DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult)

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DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022
DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult) || Joseph Interpretation of Dreams And His Elevation

Deeper Life Search The Scripture 7 August 2022

ADULT STS LESSON 31 – JOSEPH INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS
AND HIS ELEVATION

MEMORY VERSE: “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou” (Gen 41:39,40)

TEXT: Genesis 40:1-23; 41:1-57

DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 MESSAGE

Joseph had been in prison for an offence he did not commit. But while in prison, his character shone. He carried out his prison duties with distinguished faithfulness. Adversity could not break his spirit or change his character. In him was fulfilled the Scriptures: “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9).

Also, God’s presence with him endeared him to the prison keeper who made him the chief prisoner, charged with the care and welfare of other inmate, and to uphold prison orders. In the process of time, Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker were remanded in the prison where Joseph was for offending their lord, and Joseph was charged with their welfare duties. He interpreted their dreams which they had the same night with precision.

The butler was restored to his duties while the baker was executed. The butler later remembered Joseph when Pharaoh had a puzzling dream, and was troubled for lack of an interpreter. He informed him about Joseph, and Pharaoh called for him. It is instructive that Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream with utmost meekness, confidence and exactitude, and further gave an ingenious counsel on vital steps to take to bring the positive scene of his dream to reality and avert the negative part.

The king was impressed with Joseph. Therefore, he elevated, empowered and commissioned him for the task. Truly, “A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that bath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth” (Prov 17:8).

DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult)

1. JOSEPH INTERPRETS CO-PRISONERS’ DREAMS
Gen 40:1-23; Job 33:14-17; Acts 16:9; Isaiah 8:20

Pharaoh’s Chief Baker and Butler were sent to the prison where Joseph was. The experience reminds us that the guiltless may be consigned to unpleasant circumstances. For example, considering the clear evidence of Joseph’s integrity and moral uprightness, there was no justification for his incarceration. Nevertheless, his life challenges Christians who may be so consigned to maintain a godly character with a lively hope of God’s deliverance (Rom 5:3-5; 2 Tim 3:12).

Besides, he was committed to his prison duties, maintained commendable interpersonal relationship and was committed to the welfare of fellow inmates. This was why he quickly offered to help his friends who presented a sad countenance due to the disturbing dream each of them had. “And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.

And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you” (Gen 40:7,8). He interpreted their dreams correctly. However, we need to realise that although God sometimes communicate His mind through dreams, it is not the only means He can use.

Dreams can come from other sources too. Some of such can be misleading. Therefore, a believer should rather test every dream with the word of God before considering it valid (Job 33:14-17; Eccl 5:3,7: Isaiah 8:20; Jer 23:28,29; Acts 16:9,10). DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult)

There are salient lessons to learn from Joseph. First his compassion and tenderness toward his fellow prisoners won their confidence to narrate their dreams to him. Believers should be tender and compassionate toward sinners in pitiable conditions to enhance their receptivity to the gospel. Second, he pointed them to God as the sole Interpreter of dream.

Third, he interpreted the dreams without altering the positive message for the Butler or the negative message for the Baker. As believers, we must be faithful as stewards of the manifold grace of God, and deliver the full gospel content without adding or subtracting from it (1 Cor 4:1,2)

2. JOSEPH INTERPRETS PHARAOH’S DREAMS
Gen 41:1-36; Deut 29:29; Dan 2:27,28; Job 33:14,15,23,24

God allowed two full years-ho pass after Joseph interpreted the chief butler’s and baker’s dreams before Pharaoh had his dream that eventually necessitated his interpretation. The chief butler forgot. Joseph because man cannot be absolutely trusted (Psalm 118:8,9).

Besides, God might have wanted Joseph to be perfectly moulded in the prison before the next task that brought him to national prominence. God, sometimes, uses adversity to prepare His vessels for exploits (Psalm 66:10-12). Obviously, Pharaoh’s dream was given to him by God (Gen 41:25); hence, the magicians of Egypt were unable to decode its details (Dan 2:27,28).

Puzzled by the dream and the apparent disappointment by Pharaoh’s magicians, the chief butler remembered Joseph, narrated to Pharaoh his encounter with him, and the credibility of his gift of dream interpretation. Pharaoh quickly sent for Joseph on the basis of his credentials as given by the butler.

Truly, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men” (Prov 18:16). However, Joseph’s humility came to the fore as he responded, “…It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Gen 41:16). It is noteworthy that God does not speak to His children in coded language of dreams or parables but plainly. Yet, if He did, He would give the key to understanding of the intended message (Mark 4:11). (DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult)

However, He speaks to the heathen (kings or subjects) and the ignorant in coded language;

i. To humble and lead them to an interpreter (God’s messenger) who would unveil God’s message and His way of salvation (Job 33:14,15,23,24).

ii. To warn the ignorant of the danger of sin and His fierce judgment (Gen 20:3,7; Job 33: 14; Dan 4:4 33).

iii. To restrain the ignorant from his purpose (Gen 20:4-7; Job 33:15-17; Matt 1:18-21; 2:12).

iv. God may speak through dream to a ruler if he has a role to play in His scheme of events (Gen 15:13, 14; Dan 2:31-45).

As Pharaoh narrated his dream, Joseph immediately had a deep insight of the interpretation (Gen 41:38; Job 32:7-9; John 16:13; Acts 1:8). Christians have a greater privilege today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to help sinners out of their puzzles, and lead them to Christ. Joseph emphasised three cardinal things in the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream. One, seven years of agricultural fruitfulness were imminent in Egypt.

Two, seven years of severe famine and devastation would immediately follow. Three, there was need for a visionary leader to organise or gather excess food for storage to guarantee food security ahead of the season of famine. Pharaoh’s dream and the interpretation are applicable to the current state of the world. We are presently in an era of grace and presence of the Holy Spirit’s power for soul-winning and fruitfulness by the gospel. (DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult))

The time is short; hence, we must harness all the privileges available to save sinners (Matt 28:18,19). A period of great tribulation is imminent (Matt 24:21). There is need for visionary men and women like Joseph who would take advantage of the current era to labour and harvest souls into the Kingdom.

3. JOSEPH’S ELEVATION, LEADERSHIP AND SUCCESS
Gen 41:37-57; Prov 10:4; 12:24; 22:29

Pharaoh and his servants were pleased with Joseph’s interpretation of his dream and wise counsel. The dream did not only convey the imminence of two challenging seasons but spells responsibilities and serious-minded leadership. It was therefore no surprise to hear Pharaoh say to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”

In the language of Pharaoh, no man was better qualified for the job than the man that God has given the insight. God’s fashioned men are always better men: be it Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Paul, Peter, etc. Therefore, Joseph was elevated to the post of a second ruler in Egypt. The king said to him, “Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou” (Gen 41:40).(DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult))

This event in Joseph’s life teaches us the following lessons: First, God reigns in the affairs of men, and gives the kingdom to whom He will. Second, when we cooperate with God as clay with the potter, He fashions us to be enviable vessels. Joseph did not waste his precious time for celebration his elevation. He employed discretion, decisiveness, discipline, devotion, diligence and determination as vital ingredients for success.

i. He scanned through the land, obviously to identify men, materials and methods to achieve his mission.

ii. He made and selected workers, shared the vision, and empowered them to the task.

iii. He designed strategies for sowing, harvesting and storage both in the cities and in the fields. “And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number” (Gen 41:49).

iv. When the famine eventually came as envisioned, the nation was considerably cushioned from the effects.

v. Other nations benefited from his industry and prudence.
vi. Despite the enormous task, he had a stable family and was blessed with children. The gospel work demand no less commitment. We must enlist and train workers, foster cohesive leadership with soul-winning and discipleship vision.

DCLM Search The Scripture 7 August 2022 || Lesson 31 (Adult)

Questions for review:
1. What should be the attitude of a believer in times of adversity?
2. What should be the Christians’ attitude to dreams, and what caution should they exercise about it?

  1. Why does God speak through dream especially to the heathen?
  2. Mention the three essentials in Joseph’s interpretation and counsel.
  3. What is the similarity in the light of Pharaoh’s dream and the current state of the world?

  4. Mention some success qualities in Joseph and how you will apply them to the task of soul-winning.

  5. How did Joseph overcome his adversaries?

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