Genesis: Dreams

Genesis 40:1–23

I wonder if one of the life lessons here in the life of Joseph is something like this: Timing is everything.

He’s his dad’s favorite son, and gets sold in to slavery by his brothers. He lands on his feet and does pretty well for himself, and gets falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison. And I’m imagining that ancient Egyptian prison wasn’t exactly a cushy weekend retreat.

Now he does a favor for some high-profile fellow inmates. This is some pretty strategic networking on Joseph’s part. And for being such a nice guy to these really important guys, what does Joseph get out of it?

Forgotten about. Totally forgotten. Left alone in prison. No good deed goes unforgotten.

We should also mention the way dreams are talked about here. Back in chapter 37, we’re introduced to Joseph and his particular knack for knowing what dreams mean. Where initially it got him in big trouble with his family, now we see that it may have some practical value.

I wonder where we get this innate hunch that these visions we have while sleeping have to mean something. The characters in this story certainly believe that. And it’s passages like this in the Bible that lead many Christians to attach spiritual significance to each and every dream they have.

Yet, in all of the Old Testament, we see only two characters associated with dreams and the interpretation of dreams: Joseph and Daniel. It’s important to note the particular context of both and the similarities of both of their stories. They are both young men, worshippers of God alone in the midst of a pagan culture, brought with their talents before the political powers, with the result being that God’s sovereignty is acknowledged by the pagan king and nation.

There is something particular and unique that God is up to in this story.

What about you? What do you see?



About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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