Week Six: Day 1

    February 12, 2024 | Be God's Light

    Joseph Dreams End in Nightmare

    Scripture: Genesis 37(NIV)

    1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

    2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line.

    Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

    3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

    5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 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.”

    8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

    9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

    10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

    12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”

    “Very well,” he replied.

    14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.

    When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

    16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”

    17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”

    So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.

    19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “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.”

    21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.

    23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

    25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

    26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.

    28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

    29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”

    31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

    33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”

    34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.

    36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.


    In Genesis 35, Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel died in childbirth, yielding a son he named Benjamin. This gave Jacob twelve sons: six from Leah, two from Leah’s servant, two from Rachel’s servant, and two from Rachel – his two favorite sons.

    Here in Genesis 37, Jacob (Israel) makes no secret that Joseph was his favorite of the favorites. Joseph had is father’s love, wore a fancy robe, and had dreams showcasing his own superiority. His ten older brothers hated him so much that they could taste it.

    Their only predicament was how to get rid of him. Kill him? Leave him in a pit? They decided the merciful thing to do was to sell him for half a pound of silver and fake his death by a wild animal. Their father would get over it and they would rise up to a higher position in dad’s eyes.

    Sibling rivalry is often about who has what perceived position in their parents’ eyes. Romans 12:16 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Joseph could have benefited from this New Testament verse.

    And his brothers could have benefited from the verses that follow: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:17-19).

    How do you handle feelings of jealousy? How about feelings of pride? What is the godly way to deal with those two emotions, which are all about comparing ourselves to others? What is the Lord saying to you?


    The Dream

    I fell upon my pillow
    Exhausted from the day
    Body returned
    To fetal position
    Sleep took me away
    A place where craziness
    Became reality
    Heavy stalks
    With thickened husks
    And ears of golden mane
    They danced upon
    The distant field
    Twirling, swaying,
    And circling
    Mine center stood
    While others
    Bowed to ground
    And then the stalks
    Turned into stars
    While one was Sun
    And one was Moon
    Their orbit like
    A dizzy dance
    Holding hands
    With me amidst
    Full center
    Then all was still
    As one by one
    The dance turned into
    No longer movement
    Only bows
    In humble submission
    I held my hand
    To each
    Inviting a dance
    And though we
    Were in this crowded
    I stood

    back to be god's light