Dreams for his glory


In the past, one of the ways through which God often spoke was through dreams. In his youth, Joseph received two dreams that significantly changed the course of his life. These dreams were in relation to his brothers:

Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf stood up and also remained standing; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.
Genesis 37:6–7

Behold, I have had yet another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.
Genesis 37:9b

Later, we read that Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker while in jail. Then, we know that Pharaoh had a dream, which neither he, the necromancers, nor the wise men of Egypt could solve. Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer remembered that Joseph had interpreted his dream while in jail and told Pharaoh about him in God’s perfect time. As we know, Pharaoh summoned Joseph to interpret his dreams, which Joseph did, and Joseph received great favor from Pharaoh.

I wrote in “God’s perfect time”, since often times, we tend to focus on the person in the story and forget that God is the One in control! He has a plan and a timeline that no one will be able to thwart. In our story, we find this to be true. I believe Joseph also knew this to be true as he told Pharaoh, “without me, God will answer (bring back) the shalom (peace, fullness) of Pharaoh” (Genesis 41:16). Again, Joseph refers to God as the one in control when he says to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dream is one, and that which God is doing I will tell Pharaoh” (Genesis 41:25). Is it possible that at that point, Joseph already realized that the dreams of his youth were about to become fulfilled?

In Genesis 41:38–41 we read:

Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom God’s spirit is within him?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God told you of all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. You shall be in charge of my house, and on the word of your mouth all of my people shall be nurtured; only regarding the throne will I be greater than you.”

Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I have placed you over all the land of Egypt.”

Joseph’s new reality had been predestined by God long before it actually happened, as was the time that his brothers and later Jacob, his father, come and see him.

In our Haftarah portion this week, we learn of another king who had a dream:

Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and made peace offerings, and held a feast for all his servants.”
1 Kings 3:15

Here we read that Solomon woke up from a dream, which was a completely different dream from that which Joseph or Pharaoh had.  Solomon’s dream became a well-known story of God asking him to choose what he desires, for which Solomon asked “an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is capable of judging this great people of Yours?” 1 Kings 3:9.

Two very important things I’d like to point out are that 1) this entire account between God and Solomon was in a dream and 2) that Solomon did not ask for wisdom as some people say, but rather an understanding heart to judge God’s people. Yes, due to the fact that he did not ask for any selfish requests such as long life, riches, or the life of his enemies, God granted him a “wise and intelligent heart”.

Both Joseph and Solomon knew and acknowledged that everything is from God and for God. I believe that this is a very important lesson for us all to remember and learn from, as too many people use God’s wisdom in their lives for their own personal gain rather than for His glory and name’s sake. We ought to be very careful to not take God’s glory for ourselves!

In Joel 2:28–31 (Joel 3:1–5 Hebrew Bible) we read:

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh (mankind); and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men will have dreams, your young men will see visions. And even on the male and female servants. I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will give (display) wonders in the sky and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.”

I believe that in the days to come we will see the fulfillment of these words from Joel! The question for you and me, His followers, will be if we acknowledge that everything is from Him, for Him and in His perfect timing, or if we will use what He gives us for our own personal gain?

The answer to this is not in what we say or even think, but rather what we do.

This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel and is reposted with permission.