Gleaning from this moment in History

With this being the start of a New Year, I pray that we will inaugurate it by accepting and addressing the dreams that we can no longer try to act as if we didn’t watch inside of God’s private and prophetic preview screening room called sleep.  


And yes, I meant to write dreams in the plural tense because the story of Joseph does not begin in the 37th Chapter of Genesis with one coat, but it really begins with two dreams. 


And although we like to make the war between Jacob’s other sons and Joseph about favoritism and fashion, the war that was really waged between Joseph and his brothers was all about dreams and discernment.


For the bible reveals how God, during a season when Joseph’s brothers already hated him (because of favoritism and fashion), threw water on a grease fire by giving Joseph dreams that his brothers could discern better than him.


After dreaming how not only sheaves would gather around his sheaf, but how the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars would bow below him, the bible teaches us that his brothers discovered and discerned Joseph’s divine destiny through his dreams.


And despite being told by a man that his brothers had moved on (Gen. 37:17) after learning about his dreams, Joseph quickly discovered after following his brothers to a place called Dotham, instead of waiting for his brothers to follow him that his brothers had moved on physically, but not spiritually.


Unfortunately, their inability to move beyond their feelings of hatred, jealousy and envy caused them to be the earthly reason why Joseph was purchased by Potiphar into slavery.  Fortunately, Potiphar was not a problem that Joseph had to be anxious to solve because the bible says that the Lord was with Joseph!


And because the Lord was with Joseph, Joseph systemically succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. The bible says that Potiphar noticed his servanthood and appointed Joseph to be to him what David’s harp was to Saul.


Although, we normally (out of respect for Prov. 18:11), preach against being isolated, please note that had not Joseph been isolated (Genesis 39:11), he may not have learned that he not only had the discipline to not make provision for his flesh (Rom. 13:14), but the determination to flee from his youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22). 


The late Warren Wiersbe once quoted a Puritan preacher who concluded “that Joseph lost his coat, but he kept his character.” And because he kept his character, Joseph was able to declare and decree – I Got Away!


Joseph was able to discover his discipline and determination because after Mrs. Potiphar started singing songs like Diana Ross’ “Touch Me in the Morning”, and Janet Jacksons’ “Anytime Anyplace” and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good”, the bible says in Genesis 39:13 – that Joseph became agitated and tore himself away from Mrs. Potiphar and left his cloak in her hand as he ran from Mr. Potiphar’s house.  


Now even though the Lord was with Joseph (according to Genesis 39:2), the bible allows us to glean from the text that Joseph being isolated opened the door for him to be agitated which made it possible for him to be interrogated.


From verses 13-20, we find Joseph being called everything but a child of God and unjustly sentenced to a few years in prison because a groupie (in the words of Tupac), who thought she was too fly bent the truth and told a lie.


Nevertheless, despite Joseph being interrogated without receiving a chance to tell his story, the bible says in Genesis 39:21 – But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him His faithful love by making Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.  Let us glean from this moment in history how when you are “blessed and highly favored” you are going to be somebody’s favorite no matter where you are because of whose you are.


One of my all-time favorite movies is Shawshank Redemption and if you have ever seen that movie than you can bear witness to how Andy Dufresne was able to escape from the Shawshank Prison because he met a man (Ellis Boyd Redding) who was known to be able to get a few things.


Here lies the most important question I can render you this year – Do you know a man who is known to be able to get a few things and I’m not just talking about a rock hammer and a poster of Rita Hayworth, but things like wine from water, and healing from a hem, and sight from spit, and a  resurrection from a roll call, and even salvation from a few nails and a few pieces of wood.