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  • Karen S. Clymer

From Bad to Worse to Royalty (Joseph, the Little Dreamer Boy)

He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons;

Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of peoples, and set him free. He made him lord of his house And ruler over all his possessions, To imprison his princes at will,

That he might teach his elders wisdom. Ps. 105:17-22 NASB

As a faithful child of God does it seem that there are some pieces you have been given by God that simply won't fit? that you see no place for them? are you tempted to try to reshape them, or throw them away completely. Joseph, Jacob's son, had some pieces like that. Read how victory came in the face of what looked like sure defeat.

The above six short verses covers more than a decade of Joseph's life; from a seventeen year old boy to a thirty year old man. As a teen-ager Joseph had two powerful prophetic dreams of leadership over his family given to him by God that served like a gyroscope, a catalyst keeping him on track through unspeakable circumstances to see God’s plan come to pass. However, telling his brothers these dreams, coupled with their dad’s blatant favoritism led them to absolutely despise Joseph. Jacob, their dad cautioned him, but took to heart what Joseph said concerning the dreams.

His cruel, calculating brothers agreed to put him in a pit and left him to die. We can only imagine the taunts they might have hurled at him such as, ‘dream on dreamer boy, let’s see your dreams come true’, ‘pleasant dreams dreamer boy’, etc. Trapped in the pit with no possibility of getting out on his own, God intervened. His cruel brothers saw some traders approaching and immediately pulled Joseph from the well and sold him to the traders who took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, and captain of the guard. God was with him and prospered him. Potiphar took notice of this and made him manager of all that he had.

But, what about the dreams he had—what about them? Where do they fit? Kidnapped by his brothers while living in Canaan and then sold into Egypt. How can those dreams of leadership over his family possibly come to pass? Then, it got even worse when Potiphar’s wife lusted after him and tried to set him up; when he refused her advances, she lied and told her husband he had raped her. Convinced his wife was telling the truth, he had Joseph thrown into prison. But God was with him and he was shown mercy and was given favor by the keeper of the prison and put in charge of all the prisoners. Still, he himself was a prisoner, but God was with him.

In the natural it looked like and seemed like things continued to go from bad to worse and worse. Just when he thought a break had come, something else bad would happen. The dreams, those powerful dreams that God had given him—how could they ever come to pass? They were like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle that would not fit anywhere. Most certainly the same devil that lies to us and torments us was doing the same to Joseph, yet he did not waver. While in prison through a series of circumstances involving dreams of two of the king’s prisoners, his cupbearer and his baker. These dreams seemed to be very meaningful, but they could not determine their meaning. Joseph immediately told them God was the interpreter of dreams and he would seek God for them. God had favor on him, giving him the interpretation of the dreams which soon came to pass. What a joyful time when the cupbearer was restored to his position. Joseph urged him to tell the Pharaoh he was a Hebrew who had been kidnapped. The cupbearer vowed he would, but soon forgot. God did not forget Joseph and Joseph did not forget God. Two years, yes two long years after the cupbearer had been released from prison, the Pharaoh had dreams that troubled him greatly, but not one of his wise men could interpret. THEN, suddenly the cupbearer remembered his promise to Joseph and repented. He told him of Joseph, who had been a fellow prisoner and of him being able to interpret dreams. The king ordered him immediately released from prison and brought to him. Joseph told the Pharaoh that God was the interpreter of dreams and would tell him the interpretation. He repeated the dreams to Joseph who sought God for the interpretation and it was given to him. Pharaoh listened as Joseph gave him the interpretation of the dreams that a severe famine was coming after seven years of great plenty. Then Joseph gave him the plan God had given Joseph to spare the people from starvation. God never forgot Joseph and now gave him favor with the King who promoted him to ruler second only to him, the Pharaoh.

The pieces that didn’t seem to fit suddenly fit perfectly. Imagine what it was like the day his brothers arrived desperate for food that only he could provide. Only, they did not recognize him since he disguised himself, his voice and even spoke in the language of the Egyptians rather than his native Hebrew. What was it like to see these cruel, inhuman brothers of his, groveling and sniveling before him?

Because he kept doing the right thing, each ‘set back’ had actually taken him closer, prepared him and brought him to the leadership positon God had in store for him to preserve life. Because he did not take matters into his own his hands or try to reshape the pieces he had been given, those prophetic dreams came to pass against impossible odds; his family bowed down to him. He was reunited with his father. He forgave his brothers and explained that God had sent him ahead to preserve their lives. In fact, countries were fed and preserved because of his faithfulness to God and his plan.

In a nut shell: God said it, Joseph believed Him, stayed true, victory came

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