In this scripture we read a remark that was made out of jealously and bitterness. It was said by the brothers of Joseph. There is no better handle that being called a dreamer.
Genesis 37: 16 “And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
“Behold, this dreamer cometh.” This is the way the brothers felt. Joseph is a good role model, but one thing he lacked was tact. It got him into trouble.
“And Joseph dreamed a dream.” We dream a lot. Research says we dream almost every night, but we forget them. Sometimes they are so vivid and real that when we wake we try to hold onto them, but they fragment and are forgotten. Some are so real we jump out of bed or scream. Dreams are strange. They are the figments of our imagination when the mind is at rest.
There are two kinds of dreams. There are those of our own that we have at night, and then there is the one God gives. It’s a living, waking dream. At times, the Bible calls them visions. Visions are necessary. The Bible is filled with people who dreamed. God dealt with his people through dreams in the Old Testament. Two New Testament examples are when God spoke to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife. The other is Peter’s dream before he preached to Cornelius. God has a dream for each of us.
It’s scary that so many have lost their dream, their vision of God. Some have lost the capacity to dream; they have forgotten how. Kids don’t have to use imagination today like we did when we were growing up. Information is easy, a click away. It’s streamlined. Toys are high tech. Many of them have taken away the need to use imagination. This is the way God deals with our mind. There are so many voices calling to us that we fail to hear the voice of God.
Today is like it’s always been. The Word of God is here as it has been for centuries. Amos said there would be a famine of hearing the Word. Isaiah said without a vision people perish. Every great accomplishment came from a vision. Edison wanted light in darkness. He was mocked, but his dream became a reality. He had a vision.
God deals with us by a vision. We could never have been saved if God had not shown us we were sinners on the way to hell. When we saw that vision, we were motivated to be saved. We must have this dream and keep it alive. It should be our request to be a dreamer. Ask yourself this. “Do I still dream? Do I allow God to deal with me?” If we ignore it or quit believing the dream of God, it won’t be long until we fall away. The world will challenge our dream just like Joseph’s brothers did his. Don’t let others take away your confidence in God. Don’t give up or back down.
Joseph had several dreams. Later in his life he became an interpreter of the dreams of others. God was involved in all those dreams. Joseph’s dreams were true. They were God’s communication. They were real. Many earthly dreams don’t come true, but dreams of God do. God chose Joseph for them. In one dream he said “For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.” In another he said “Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” His father rebuked him saying “what is this dream that thou hast dreamed?”
What is your dream? Some you’ve had in your life stick out. They were crazy and vivid. Oh, that our dream and vision of God would be that way. Have you lost your vision for the lost? What about your vision of what it right and wrong? Do you still have a vision for the truth of the Word of God? Do you still hold to our Savior who died on the cross? Is there now hollowness to your dream? Have you slacked up on the dream and almost given up? Do you run from it or let things crowd in around it? Do you still have your vision of God? Look at your spiritual mirror and ask yourself if you still have the vision like you used to. Do you still see the empty tomb and God on his throne? Do you have a vision of the rapture and the judgment of this world? Do you still dream? What has become of them?
Joseph didn’t stop dreaming and was foolish enough to keep telling them. Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers. When they saw him they said “Behold, this dreamer cometh.” This is the best compliment ever. Do others see the dreamer in you? Do others see the Lord in you? The best thing others can see is a real Christian and it can only be through your dream. This statement was meant as a cut to Joseph, but it was a compliment. If we live our dream, people will have confidence in us. It will be like turning a light on outside and watching the millers run to it. If there was ever something to be said about us it should be “here comes the dreamer.”
Joseph’s brothers hated him for his dreams. They wanted to hurt him. They said “Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” They put him in a pit. He didn’t dream. When he was a slave and then in prison for 13 years, he didn’t dream. However, his earlier dreams sustained him. You cannot rely on the dreams of the preacher or your family members. The key to your survival is keeping your dream alive. Joseph’s former dreams were enough. We don’t need new ones either. God help us to remember the old dream he gave us.
In Joseph’s story, the butcher and baker’s dreams came true. Pharaoh’s dreams came true. The people considered him a god, but his dreams scared him. Joseph didn’t dream, but he did interpret all these dreams. Many years after he interpreted the dream of the baker, Joseph was remembered and the Pharaoh was told about his ability to interpret. Because Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, he became the second in command. In the end, Joseph’s family did bow down to him.
We don’t need new ways, new “stuff,” or any additions to Christianity. What we need is to take a look at where our dream has gone. Pray to be shown the dream again. It’s there for the asking. It will help us make it until we get home.
Are you still dreaming? We’ll lose many things in this life, but make sure you never let go of your dream. We need dreams, and then we’ll see what God can do!