Dreams…Do you have a dream? Did you have a dream? (The Bible’s Impact on History and Philosophy [Feb 1])

Dreams are interesting things. Some people have them and remember them as clear as day. Some people have them and only remember a part of them. Some people don’t think they have dreams. God’s Word speaks to how He is going to pour out His Spirit on people and how the the young will see visions and the old will dream dreams. Ever had a good dream where you woke up filled with joy? Ever had a bad dream where you woke up scared or with your heart racing? Did you understand what it meant? Did you know what it was saying to you? Do you know how to interpret or if there is any way to be able to interpret it?

Today’s reading from Genesis 40 speaks to how Joseph interprets the dreams of two people who had ended up in prison with him…

Joseph Interprets Two Prisoners’ Dreams

40 Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.

5 And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” 8 They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.” 18 And Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you! —and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”

20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

–from Genesis 40

Imagine being Joseph and being able to interpret dreams. Imagine being Joseph who at a young age had dreams of greatness and never gave up hope as he trusted in God and leaned on Him throughout the trials in his life never understanding how it would play out until that day when he was remembered by the butler and all things became new as he was brought before pharaoh and then when the famine hit Canaan and his brothers showed up. Imagine being forgotten. Imagine being abandoned. Imagine being falsely accused. Imagine being falsely imprisoned. Imagine in and through all the trials God’s favor resting on you and how God could prepare you and humble you for that incredible moment when you are called into the greatness you dreamed about. Imagine being given wisdom to be able to survive it but to be able to become the one who can save your family and all the people that God has entrusted to you. Not sure what the dream means? Turn to God!

This story of Joseph is an incredible one. It is incredible to imagine the time and effort it would take for all of God’s Word to be captured, written out, protected to the point where archeologist have been able to find the old texts. Finding papyrus paper with the old writings that had been shared in order for God’s Word to get to be in the hands of the people. Similar to how Martin Luther had that vision and translated the Bible into what unified the German people into a single German language so they didn’t have to go to others to tell them about the Bible but could read it and how the Gutenberg press made it possible to distribute it out to the people.

Today’s devotional speaks to the papyrus paper finding. How they found in Egypt the Oxyrhynchus Papyri manuscripts. How they found thousands of scraps that were from the first through sixth centuries AD. How they found them in an ancient garbage dump and yet how they had been preserved all these years that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries people would find them. How they found some capturing the gospels, hymns, prayers, letters, pieces of the Hebrew Bible…

Heavenly Father,
I turn to You and seek Your face. I turn to You for wisdom and discernment. I turn to You Lord even as I did during the time of fasting and prayer and now as I prepare for the dream conference in hopes that You will give me eyes to see and ears to hear so that I may go forth and accomplish Your plan and purpose for me. I look to You as the author and perfecter of my faith. I turn to You as my savior and my king. Lord with You all things are possible. There is nothing that is impossible for You and so I pray Lord that You will lead and guide me these next several days as I prepare to speak at my father-in-laws memorial service as we celebrate his life. I pray Lord that You will lead and guide me these next several days as I hear Your message and get to spend time with leaders and elders.  I pray Lord that You will lead and guide me these next several days as I get to meet with and speak to my team and share the vision and the roadmap You have for us this coming year. I pray Lord that You will lead and guide me thest next several days as I get to spend time with my younger daughter and her team. Lord, have Your way in me. Help me to accomplish Your will. Help me to learn, to dream, and to plan so that in and through it all I may accomplish Your perfect will and plan and purpose for my life in a way that will give you the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.