When I was young we used to share with lots of excitement and psych our dream lifestyles, jobs, and careers. We could see ourselves driving big cars, owning big houses, and have a nice and united family. All these existed only in our small and immature minds but not in reality. Then we had no idea what it takes so as to own all those good stuff. As they say “vitu kwa ground ni different,” (Things are different on the ground). This is the reality that hit us years later. Those who were looking forward to being doctors were no longer interested in pursuing medicine and the pilot enthusiast were not in good terms with Physics and Mathematics hence could not pursue their childhood dreams.
Almost the same scenario repeats itself but in a different way even for the mature people. If this is the case then something could be wrong somewhere. In the next couple of minutes, we are going to focus on Joseph’s dream. The last born to Jacob in the Bible. It is a famous story that is known by many. I hope that we get to learn something from his story.
Joseph was only 17 when he dreamt (Genesis 37:2). Joseph’s dreams generated more enthusiasm than wisdom. Ideally one expects that his family will be the first to support his dream. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Joseph’s story. His father rebuked him, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” (Genesis 37:10)
His father’s rebuke was actually much way ‘better’ as compared to what his brothers said and planned for him as we can see in Genesis 37:19-20 , “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
It was so unfortunate to see how his family misunderstood him to a point of selling him to a foreign land. Sometimes it is not wise sharing your dreams too soon. It is better to take it to the Lord in prayer and allow Him to manifest it in His appointed time. God’s time is the best. While in the foreign land, Joseph was thrown into prison where he was forgotten. However, Joseph never gave up because “The Lord was with him and he prospered… (Genesis 39:2); “But while Joseph was in prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness…” (Genesis 39:21) “…the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Genesis 39:23). Like Joseph, sometimes we say things we shouldn’t say. Sometimes we do things we shouldn’t do. And so God sends adversity to purify our motives, refine our dreams and prepare us to realize our visions. So when you find yourself in a pit, maligned or misunderstood, allow it to make you better, not bitter. Adversity builds character. We do not have to remain a victim of our past. The story of Joseph shows what God can do despite our upbringing. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your dreams even if you didn’t start well.
The favor of God and his own integrity won Joseph the admiration and trust of his master. He was made overseer of the entire household. He had come into a privileged position. Joseph had passed the test of adversity. If Satan cannot get us to sin by withholding our needs, he will try to by offering us what we desire.
God protected him, gave him a supernatural ability to interpret dreams and showered him with honor, power, and influence. What would Joseph do with all this power? Use it or abuse it or plan an act of revenge to his family? Slowly the links in God’s providential plan were becoming visible as Egypt went through seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt in desperation looking for food. Joseph treated them with kindness and not retaliation. Why?
His one desire was reconciliation, but before he could reveal himself, he must first find out if there had been repentance. He wanted to renew their relationship based on trust, not fear. His plan, therefore, was intended to awaken their consciences and that is what happened. In chapter 42 verse 21 we read, “They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us.”
God brought them to a point of repentance and eventually, Joseph revealed himself with gentleness and concern for their welfare. He also reveals his understanding of God’s sovereign purposes in all that had happened. “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years, there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance… You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Genesis 45:5-7; 50:20).
It had taken 23 years from the dream to fulfillment. But in the end, Joseph did lead his family. He was reconciled to his brothers. He did save his people. But that wasn’t the end of his dreams. On his deathbed, he had another. It’s found in Genesis 50. He “spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt” (Hebrews 11:22). He was still consumed by a vision even on his death bed. But the significance of Joseph’s part in God’s providence goes much, much, further. I don’t know if you have ever observed how the parallels between Joseph and Jesus are quite remarkable.
It is as if Joseph’s life were a dress rehearsal for Jesus. Think about it: Both had a special birth. Both were begotten by God. Both were loved more by their father than their brothers. Both became good shepherds. Despised and rejected by their own, they both brought God’s blessing to the Gentiles.
Their brethren planned for both a cruel death. Stripped of their robes, both were consigned to a grave not intended for their burial. Both graves were found to be empty. Both had been sold at the instigation of one of the 12 – Judas is the Greek for Judah. The price for both was measured in silver, the price of a slave. Allowing for inflation the price paid for Joseph and Jesus was the same. Both were taken to Egypt. Both ministered to those in prison. Both were exalted to the King’s right hand. Both were given the title “Saviour of the world” before either had saved a soul. Neither was recognized by their brethren. Both loved their enemies. Both had exclusive control over the bread of life. No one could be saved without bowing the knee to them. Joseph was indeed, therefore, a sign of God’s providential preparation for the coming of his only Son.
From the story of Joseph, we see how important it is to allow God to be the master driver of your dream. And of course, this is not to say that you now pursue laziness. No! You ought to pursue your dream. Be it career or something that the Lord has placed in your heart, Have the vision written the tablets and have them hanged somewhere and get up to pursue your dream.
Feel free to share tips on how you pursued your dreams.
Your comment is also highly appreciated.