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in
Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should
be holy and blameless before him. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the
purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our
trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which
he set forth in Christ
10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in
heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to
the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your
salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,
to the praise of his glory.
There is a purpose and plan; a higher calling beyond ourselves to which the Lord has called us to.
Whatever we go through; wherever we are, God has willed it to be so.
Well did Jeremiah encourage the exiles:
4 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom
I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.
6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give
your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply
there, and do not decrease.
7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray
to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets
and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the
dreams that they dream,
9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send
them, declares the LORD.
10 "For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon,
I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare
and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes
and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you,
declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you
The plans for welfare, a future and hope, included being sent into exile.
Greater encouragement can be found in the fact the Joseph's story didn't end
with his family settling in Egypt We would have them all live happily ever
22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's house. Joseph lived 110
23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation. The children also
of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph's own.
24 And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die, but God will visit
you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to
Isaac, and to Jacob."
25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here."
26 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a
coffin in Egypt.
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of
Israel solemnly swear, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall
carry up my bones with you from here."
Joshua24: 32 As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up
from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought
from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It
became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.
Even in death Joseph's story reveals God's ways and thoughts, which are higher
Joseph had reached a point in his walk where he saw this. He had been given
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon
Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who
is in heaven.
It's all about Him. He does it all, or it never gets done. He saves, or no one
He gives the dreams and visions and makes them come to pass.
Truly outside of Christ all of our dreams are pipe dreams. God's will always
reaches its' fulfillment.
Isaiah 55:10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do
not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving
seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me
empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the
thing for which I sent it.
Soli Deo Gloria!