Gen. 40:1-41:40, Dreams and changes

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Helen

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    Aug 29, 2001
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    Most of our dreams seem to be our minds exercising themselves, or balancing our lives a bit, or just having a good time making up stories as they go! Most dreams fade from the mind within second of waking up.

    But not all. Sometimes God uses dreams for communication. Does it still happen today? Personally, I believe that, on very rare occasions, it does. But, like the dreams we are going to deal with in this reading, communication through dreams is generally very personal. What is meant for the world is already in the Bible.

    Joseph is in jail. He may hold a position of authority, but he is in jail nevertheless. So are the Pharaoh’s baker and cupbearer. The position of baker and cupbearer need a bit of explaining. They were responsible for the food and drink presented to the Pharaoh. They were the men who inspected, and tasted, a sample of every bit of food and drink before the king ate it. This was to insure that if anyone was to be poisoned, it would NOT be the king! It was a dangerous position, but one with great responsibility, for the men, in taking responsibility for the food and drink, were then also able to supervise any step of the food production and cooking they felt necessary. It is possible that there had been some attempt to poison the Pharaoh, or perhaps the Pharaoh had gotten a little normal 'food poisoning', and figured that someone was trying to poison him. At any rate, these two landed in jail. An attempt, real or imagined, to poison the Pharaoh is the most logical reason both these men would have been thrown in jail at the same time.

    When both the baker and the cupbearer have dreams that upset them, they, as was the belief prevalent in the Middle East then, believed that if someone could interpret their dreams they would know their futures. Joseph tells them clearly that interpretations belong to God, but then he does interpret their dreams. And then he makes one request: please “remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.”

    The dreams come true, the cupbearer is restored to his position while the baker is executed. The cupbearer forgets Joseph for two years.

    But then Pharaoh had two dreams that really trouble him. When no one could interpret them, suddenly the cupbearer remembers Joseph! The Pharaoh sends for this man who has been in a dungeon for how long? We don’t know! Years… but how many? And Joseph tells the Pharaoh bluntly that he cannot interpret the dreams.

    BUT, Joseph says, God will give Pharaoh the meaning. They both mean the same thing: seven years of great harvest abundance will be followed by seven years horrid famine. Joseph suggests Pharaoh put a man in charge of storing food enough for the seven years of famine.

    And in one day Joseph goes from criminal in a dungeon to the second most powerful man in Egypt, as he is the one the Pharaoh chooses to be in charge, not only of the food storage, but of everything in Egypt, including the palace! ONLY the Pharaoh is above him.

    And suddenly all of Joseph’s own experiences start to make sense. God knew what He was doing after all. We can see this. I often wonder if Joseph began to see it right away or if he was simply in a bit of shock at the changes 24 hours could bring!

    It is the same with us. We cannot afford to complain when things seem to go all wrong. God has not lost control. He is just setting things up. Go with it. Do the best you can. Ask for God’s wisdom in dealing with your circumstances and don’t take your eyes off Him. It’s not worth looking at the storms and problems. Watch Christ. Go where He leads. He knows what He is doing!
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Oct 10, 2001
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