“Joseph had a dream”, importantly it was “Joseph dreamed of being a ruler one day”.
This dream belongs to God, this is God’s plan which involves Joseph. He was given the dream by God and this is important to understand.
We are bombarded in this day and age with a self-directing, self-determining way of living. A call to fulfill your dreams.
But God calls us to something greater. God says be apart of my dream, my plan, my intervention in this world in which you live.
The temptation for us is to go along with it until it goes in a direction that we don’t particularly agree with. And that is one of the shining lights of Joseph in the first half of the story. God’s big plan, ruling for a purpose but sold by brothers, instead of killed by them, prison, unfairly unjustly treated. Throughout it all Joseph does not complain “God is against me…”. Why are you doing this; everything is unfair and going wrong” He may have said that but it is certainly not recorded.
We will see Joseph faithfully fulfilling God’s dream.
We must be careful to not spiritualise our own agenda. I’ll dream and God will assist me in achieving that. But rather we are to humbly walk with God. Submit our plans, our dreams to him.
Eric Liddle had dream of Olympic gold, but that dream was only part of a pecking order and it wasn’t at the top. His greatest desire as Christian who could run fast, was to honour God. So when Olympic gold and honouring God came into sharp conflict for Liddle he chose to honour God. With the conviction that he does not run on Sundays, he was to miss out on the 100m heats. That was his race. But his dream of Olympic gold was not at all costs. He lived for something of far greater worth than gold.
So let us be clear the dream of being a ruler was not Joseph’s idea- he was not dreaming big. God had chosen him.
The turning point from prison to palace, was a dream- not Joseph’s dream, but Pharoah. And the decisive actor in the whole story of Joseph- is proclaimed…when Joseph replies about who can interpret dreams… “It is not in me; God will give the answer…” 41:16.
Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them. - Tim Keller