• W. Austin Gardner

Dreaming a Dream


Genesis 37:1-20 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. 4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. 9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. 12 And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. 14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

  • God has been speaking through dreams before this Genesis 20:3 He speaks to a lost man about Sarah But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.

  • Genesis 28:12 He speaks to Jacob in a dream with a ladder that goes up into Heaven

  • Genesis 31:10 He speaks to Jacob about how to prosper in his business in a dream

  • Genesis 31:24 He speaks to Laban about not bothering Jacob

  • There will be false dreams that are to test you to see if you will obey God or not Deuteronomy 31:1-3

  • Dreams occur often in the Scriptures both false and true dreams

  • God’s people are given the power to interpret dreams on several occasions

  • Now God gives Jacob a dream that will ultimately save Israel and bring God’s great salvation plan to pass

  • In the latter days, God will cause His people to dream dreams Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17

  • Any dream that comes from God will be in direct agreement with what is already written in Scripture

  • God will confirm His dreams He gives you with Scripture and circumstances

  • A reliance on dreams instead of the Word of God would be a very foolish step

  • If you are constantly praying, seeking God, and meditating on Scripture God might speak to you through a dream but even then you should be careful to only “assuredly gather” that it comes from God

  1. God gave Joseph a dream 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

  2. God gives dreams to accomplish His purposes for His glory

  3. It is God who is making a way to save Israel from hunger or the famine

  4. God sees tomorrow just like today or yesterday

  5. God places a dream in our hearts today to do something big for His Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

  6. The proof that this dream is from God is that it comes true

  7. I doubt that most of your modern-day Christians would have held on to their dream if they had had to pay the price that Joseph pays--13 years of suffering with a good attitude

  8. The dream wasn’t very clear when given

  9. The actual dreams

  10. The sheaves would bow down to him 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

  11. The sun, moon, and stars bow down to him 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

  12. The misinterpretations

  13. He sees his big brothers doing obeisance to him 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

  14. which is true but was far from the reason or purpose of the dream

  15. Even his dad thinks that the point is that the whole family will bow down to him 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

  16. His mother will not even make it to Egypt--she dies before they get to Egypt so he wasn’t seeing clearly all that was going to happen

  17. The timing, the purpose, the means to the end of the dream are not clear

  18. The dream probably looks good as a 17-year-old

  19. No mention is made of the price that he will have to pay

  20. No mention is made of how God is going to use this

  21. No mention is even made of how God is to get glory from this

  22. This is often how we begin our dreams of what God wants to do with our lives

  23. The dream causes great division

  24. They already hated him because his dad loved him more than them 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

  25. Once he dreams that hate him even more 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

  26. They hate him, even more, when he dreams again 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

  27. They envied him because he had dreams 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

  28. They want to kill the dream so they end up selling him into slavery 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

  29. The dream makes him a marked man 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

  30. The dreaming is the easy part--but if it is from God it will cost you your life

  31. Lessons to learn for your life today

  32. God does place dreams in our life--like His call on our life Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

  33. With the dream comes the ability to do what He wants you to do

  34. It is not a dream that crosses your mind and is gone it literally consumes you until you can’t get away from it Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, Nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, And I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

  35. You feel like you will die if you do not do it I Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

  36. It will be something you feel like you have to do--a necessity

  37. It will be an all-consuming desire I Timothy 3:1--the word desire-means to stretch out, reach after, covet, long after, try to gain, be ambitious for This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

  38. The dream literally takes over your life like it did in the case of Joseph

  39. Though you can't get away from the dream you probably do not even understand your dream until God makes it come true--that is what happens with Joseph

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