Dreams are fascinating to me. In a dream, we can see things that have never happened before. We can act out, move around, feel emotions… Dreams can be mean nothing at all. At times though, dreams can communicate important lessons and it is important to know how to discern when that happens.
Joseph had a dream in Genesis that was important. In it, he had a message from God – his family would bow down before him. In Genesis 42, that dream is fulfilled.
Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth. Genesis 42:6
What I don’t remember from any movie about Joseph is that he put his brothers in prison to test them. He asks that one of them go and retrieve their youngest brother. At this command, Joseph’s brothers fear that the sin of their past is upon them. Blood is required for having sold Joseph into slavery. They do not know that this leader before them that they now depend on for their very lives is Joseph.
Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.” Genesis 42:21-22
Their brother Simeon was bound before their eyes and Joseph even restores their money for the journey. Jacob, Joseph’s father, learns of all that has happened and is filled with sadness. Simeon was bound, the leader of Egypt is asking for Benjamin and he believes that Joseph is dead. They do not yet know that Joseph is testing their hearts. He wants to know where they stand after selling him into slavery.
Because of their selfishness, Joseph’s did not realize this his dream was an amazing blessing from God. Had God not prepared Joseph to lead Egypt, the famine would have killed their entire family. Jacob was called Israel and God provided for him and his family with Joseph’s leadership. All they had understood previously was that they were bowing down to Joseph and that image in their minds had provoked their pride. They could not foresee the need of a great leader in the land, let alone the need for that leader to be their brother Joseph. These events are a great testament to God’s provision, protection and His communication through dreams.