SERIES: The Gospel in Genesis (Joseph)

TEXT: Genesis 37:1-11; 23-34

MESSAGE: “God’s Dream for Joseph”


“To my amazement, there is twice as much about Joseph as there is about Abraham.  Why is this?  Is Joseph greater than Abraham?  No, not that.  But there is twice as much about Joseph as about Abraham because the story of Joseph is the story of our holy Messiah Redeemer in miniature. When we read of the sufferings of Joseph and of his glorious exaltation, we are reading exactly what happened to our Lord Jesus Christ.”
— W.A. Criswell (Pastor)

“Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” — Genesis 37:5-6

“In God’s program, growing means becoming smaller…Greatness in His kingdom is a gift God gives to the humble, not a prize to be grasped by the proud.” — Iain Duguid
“It was 2 months before my 25th birthday. Everything in my life seemed upside down. My business was no longer exciting me, working out seemed mundane, and hanging out with friends felt like a chore. I started asking myself, do I really have the success that I thought I would have? Am I actually creating an impact on the world? Am I happy? What’s the point of all this anyway? I had found myself in a quarter-life crisis, or as The Muse puts it, “a period of intense soul-searching and stress occurring in your mid 20s to early 30s,” typically because you feel you’re not achieving your full potential or are falling behind. According to The Guardian, the quarter-life crisis affects 86% of millennials, who report being bogged down by insecurities, disappointments, loneliness, and depression. Millennials, it’s less of a question of if you will experience a quarter-life crisis than it is a question of when.”  Jules Schroeder
TEXT: Genesis 37:1-11; 23-34

Why does God send this dream into Joseph’s life? 

There are three ideas that we see in today’s text. It’s to…(1. Bring Sin To The Surface 2. Show How God Really Works 3. Offer A Better Story)

  1. Bring Sin To The Surface (v.2-8)

These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. 5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.”

“Joseph’s character suggests a spoiled child who is a tattletale.” — Robert Alter

“No matter how dear you are to God, if pride is harbored in your spirit, He will whip it out of you. They that go up in their own estimation must come down again by His discipline.” — Charles Spurgeon
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” — Hebrews 12:6
  1. I cannot bear to discipline or displease my child.
  2. I need to influence or control most things that affect my child.
  3. Whatever affects my child has the potential to control me.
  4. My desire to protect my child is stronger than my desire to see him/her grow to be the person God called them to be.
 Anne Meade Harris (“Four Signs I Have Made My Child An Idol”)
  1. Show How God Really Works (v. 9-11; 23-24; 28)

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind…23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.; 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.”

“…Unless everything happened exactly the way it happened, just in that order, everybody dies, because there’s a famine going to come, and Joseph has to be put in the place where he has power.” —  Keller, T. J.

  1. Offer A Better Story (v. 29-34)
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.” 33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.”
“One day God would send another Prince, a young Prince whose heart would break. Like Joseph, he would leave his home and his Father. His brothers would hate him and want him dead. He would be sold for pieces of silver. He would be punished even though he had done nothing wrong. But God would use everything that happened to this young Prince – even the bad things – to do something good: to forgive the sins of the whole world.”  — Sally Lloyyd Jones
“…and he sent a man before them—Joseph, sold as a slave.18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true.” 
— Psalm 105:17-19

TAKEAWAYS: What can we apply to our lives?

  • Believe that God’s working even when it’s hard to see
  • Avoid being too sure or too cynical about what God is doing
  • Remember that God works through the least likely

“God has not called you to be awesome. He has called you to be humble, faithful, and free. Leave the awesome to him.” – Scott Sauls