Summary: We do not see what God sees. Don't try. God knows what He is doing, even when we don't. Just trust.
We want to look at Joseph’s life this morning. Jacob has 12 sons, Joseph is the 11th son but the first one from Rachel. The second is Benjamin.
Let’s read what he shared to his brothers in Genesis 37:1-11.
We’ve just read the beginning account of Joseph’s wonderful life under the hands of God. Joseph was only 17 years old when he received dreams from God.
• God has great plans for him. He will be instrumental in bringing hope to the nation of Egypt and the surrounding lands, when a severe famine strikes.
• Through him, God will save his entire family in that long famine.
God gave him a glimpse of what He has in store for him through TWO dreams.
• It is a foretaste of what is to come. I believe Joseph gets these dreams because he spends time with God. He is a seeker of God.
• I get that hint from the character I read in the next few chapters, how Joseph remains faithful to God, and the Lord’s presence was with him (mentioned many times), both Potiphar and the Pharaoh saw it. God shows him the meaning of dreams.
• He has a close relationship with God, probably from the quiet times he had tending to sheep, just like David.
God showed him TWO dreams with the same message.
• In the 1st dream, they were all binding sheaves of grain and then his sheaf rose and stood upright. The rest of his brothers’ sheaves gathered around his and bowed down to it.
• In the 2nd dream, the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him.
• The father rebuked him and in the process revealed the understanding the family had, which is not too hard to guess.
• Joseph was hinting the family will one day bows down to him because he is holding an elevated position.
These were revelations from God to Joseph when he was only 17 years old (37:2).
• When did these come true? When did the family members bow down to Joseph?
• The answer is found in Genesis 42, when his brothers came to Egypt looking for food.
Joseph has become the second-in-command in Egypt by then.
• Why was he in Egypt? Let me run through very quickly, for those who are not familiar.
• Right after this passage about the dreams, his brothers betrayed him and sold him to slave traders who brought him to Egypt.
• After many turns of events, Joseph ends up serving in the Pharaoh’s court.
How old was Joseph then? Gen 41:46 “Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh King of Egypt.”
• He was invited because he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream about an impending famine.
• God revealed that they would have 7 years of abundant harvest, followed by 7 years of severe famine, throughout the land.
• They need to store up food during the 7 good years, for use during the famine.
When the brothers finally came to Egypt to seek help, it was 2 years into the famine (cf. Gen 45:6).
• The dreams were fulfilled in Gen 45. That’s 22 years later.
• From 17 years old to 30 years old when he entered Pharaoh’s court. Plus 7 years of abundance and now 2 years into the famine.
• When Joseph met his brothers, he was 39 years old.
It takes 22 years for them to reach the point where they can say, “Now, we understand the dreams. Now we know what they mean.”
• It’s scary to think that this can be true of us too. But it can.
• There are some things that we will not understand now, until God shows us some 20 years later.
WE DO NOT SEE WHAT GOD SEES. Don’t try.
That’s what we do. We think and think and think, hoping that by thinking long enough we can get an answer.
• We won’t. The answer comes through revelations from God, through dreams, through His Word. It’s alright not to have answers.
• We are called to trust Him and surrender to His providence, to believe that God knows what He is doing, even when I don’t understand what I am seeing.
Surrendering to His providence is the only way to peace and happiness in life.
You see, the very next thing that happened to Joseph after the excitement of sharing his dreams was this long series of nightmares.
• The subtitle to the next section in Genesis 37 puts it bluntly: “Joseph Sold by His Brothers”. It ushered in for Joseph, a decade of slavery, suffering and pain.
• If you are going by what you see, you will be devastated!
Everything turned upside down. Everything appears wrong. It doesn’t sync with the dreams he had.