Monday, January 14, 2013

Dreams fulfilled--Gen 40-45, Part 1

This section has dreams fulfilled left and right. 

The baker and the cup-bearer both have dreams and they are fulfilled before Joseph's eyes.  Only God can do that.

Pharoah has a pair of dreams foretelling the abundance and famine to come and Joseph is remembered in time for Egypt to prepare for it. 

The leadership dreams God gave Joseph in his youth are fulfilled.  He has ultimate authority in all of Egypt.  As a man, nearly every dream he could want is fulfilled along with it.  He has wealth, a vital purpose, a vibrant relationship with a transcendent God, a beautiful wife and two children.  In the end, Joseph will set up a taxation system that will fund a strong national government that makes Egypt a preiminent world power through dozens of generations.  Spiritually, Pharoah gives Joseph a new name, Zaphenath-paneah, which means "God speaks and lives."  Joseph's life story is ample proof that a real God lives and it is obvious to all.  Pharoah himself worships the God of Joseph and with him all of Egypt has the chance to hear of God's glory as well. 

There is only one dream missing--reconciliation with his brothers and family, a very personal dream that Joseph keeps close to his chest.  Can you imagine Joseph looking through the crowds day after day, waiting for them to appear?  By now, his purpose in all of this has become crystal clear and he knows it's only a matter of time before they will be in grave need as well. Tomorrow, we will deal with the delicate way he handled the reconciliation and testing of his brother's hearts.  It's worth taking the time to dig into it. 

I don't want you to miss something crucial in all of this.  The dreams that were given to all of the players in this account were all given by God and believed by Joseph without reservation.  Ps 105:19 says, "Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him (Joseph)."  Joseph had plenty of chances to wallow in unbelief.  He knew the meaning of his dreams and believed them.  God said, and Joseph acted accordingly, no matter what evidence he was presented to the contrary.  From the day God gave him his dreams, Joseph acted like the kind of ruler he would want for himself.  His integrity was flawless.  His diligence was legendary.  The account shows not even a glimpse of discouragement.  As we will see tomorrow, his path was not without profound pain, but he believed God's word and kept moving forward.  He wasn't just a hearer of the Word, but a doer. 

What has God told you that you haven't acted upon yet because you struggle to believe Him?

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