Daily D – Genesis 37:19
They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert!” GENESIS 37:19 (CSB)
Joseph was a dreamer. Most children are. I think it begins with Peek-a-Boo. That simple game that never fails to delight babies and toddlers teaches us that we live in a predictable, yet delightfully surprising world. For years, children experiment by pushing boundaries. They seek to understand just how far they can go before they have gone too far. Most of the time they learn these lessons by going too far.
So it was with Joseph. He was a precocious lad, a dreamer of dreams. He was still trying on ideas and dreams for size as a teenager. What to him was a fascinating adventure full of excitement and wonder was a burden and a bore to those who were more concerned with daily details, chores, and real-life problems and work.
Do you notice how God spoke to Little Joe according to his bent? He spoke to Joe in a manner Joe was entirely comfortable with. He communicated truth and expectation to him in a way that fired his imagination and drove his next steps.
Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes sang a song she wrote called, Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer. The song was from the album Gideon, a collection of songs about a man’s life, his ups and downs, sung from his personal perspective though he then lay in his grave.
Joseph’s brothers would agree with Ms. Carnes. They did not care for The Lord of the Dreams, the literal meaning of what the CSB translates, “that dream expert.”
Dreamers see farther and clearer than their companions. Where others see roadblocks and obstacles, they see opportunity and destiny.
One of these days, we will get to the final chapters of Genesis. What do we discover? Through many dangers, toils, and snares, Little Joe became Joseph, the Little Dreamer Who Could. He became Joseph, second in command of Egypt only to Pharaoh himself. He became Joseph, the man who saw his dreams come true in service to others.
We will fall in love with a dreamer.
Like Father Abraham before him, he was blessed to be a blessing. He lived not the life of his dreams for himself, but the life of God’s dreams for him.
God dreams better than we do.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” God has always known you. Before he said, “Let there be . . .” he knew you, and he knew me. We get to live the life today he has dreamed for us forever. Why would we settle for anything less than what he planned?
King David, a boy whose dreams came true, wrote, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD,” (Psalm 24:1). What does David say about those who live the life of God’s dreams for them? “He will receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation,” (verse 5).
Many people wept in Pixar’s Inside Out when the imaginary friend Bing Bong faded away. Dear friends, the dreams God gave you, the ones that honor him and serve others, are still possible. Call them to memory. Blow gently upon those dying embers. Gather kindling. Build that flame into a fire. Become what you might have been if you had followed God’s dreams for you.
Joseph lived the life of God’s dreams for him. That is what kept him going in the cistern, as part of a caravan of goods to be sold, as a slave in Potiphar’s house, as a prisoner in the dungeon, and as second in command to Pharaoh. Where others see obstacles, look for the opportunities. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author of our story of stories. Do not allow anyone but him to place the final period on your life.
Someone once said, “I have a dream,” and it changed a nation. When God gives a dream, it changes the world. What is the God Dream of your life? I cannot wait to see it fulfilled!
I will live the life of God’s dreams for me.
Our Father, I do not want to live the life of my dreams. I want to live the life of your dreams for me. You dream better than I do. Empower me to see the obstacles along the way as stepping stones toward the daring destiny you have planned. As you were with Joseph, be with me. Show me the way to go so that I may get where you want me to be. I want to live a life that honors you and blesses others. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.