Joseph’s second dream

Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” He told his father and brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Am I and your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
-Genesis 37:9-11

These are my notes on Joseph’s second dream.

  • Joseph’s dreams were from God.
  • No one knew their significance until God brought them to pass.
  • Joseph thought that his dreams might be important, so he told them to his family.
  • Joseph’s dad, Jacob listened; but resented the possible message that his son would be put in a position over him.
    • Just like in Jesus’ case, family members are sometimes offended by God calling their sibling or child to a place of prominence.
  • The fact that Joseph shared his dreams was not just that he was a braggart, but a believer expressing his faith in God.
  • The dreams were initiated by God and were prophecies received, God’s plan and Joseph’s future destiny, and this revelation was shared by him with spontaneous enthusiasm that was only natural and not unexpected by God.
  • God sovereignly chooses people for positions of leadership and the response of siblings may be rivalrous or jealousy, and even hatred.  
  • God’s sovereign calling of a person does not determine how they or their family will respond to the calling.
  • Believers are called to dream.
  • Dreams from God are gifts from God.
  • Jacob nurtured a dreaming son.
  • Jacob was already in harmony with God in his favor toward Joseph that proved to be purposeful beyond comprehension.
  • Is Joseph really a braggart or just without guile?
  • The dream(s) from God are disruptive to the life of the family and cause conflict.
  • There is great incongruity that the dream is about great political power, that will save the world.
  • The dream, had by a boy, is something from God that will manifest into the whole world, about his role in God’s work in the world.
  • The understanding of how life will go is challenged and changed by the dream.
  • Ironically, the dream(s) of one, of one’s kin, inspire hate, jealousy, and even murder; from the dreamer’s own family members, while these dreams were from God and are about the called role of their sibling to save the world from famine.
  • Even Joseph’s father, who has nurtured him as the chosen one; balks and bristles at the obvious interpretation, that he will bow down to his son.
  • The new hope portended in the dream(s) is a threat to the status quo.
  • It is said that the biggest threat to God’s new order is God’s present (former) order.
  • It has been observed through history that the greatest persecutors or critics of the new move of God are the ones from the preceding move of God.
  • It is said that the last words of a dying church are, “we’ve never done it that way before!”
  • Dreams from God initiate the end of the present order.
  • Tradition is so powerful and entrenched, perhaps idolized; that people will kill to keep it.
  • The default of human nature is to resist change, that can only be embraced by self-denial and grace.
  • Dreams spawn revolutionary thoughts of another way.

Bibliography:

Dr. Thomas L. Constable’s expository (Bible Study) notes (containing these 4 sources):

Genesis: A Commentary by Bruce K. Waltke

The Book of Genesis by Charles R. Erdman

The Book of Genesis by Victor P. Hamilton

Genesis by Kenneth A. Mathews

Genesis by Walter Brueggemann

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