Shadow of Things to Come – July 4, 2017

NOTE:  My apology that last week’s post did not go out because of technical difficulties. We pick up today where we left off two weeks ago.

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Now it happened that at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream. Gen. 41:1 You will remember that two years earlier, Joseph had correctly interpreted the dreams of the baker and the cupbearer and his interpretation came to pass exactly as he had spoken it.

Yet Joseph remained in prison two more years for the cupbearer forgot all about his benefactor after being restored to his position.  Some have opined that the LORD caused him to forget because Joseph’s spiritual training required these two more years.  Yet I often wonder how Joseph felt, what new prisoners may have joined him in the dungeon, how did he get along with them and did he wonder – perhaps frequently – if the cupbearer would ever remember him again.  Two years can be a very long time when you’re waiting for something to happen.

We humans tend to have a difficult time with patience, particularly in our modern society which is so geared towards “instant” everything.  Yet the scriptures teach us that God Himself is incredibly patient with us, remembering that we are but dust.  Can you imagine where we’d be today if God had not had patience with us?  We do well to thank Him for His long-suffering with His children, ourselves included.

Why is patience such a problem? Bottom line: we want what we want when we want it! There’s something of a two year old that lives on in each of us; that toddler who used to stubbornly insist, ‘I want it NOW!’ Remember him or her? We all did it in one way or another, didn’t we? It’s a bit embarrassing to realize that when we lose patience with others, the two year old is poking his ego out for all to see!

What’s more important is that when we lose patience with others, we are far from being God-like.  When He has graced us with so much patience throughout our lives, should we not do the same towards our family and friends?  We are taught to forgive others in the same manner that we have been forgiven.  Well, the only reason we are forgiven when we repent to the LORD is because He is patient and kind towards us!  Therefore, the same principle that applies to forgiveness, applies to patience: Do unto others as the LORD has done unto you!

So after two full years Pharaoh has a dream and none of his wise men or magicians had a clue what it meant but the dream was vivid enough that Pharaoh was disturbed and couldn’t forget it!  It was then that the cup bearer recalled his fellow prisoner and informed Pharaoh that Joseph had accurately interpreted not only his dream but that of the Pharaoh’s former baker.  Pharaoh was impressed and sent for Joseph.

Joseph_Pharaoh

It would have been entirely against protocol for a prisoner to appear before Pharaoh in his prison garb, unshaven and unclean so Joseph quickly shaved and put on appropriate clothing.  No sooner had he entered Pharaoh’s throne room, but the Egyptian leader said to Joseph, I dreamed a dream but nobody can interpret it. But I’ve heard that just by hearing a dream, you can.  Gen. 41:15

First thing to understand is that the ancient Egyptians fully believed that dreams were messages from the supernatural world. They often attributed them to their so-called ‘gods’ but Pharaoh was about to find out that the God of Israel was not one ‘among the gods’ but the true and only God.

Second thing to note is Joseph’s answer. Not I, but God. It is God who will set Pharaoh’s mind at ease. Gen. 41:16  Before hearing one word of description about the dream, Joseph makes clear to the Egyptian ruler that there is only ONE who correctly interprets messages that come in dreams: God Himself – the One God, the God of Israel.  Joseph seeks no advantage for himself.  His very first declaration is to honor God.  Keep in mind this is after some 12-13 years of imprisonment on a false charge!

Pharaoh details his dream, actually two dreams. (Gen. 41: 17-24) and Joseph answers: Pharaoh’s two dreams both mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. Gen. 41:28

There are numerous examples in Scripture of God speaking to His servants in dreams.

Have you ever had a dream and wondered if it meant anything?

Did you ever ask the LORD about it?

Some people tend to dismiss dreams as unimportant and many of them are in fact unimportant.  However, there are times when the LORD chooses to communicate with us through dreams.  Usually those dreams are hard to forget and though brief in duration contain a powerful message from the Spirit of the LORD direct to your spirit.

Keep in mind that everything written in the Scriptures is there for our instruction and as examples to us of how God worked with and through other human beings just like us. The issue of dreams is no different.  Sometimes it is only when we are asleep that God can get our attention!

Application:

Please don’t start thinking that every dream you may have is a heavenly message but are you willing to consider that perhaps the LORD has or will communicate something precious to you by way of a dream? Are you open to the possibility?  If so, let me encourage you to look up the dreams that are recorded in the Bible, learn from those passages and open your heart to receive from the LORD in a dream.  Thank God, Joseph did.  It all started with two dreams he had as a teenager, dreams that would come to pass in God’s perfect timing.

Don’t go seeking dreams – seek the kind of faith Joseph had that enabled him to hold on to the promise from God, even through his darkest days.  But should God speak to you through a dream, don’t discount it and don’t ignore it.  Ask the LORD to help you understand His message fully.

 

 

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