Jacob had twelve children. Judah was his fourth son by his first wife and Joseph was his first son by his second wife but was born after a long struggle with infertility so much younger than his older brothers. Jacob loved Joseph as his favorite and that caused problems, sibling rivalry and jealousy. The older brothers resented Joseph who had dreams he freely shared and interpreted as meaning he would rule his older brothers. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery to Egyptians. In Egypt he was falsely accused and thrown into prison. In prison, he used his gift for interpreting dreams when the cupbearer and the baker for pharaoh were in prison with him. The cupbearer dreamt of a vine with three branches that bore fruit whose juice the cupbearer gave to the pharaoh. Joseph interpreted the dream to mean that in three days the man would be restored to his post. He was!
“14 But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place.” Was Joseph’s request.
The cupbearer was restored to his position but he forgot Joseph. It was not until later when the Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret that the cupbearer remembered Joseph and recommended him to Pharaoh. The Pharaoh’s dream predicted seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of famine. The Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph, he put Joseph in charge of managing the agriculture of Egypt.
Often we don’t remember our dreams. Just because those three branches spoke to three days, does not mean every time we dream about branches they symbolize days. Nor is every dream a vision or message from God. The Holy Spirit does speak to us and lead us into deeper truths and sometimes chooses to communicate through dreams. And often speaking to others about those things that are troubling us in our souls is a wise choice. Many people keep a journal of their dreams.
Joseph gave credit to God for speaking through Pharaoh’s dreams and for giving him the interpretation. His gift shot him into leadership and resulted in Jacob’s family moving to Egypt during the famine where they lived for 400 years and became a nation. That is another story, though.
Today, let us spend time thanking God for speaking to us, sometimes in dreams! Thank you Lord. Help me to pay attention and give you the credit!