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Gen 37:1-11 Jan 13, 2008
I’ve heard it said that we dream every night – we just don’t always remember dreaming. Dreams can be a powerful thing. Lots of people have made great discoveries in their dreams: The modern sewing machine was first envisioned in a dream – so was the structure of the atom. Studies measuring brain waves have shown that brains are actually more active when dreaming than when they are awake. That’s not permission to doze off though. I’m sure that 100% of you have been affected by your dreams in some way – at some time; but many people have had their lives completely changed by the dreams they have had.
Joseph was such a person. He was a shepherd turned slave turned convict turned ruler. He was Abraham’s great grandson - a 4th generation Israelite; a brand new chosen race of people created by God through Abraham’s faithfulness. Abraham, the 1st father of Israel, had Isaac who had a son Jacob, who was the father of Joseph.
Gen 37:1-11 And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
Joseph’s story can be divided up into 3 parts: His 17 years at home, his years of captivity in Egypt, and his years of ruling in Egypt. It is a fascinating and intricate story that goes from Gen 37 to Gen 46
Joseph is one of several sons born to Jacob - according to Genesis 37:3,
(3) Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Jacob ‘loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age.’ The passage goes on to say,
(4) And his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren; and they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
His brothers hated Joseph because of their father’s partiality. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. Then Joseph has two dreams which appear to his family as setting Joseph (the youngest) above the rest of them.
(5) And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. (6) And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: (7) for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves came round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
Joseph gives them more reason to hate him. The brothers have had enough and they sought to rid themselves of this brother they had become extremely jealous of. They were going to kill him but, instead they sold him as a slave. Joseph is taken to Egypt while the brothers, went home to lie about Joseph’s ‘disappearance.’
Joseph now begins a life in Egypt first as a household servant and he does it so well that he rises to the top of the servant hierarchy, but he is sexually harassed and then wrongly accused of rape by his master’s wife which causes him to be unjustly thrown into prison.
Then in prison God is with him and he also flourishes amazingly until he practically runs it – then he meets two of Pharaoh’s, servants, the cupbearer and the chief baker. Both have dreams and share their dreams with Joseph. He correctly interprets both dreams and asks to be remembered by the men when they are released back to the King but he is forgotten, for two years, until Pharaoh has a couple of
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