Lesson 6 in series of “Great Scenes from the Old Testament”
2. Creation of man & woman
3. The Fall
4. The Flood – God is judge & redeemer
Today, in the story of Joseph, we see God as the Dream Weaver:
1. Joseph’s Dreams
2. Joseph’s Nightmares
God made a covenantal promise to Abraham
Abraham would become a great nation
Genesis 21-36 is the story of God being faithful to that covenant
Isaac was born 25 years later
Isaac married Rebekah
They had twin boys, Esau and Jacob
Story of redemption focuses on Jacob
Jacob married Leah and Rachel, and was renamed “Israel”
With Leah, Rachel, and a couple of common-law wives, Bilhah & Zilpah Jacob had 12
Joseph was his father’s favorite
Don’t look to the patriarchs for models of parenting. Isaac’s favorite was Esau, etc.
Because Joseph was Jacob’s favorite, his brothers hated him.
It didn’t help that he ratted them out to their father.
It didn’t help that he shared dreams that would have them bowing down to him.
Dreams – sheaves & sun moon & stars
Hebron to Shechem.
No small feat, quite a trip as you can see on the map.
Joseph is sold by his brothers as a slave (they planned to kill him, but Reuben stepped
Can you imagine a worse nightmare than at age 17 being sold as a slave and taken 250
miles to a land utterly foreign to you?
In the midst of his brothers’ sin, God is still sovereign, accomplishing his purposes.
Joseph refuses the advances of Potiphar’s wife
“How can I sin against God … flees”
In response to his purity, she lies about him and has him thrown in jail
Imagine how Joseph feels
This is the thanks I get for retaining my purity?
God’s response? In the midst of the sin of Potiphar’s wife, I am still sovereign,
accomplish my purposes.
Genesis 39:21-23 NLT But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him
His faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.
Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over
everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because
Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he
did to succeed.
After who knows how many years, Joseph is given a chance to get out
Two of Pharaoh’s officials are thrown into jail
Genesis 40:8 NLT And they replied, "We both had dreams last night, but no one can
tell us what they mean." "Interpreting dreams is God's business," Joseph replied.
"Go ahead and tell me your dreams."
From a human standpoint, some may think Joseph has the right to be mad at God —
but he is not mad — he still wants to give God the credit, the glory
Gen 40:14-15 NLT And please remember me and do me a favor when things go
well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I
was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I'm here in
prison, but I did nothing to deserve it."
In appreciation, the Cupbearer forgets all about Joseph
Joseph is elevated (familiar?) —
Genesis 41:39-44 NLT Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has revealed the
meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you
are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you.
Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours." Pharaoh said to
Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt." Then Pharaoh
removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph's finger. He dressed
him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had
Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever
Joseph went, the command was shouted, "Kneel down!" So Pharaoh put Joseph in
charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to him, "I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a
hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.“
God is sovereign
Joseph’s interpretations come true
Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy grain
They don’t recognize Joseph, he accuses them of being spies
Joseph frames them as thieves
God, through Joseph and the Pharaoh, provides for his covenantal promises
On his death bed, Jacob blesses
Genesis 49:22-24 NLT "Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey, the foal of a wild donkey
at a spring—one of the wild donkeys on the ridge. (23) Archers attacked him
savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. (24) But his bow remained taut, and
his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the
Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.”
Like a mountain goat, he cannot be tripped up. People could do what they might to him
– his brothers could sell him as a slave, etc.
You cannot see God’s hand in your life except by looking over your shoulder.
What do we learn from the Joseph story?
1. God is omniscient
Psalms 115:3 NLT Our God is in the heavens, and He does as He wishes.
2. God keeps his promises, even in midst of sin
Elihu, being sarcastic to Job, along with his friends Eliphaz, & Bildad:
Job 34:10-12 NLT "Listen to me, you who have understanding. Everyone knows that
God doesn't sin! The Almighty can do no wrong. He repays people according to
their deeds. He treats people as they deserve. Truly, God will not do wrong. The
Almighty will not twist justice.”
Romans 8:28-29 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of
those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (29) For
those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His
Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Let the Bible define “good” – it is not the cessation of pain, or the banishment of death.
His good is that He makes us look like Jesus
The Story of Joseph is not the greatest injustice in history
God worked in the midst of human sin when they killed his perfect son.
Do you believe that God is sovereign?
Do you believe that when your life seems out of control, that God is still in control?
This is the faith that pleases Him.
*** Do you trust God enough to obey Him?