Summary: You must remember four things about your dream of usefulness for God.
INTRO: After last week’s message on the background of Joseph’s family life, today we will dive right into the story as it unfolds here in Genesis 37. The opening lines of Joseph’s story reveal that he was a dreamer of dreams. Verse 5 says, “Joseph dreamed a dream;” but he didn’t dream just one time. Verse 9 says, “and he dreamed yet another dream.” Joseph had dreams and he lived out those dreams.
I submit to you that you and I need to dream. We need to have a vision and a plan for how God might use us in a big way. God has a dream, a call, a vision of usefulness, a task of distinction for every one of His children. The life of Joseph illustrates what can happen when we dream big and follow God.
Illus: A certain evangelist's wife died, and when he had to be away in meetings, he hired a babysitter to take care of his two sons. He would always bring them a gift when he arrived back home. One day, however, he came home and had forgotten to buy the boys a gift. When they asked for their presents, the father told them that he would take them to the store and that they could have whatever they wanted. When they arrived, the first thing they saw was the candy counter. They decided they wanted to buy candy. Their father said, "Let's look around a little more first." Then, they went to the toy department and saw some cowboy suits, complete with guns, hats, ropes, etc. They both yelled, "This is what we want!" Their father replied, "Let's just look around a little first." Next, they went into the sporting goods and found basketballs. They began to dribble these about the place and told their father that they wanted to buy the basketballs. The father said, "let's look around just a little bit more." So they continue to shop and as they did, they spotted 2 brand new 10 speed bicycles against the back wall. Their father saw what they were looking at and said, "How would you like to have those bikes?" Those 2 boys left that store with far more than they bargained for because their father refused to let them settle for less that his best. You see, he had intended to buy the bikes all along! Those 2 boys thought candy would be wonderful, but their father had something far more wonderful in mind.
I wonder how many times God has had something big in His heart and mind for us, but we missed it? We weren’t looking for it, we didn’t have the faith that we should have had.
If you remember four things about your dream of usefulness, it won't matter how dark the clouds, how depressing the circumstances, or how determined the critics are, you will always be aware of the fact that God has something special for you.
I. The dream derives from God.
– It is not uncommon in the Bible for God to reveal things to His faithful servants through dreams. Joseph wasn’t the first or the last to get a dream from God.
– Scripture doesn’t explicitly say that this dream came from God, but it seems clear that since everything came true and was eventually accomplished that it did in fact come from God.
– Joseph gathered all the brothers around and told them the details of the dream. They were all in a field binding corn or wheat into sheaves or bundles. Joseph’s bundle arose and stood upright, while the sheaves which his brothers had bound surrounded Joseph’s sheaf and bowed down to it.
– Well that didn’t sit too well with these jealous, carnal men! They already didn’t like the favoritism he got from dad or the fact that he frequently brought unto Jacob an evil report of their behavior. The brothers fiercely resented the meaning of the dream. They made it clear that Joseph would never have dominion over them.
– So Joseph did the only natural thing – he told them his other dream! In the second dream, the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to him. The idea is that Joseph’s father, mother, and 11 brothers would one day bow down to him. He would one day be preeminent over his entire family.
– Okay, it should go without saying that the family’s reaction to all this was less than enthusiastic support. They didn’t say, “Great Joe, let us pay for your seminary education!” No, they wanted to kill him.
– Let’s pause for a second and talk about this whole exchange. There are two things that commentators and pastors say about Joseph that I am not too sure about.
– (1) Joseph was a cocky, arrogant, and too self-assured young man. That his fancy coat and big ego drove him to be a tattle-taling little squirt that flaunted and bragged to his brothers – and the dream proves it. Alright, did you see or hear anything in the Bible that would suggest that? Nothing bad or negative is ever said about Joseph. We have no idea about what kind of attitude he had. He could have been very humble and gentle in his dealings with them.