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Encounters with God: Joseph

April 27th, 2010

Encounters with God. Sometimes, God plants a dream in our heart to set our life on course toward a given destiny.

This was literally true of Joseph, who had a dream of his brother’s sheaves in the field bowing down to his. When Joseph told the dream to his brothers, this stirred up some hatred. They said, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he said.

This ironically started Joseph’s path toward prominence, although considering the path he would take to get there, I doubt many of us would want to take. He was sold for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. He made the best of his circumstances, serving his master well, winning his master’s respect and confidence. Then, he was falsely accused of wrongdoing, and his master put him in prison. Another setback. He interprets dreams while he was there. He won the confidence of the prison warden. More time goes by. And then comes the moment when Pharoah has two disturbing dreams, and Joseph is the only one who can interpret the dreams. At that moment, he is restored to a prominent place of service in Egypt, and when the drought comes, his brothers come for help from, of all people, Joseph. The Bible says that when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.

Only God could have orchestrated that. At an earlier age, Joseph may have let something like that go to his head, but he had been through the fire of adversity, and was humbled in the process. This refinement groomed him for greatness, and God was glorified through the life of Joseph. God knows how to fulfill dreams. Often, they are fulfilled differently than we imagine.

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