Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I MENTIONED Joseph in the Old Testament yesterday as an example of someone who was separated from his people for a reason.
I have decided that, in the next couple of days, I will post a few lessons that we can learn from this dreamer. (There are few others in the Bible.)
His story starts in Genesis 37. (When you have the time, pick up the Book and read that for yourself. You get more that way than if another was interpreting for you.)
The reference for this post in Genesis 37: 1-11.

Joseph was 17 years old at the time and was his father’s favourite. (A bad parental trait – loving one child more than the others. Jacob, his father, was a polygamist too – and that is another problem.)
They lived in Canaan.
The father made Joseph a coat of many colours and his brothers hated him for that.
It was in those days that Joseph started seeing “those dreams”.

One of the dreams was about his sheaf of grain standing up while the sheaves of his brothers bowed before his. 
He told his brothers about that and they did not like it. They said: “Shalt thou indeed reign over us?”
For this, the brothers hated him more.
He also had another dream – one about the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing before him.
Again, he told his brothers about the dream.

Later he told his father the dream and Jacob was angry. He rebuked him and said: “What is this dream that thou has dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come and bow down ourselves to thee?”
Verse 11 says: “And his brethren envied him, but his father observed the saying.”

God gives His people dreams, visions – things they see. And these do not necessarily refer to dreams (those they have in the night) but things, needs, opportunities out there where they can get involved in and make a difference in the lives of others.
Many people do not realise those dreams given because they forget them.
Note that I said “those dreams” because I know that Joseph did have millions of other dreams before he was 17, but those two stood out, they were special and were given by God.

I have learned from Joseph that it is wise not to mention all your plans and hopes to just anybody.
The reason is that many people do not understand. They are not at a level where they can help you work towards realising your dreams.
Jacob’s dreams were not just mere fantasies, they were divine, they were true. They would be realised but Joseph was not mature enough to understand the repercussions/reactions – he did not really understand that his brothers hated him.

There are a few lines in the Bible that a lot of people miss.
I think one of them is the last line in verse 11 – “while the brothers envied him, his father observed his saying”.
(I challenge you to search the Bible to see where another parent observed a saying of his/her child.)
The father rebuked him ... but observed his saying – what a statement!
Why did the father observe Joseph’s saying even though he rebuked him?
I have thought about this for a long time (over the years) and I have come to the conclusion that he (a good father despite the favouritism he had shown) knew his sons well enough to know that even though he did not agree with Joseph’s dream, he believed him. (Do a lot of parents believe their children?)

He knew that Joseph was not a lazy boy who used his lip muscles more than those of his biceps.
He knew Joseph was rational most of the time – much more than his older brothers.

Most parents would not like a child saying “Father and mother, in ten years time, I will be greater than both of you. I will save our people.”
That I think is the situation here.
Parents, listen to your children when they talk. You can learn a lot too.

With this I end today’s lesson from The Dreamer.
Watch out for the next one on Sunday.

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