When God is With Us . . . Part 4  

November 30th, 2016

And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Acts 7:9, 10

Gracious and merciful God and Father, how grateful we are that You are always with us when we want You to be by our side. You respect our boundaries, but when we are willing to be led by You, You will always be with us, and You will bless the work of our hands. We thank You in the matchless name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

We have come full circle in the story of Joseph. God is about to move him into the Palace. He has gone from Pit to Prison. He has now reached his real destination, where his dream, his God-given dream, will flourish and bless the world. What a big dream! No wonder the journey to reaching this dream was so long and arduous.

“But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.” Quite an accomplishment for a little Hebrew boy, especially when the nation is the super power of the day.

Oftentimes the temptation in prosperity can be greater than in adversity. “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Prosperity usually inspires pride. This was no ordinary prosperity. because this was no ordinary dream. This is sitting on top of the hill with sheaves, and sun and moon and stars bowing before you! Joseph needed all the boot camp training he received not only to help him arrive at his dream and live it. But most of all for him not to lose sight of the One who had given him the dream, and for whose glory he was to fulfill it.

Let us take a good look at Joseph’s dreams:  ” ‘ “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf” ‘ . . . Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘ “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me” ‘ ” (Genesis 37:5-7, 9).

Because this dream was given to a child to be fulfilled when he became a man God gave it to him in a manner that a child could receive it and be impressed with it. I am sure this picturesque dream remained with him all through his young years. When he became a man and the time came for the dream to be fulfilled he was now prepared for its fulfillment. He understood his role in this mega drama. All along, God Himself was preparing him!

I consider the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 fitting for this occasion:  “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (11, 12).

God in His infinite wisdom knows that some dreams are so big that He needs to unfold them bit by bit, in order for us not to be blinded by their brightness. He also knows that the journey might be so traumatic that it is not in our best interest to see the whole picture at once. We might reject the dream or try to make changes that would make it more comfortable, but those changes might not be what we need to be fully prepared to fulfill the dream. Even when some dreams are fulfilled we may still have questions whether the journey was worth it.

But let us be faithful brothers and sisters because one day, “face to face”, our God will make all things clear, and we will understand it better, by and by. In some of our darkest moments, even when we are not aware, God is with us!