Reference Reading: [Genesis chapters 37, 39]
“Dare to dream, because dreams do come through”
Dream in the context of this reflection is not an idle hope, but rather, it’s an ambitious hope which may not be a part of our present reality, but can however be realized if vigorously pursued. Pursuing your dream may be “bitter-sweet” experience. Your dream, as in the case of Joseph, may be God’s promise that is accompanied with some pain (challenge) as you daily pursue them. It is for this reason that I dare you to dream.
In the book of Genesis God gave a life dream (ambitious hope) to Joseph, and he firmly held onto the dream as a promise of what his life would become – a ruler over his brethren. Your dream may be a capitulation of the life you intend to leave or pursue. Joseph however experienced some pain in the process that preceded the attainment of that dream.
There are three points that sums up Joseph’s experience before the realization of his dream:
First, Emotional pain that Joseph had to suffer from his brethren’s animosity. Due to their hatred of him, they betrayed him and pushed back against his dream; they sold Joseph into slavery as a design to derail his dream. The bible recorded Joseph’s brethren negative agenda against him in Genesis 37:18-20, “18 They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild beast has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” (RSV)
Second, Injustice: He was set up by his master’s wife, and punished for the crime that he did not commit (Genesis 39:6–20): 6 Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking. 7 And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph, and said, “Lie with me.” 8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Lo, having me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand; 9 he is not greater in this house than I am; nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 10 And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie with her or to be with her. 11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and got out of the house. 13 And when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; 15 and when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment with me, and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; 18 but as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment with me, and fled out of the house.” 19 When his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison (RSV)
Third, Unappreciative attitude of Pharaoh’s Butler that he helped while they both were in the prison. He gave a positive interpretation to the Butler’s dream, that he would be released from prison. Joseph equally requested that the Butler should remember him when he gets reinstated, by mentioning his unjust imprisonment to the king. Shortly after, the Butler was reinstated to his position as the king’s butler, but failed to remember Joseph for a period of two years (Genesis 41:9-16). It was only the intervention of God that created a situation that caused this individual to realize his unappreciative attitude towards Joseph. However, throughout the process and experience preceding attaining his dream, due to his fear and trust in God, Joseph was focused. In all his negative plight before getting to the throne (his dream), he displayed undivided loyalty to God who gave him the dream for his life. Joseph’s trust in God was evident by what he said in (Genesis 45:5-8) 5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. (RSV)
Do you have a dream?
I hope you do, and definitely you should!
Your dream (ambitious hope) can cause emotional pain, unjust treatment and unappreciative response from others; ungrateful people who will care less for you as a person. You may feel being used by such ungrateful people. But, with God on your side and your trust in the promise of God, I say to you, “dare to dream” and don’t ever give up when you are confronted with painful experience that may normally precede the realization of your dream.
I pray that God almighty will be with us all, as He was with Joseph, in the pursuit of our ambitious hope, our dream!