The Fulfillment of a Dream

Life has been busy.  Here are the sermon notes from April 21, 2013.

I.  The Fulfillment of a Vision

A.  Genesis 37:5-11 The Dreams (age 17)

 Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”

And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”

10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob.    His brothers were well aware of his position as the favorite, and it angered them.  These dreams of Joseph only gave them more reason to be angry.  They acted out their anger one day by selling Joseph into slavery and covered it up by showing their father his bloodied clothing.  Jacob assumed that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts.

As a slave in Egypt, Joseph rose in power to become the head slave in his master’s house.  He was falsely accused of sexually assaulting his master’s wife, and was thrown into jail.

In jail, he again rose to a place of power.  He was given authority over the other prisoners.  During his time in jail he interpreted the dreams of two fellow prisoners.  This led to him one day being called into the presence of pharaoh to interpret a dream.

B.  The Rise to Power:  (age 30) Genesis 41:39-43

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph went from being the favorite son, to being a slave, to being a prisoner, to being ruler over Egypt.  It is an amazing story of how God can work in surprising ways to accomplish His purpose in our lives.  It is commonly referred to a the theme of the suffering servant.

C.  The Dreams Come True:  (age 38) Genesis 42:6

Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.

Of course his brothers do not recognize Joseph, but Joseph certainly recognized his brothers.  The dream had finally come true, almost twenty years later.

II.  Character Development

A.  Do What is Right:  Genesis 39:7-9

And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

God was working in Joseph’s heart during his time of hardship.  Joseph was learning the important lesson of doing the right thing rather than the easy thing.  Doing what was right in the sight of God, not necessarily right in the sight of man.

B.  Knowledge of God:  Genesis 40:8

And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.”

So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”

Joseph recognizes that God has the interpretation.  Joseph has developed enough of a relationship with God that he believed that he might be able to help.  That God, whom he served, would reveal the interpretation to him.

Joseph had come a long way from the spoiled brat that he had been, to the man of God that he had become.  God used the times of hardship to develop his character.

III.  The Blessing of God

A.  As a Slave:  Genesis 39:3

And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.

B.  As a Prisoner:  Genesis 39:23

The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

God was with Joseph even during the difficult times.  Whatever the circumstances were, God blessed him.

We cannot all be Joseph.  We cannot all rise to become the ruler over a nation, or even over a company.  We can however all be blessed by God.  We can all develop our character to be the people God calls us to be.  We can all have visions that come true.  The most important thing is to develop our relationship with God so that we know God and do what is right.

God Himself, is our greatest blessing. Genesis 15: 1

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

If we have a good relationship with God, then truly our best dreams are fulfilled.

 

 

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