Joseph was a dreamer. He dreamed about ruling over others especially his brothers and father . . . which really irritated them. But he also dreamed about spaceships – wheels within wheels, with straight legs, soles of their feet round, sparkling like burnished bronze with wings, flying through the air – as well as talking animals. Perhaps it was the falafels he ate before bedtime that triggered the night-time drama. As he got older and more mature, he laughed off the dreams and developed a better relationship with his siblings.
One dream startled him. It was about some ugly, emaciated cows eating healthy ones. When he inquired of Jehovah about the disturbing image, God not only revealed to him the meaning – seven years of abundance followed by seven years of devastating drought – but instantly transported Joseph to the throne room of the Pharaoh in Thebes, who, it just so happened, had a dream the night before about gaunt ears of grain devouring plump ones. Being a mystic, the Egyptian ruler believed Joseph was a god and immediately offered him the administration of food collection and distribution.
Well, if you’ve read this far you know that the above is not the Biblical account of Joseph. He, who was a spoiled brat, hated by his brothers, escaped death by being traded to merchants, sold to an officer of Pharaoh, spent time in the grey-bar hotel, interpreted a few dreams, became a ruler, scared his brothers half-to-death and then welcomed his family to Egypt, had a long and somewhat torturous life journey that led him to save Israel.
So why present a fictious story which may be discovered in a thousand years and accepted as the official account?
To make the point that God could have brought Joseph to Egypt the way I described. Fact of the matter is, He could have written the story a thousand different ways. Instead He chose to use human trafficking, a lie that almost sent Joseph’s father to his grave in grief, time in prison, etc., to bring the end result. In God’s divine wisdom, all of this was used to strengthen Joseph’s faith and trust in God, mold him into what he would become – a spiritual giant (see Hebrews 11), and be a lesson to the multitudes of future God followers.
You see, God is sovereign in all He does. There are times, as recorded in Holy Scripture, where a specific story is precise without unsettling and disturbing circumstances . . . okay, I can’t think of any offhand. Most times, maybe all times, the stories are just plan messy with twists and turns often featuring nefarious characters that God, for whatever reason, chose to use (think Nebuchadnezzar and Herod).
Why? Why the end runs to get to the desired means? Only God knows that for sure.
Maybe it has something to do with us having eyes but can’t see and ears but can’t hear (Psa. 135:15; Isa. 6:10; Jer. 5:21; Mk. 8:18). Because He is sovereign, He uses whatever means He chooses. His plans can appear to adapt to the circumstances at hand, as cluttered as they may be, or He ordains the process, but at all times He is in total control and His purposes will be fulfilled. We serve that kind of God. Wow!
Oh, did I tell you the story of Jeremiah who hid his underwear in the cleft of a rock only to . . . (Jeremiah 13).
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