July 04, 2024

Joseph the Dreamer

Genesis 37:1-11

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

—  Genesis 37:5

Do you know anyone who likes to share about dreams over breakfast? Our dreams often have striking details and characters, but they can also be illogical and hard to follow.

Joseph, who was despised by his brothers, shared a dream with them—and “they hated him all the more.” That’s because his dream predicted they would all bow down to him. Joseph was his father’s favorite, and his brothers hated him so much that they wanted to get rid of him. Eventually they sold him into slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37:19-28).

Joseph’s story in the rest of Genesis reads like a gripping nightmare at times—but it has a happy ending. Joseph not only dreams but also interprets the dreams of others. And ultimately he rescues his entire family from starvation (Genesis 45-50).

Joseph’s story isn’t mainly about his dreams, though. It’s about God’s mysterious plan and way of working to save his people, despite all kinds of efforts to thwart him. Though we may often find God’s ways or methods surprising, we can take comfort from Joseph’s story, seeing that God rescues his people from calamity and the consequences of sin. What’s more, Joseph’s story points ahead to the story of Jesus, our Savior, who came to rescue us from sin and death, restoring us to full life with God.

Lord, sometimes our lives, like our dreams, can seem chaotic. But you, Lord, have our lives in your hands as you carefully guide us every step of the way. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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