Genesis 40: Don’t interpretations come from God?
Joseph’s situation deteriorates from his being a slave to his being a slave in prison. However, even there God’s with him and, while his life is not that of a favored son, he does rise to a position of authority in this limited world. The most significant thing that happens to Joseph during these years is his contact with the disgraced cupbearer of the King. When he, along with another prisoner, has disturbing dreams Joseph offers to interpret them. With God’s help Joseph is right on in his interpretation and that lays the foundation for the next chapter in God’s plan for him. It’s interesting to think about God speaking to people through dreams and I have to confess that if the Lord has ever spoken to me in that way I missed it entirely. Still, the Bible has several stores of people having dreams and visions from God. Even the Apostle Paul received his “Come over into Macedonia” request in a dream. I’ve concluded that I don’t think about God-given dreams very much for two reasons. First, unlike those whose stories are in the Bible, I have the Bible as a communication from God. Everything I need to know for my salvation is found there. If I want to know what God is saying to me, I need to spend less time dreaming and more time reading his Word. Second is, I think, lack of expectancy. Godly people of the Bible weren’t surprised to hear from God via their dreams. In some cultures, that amounts to just so much superstition. However, they knew they served the Living God and that he is a Communicating God. With that in mind, it may be that I need to keep praying the child’s bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” as a sincere request that the Lord watch over me through the night. I might even want to extend to the Lord an invitation to inhabit my dreams if he so desires.
Take away: Let’s be open to hear from God in any way he chooses to communicate.