“Dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” (Walt Disney)
There’s a famous picture of very young Marc Marquez the Grand Prix motorcycle racer, posing with Valentino Rossi, the nine times world champion racer. Marquez has admitted to having posters of Rossi on his bedroom wall as a child but for the last three seasons they have competed against each other with Marquez winning the Moto GP world championship twice although currently Rossi leads in 2015. Disney’s words would surely resonate with Marquez. Joseph’s dream was different, it wasn’t that he could be the ruler of Egypt or even have authority over his brothers; it was a revelation from God of what would happen in the future.
What was Joseph’s game? Why didn’t he just reveal himself to his brothers straight away? The answer is found in 42:9;
“Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, ‘You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.’”
It wasn’t that he remembered how they had treated him or the suffering he had endured through no fault of his own and wanted to punish them. He remembered the dreams. The wicked plot of the brothers had been to destroy the dream as if it had been Joseph’s goal to rule his brothers;
“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.” (37:20)
Through all of his trials Joseph held on to the dream. When the cupbearer and baker had dreams who would have blamed him if he’d said ‘forget dreams, they’ve brought me nothing but trouble’ but he didn’t, he said; “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.” (40:8) He knew that Pharaoh’s dreams were from God (41:16) and he knew that God would be faithful.
God had been with him and fulfilled the promises of the dreams and was now leading Joseph in the way he should treat his brothers. It’s noticeable that when they realise their money has been placed back into their sacks they ask; “What is this that God has done to us?” (42:28). God is challenging their thinking and he is using Joseph to bring his purposes about. It’s clear to me that the brothers are being brought to a place where they can repent of the evil they had done to Joseph. They have buried it, but now; the dread of following Joseph down to Egypt (42:1), the recollection of their sin when they were placed under stress (42:21-22) and in their questioning of what God was doing to them (42:28), God was bringing them to a place where they could consider their sin. For us, it’s easy to have relationships with people who are not Christians as long as we don’t rock the boat but sometimes that’s exactly what God wants us to do; to rock the boat and speak words that challenge perceptions.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
“Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.”
(Frances R Havergale)