I want to share a few things from a synopsis of Joseph’s life from Genesis ch. 37-50. I have learned these lessons as I have chased the dreams God has given me in my own life. It would encourage you to read these chapters to see the fundamental lessons found in the details not given in this article.
Here in America we are all about chasing our dreams. We chase, chase, chase. Some wind up catching them, and others wind up quitting. Sometimes those dreams are what God wants for us and sometimes they are only what we want. It is important to note that those are not always the same. A God-given dream is one that won’t always make us feel better, but will always come to fruition.
Joseph was a man whose whole life was oriented around a dream. His father Jacob was a patriarch and a highly influential figure in the history of Israel as well as today to say the least. Joseph was his favorite son.
Favoritism is not good in a family but it is ironic to say that God’s favor was on his life. God gave Joseph a dream, and in this dream he was ruling over his brothers (Gen. 37:9). This was a significant revelation of the future that young naive Joseph had in store.
God loves to tell us the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). The part that he doesn’t always tell us is the middle. The middle is where the people of the dream are processed, so they can contain the entirety of what God set out to do in them.
The next scene of the story is Joesph being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, being falsely accused of rape, and then finding himself in jail. Hardly seems like favor right?
You don’t see the favor but you will eventually see its side effects. Joseph is given an opportunity to interpret two mysterious dreams his fellow inmates had. Funny how God used what he gave Joseph as a gift to give to others. It’s just a little symbolic of what God desires for us to do with all of our gifts.
He interprets the dream and earns favor with Pharaoh’s cupbearer, who eventually tells Pharaoh about Joseph’s ability after he has his own mysterious dream. God used what got him into jail to get him out. This is only the type of stuff you can find in the middle.
The dreamer gets to help someone else with their dream. It is amazing who God puts us in connection with. He has a person with a need and a person with a gift. There is the connection. This dream interpretation he gives Pharaoh not only saves the land of Egypt from utter destruction, but places Jospeh in command of all of Egypt second to only Pharaoh himself.
Eventually the famine that is wreaking havoc on Egypt and the surrounding lands brings Joseph’s estranged brothers to Pharaoh’s palace. When you meet an Egyptian ruler in those days you didn’t shake his hand, you bowed the knee. They find themselves bowing the knee to Jospeh. A dream met its fullfilment and a need met a gift as well.
It didn’t feel like a gift being sold into slavery. It didn’t feel like favor being falsely accused and put into jail. The favor wasn’t proved in his circumstances though, but in who Joseph was becoming. He would not of been the person to save Egypt would it not been for the process. He would not of been the person to save his brothers and preserve the lineage of Jesus were it not for the process. His brothers threw him into a pit but God pulled him out. God was making Joseph into a gift, a gift that represented the ultimate gift in Jesus Christ.
God has a way of connecting the dots when the lines seems to go off the page. A God-given dream requires a process, and in that process the middle will never look the end. Remember that when you are chasing the God-given dream you have. Don’t consider your life as spinning out of control when you chase God’s will for your life, but consider it spinning because you are on the potter’s wheel (Isa. 64:8).
Article by Chase O'Dell - Founder of Bridgeway Ministries