At the age of 17, the young son of Jacob, Joseph, had a dream.
It was a dream that the sun, moon and stars (his father, mother and eleven other brothers) would bow down to him.
It was a dream given by God — and Joseph knew it even then. It was a prophecy, a promise, from God to him.
Joseph held on to that promise his whole life.
Sure, he may have been a little naïve to announce it publicly to his parents and especially to his brothers — leading to his brothers’ violence towards him.
But through his time in slavery and in prison, he held on to the dream. That gave him the motivation to carry on, the desire to be faithful in service to the character of the very God who gave him the dream — and that made him everyone’s favourite.
Once Pharaoh recognized him, the dream seemed to come to fruition. He was catapulted into royalty, and effectively became the ruler of the soon-to-be most powerful nation on earth.
Yet despite all this, Joseph — possibly through his father Jacob’s last actions — also learned that the dream wasn’t really complete. After all, his father didn’t bow down to him and his mother was dead.
The dream was not complete.
Now, in prosperity, Joseph realized that the dream was not really about him. It was about the coming Messiah — about Jesus Christ (see Revelation 12:1). In fact, Joseph would become the ‘twelfth star’ to bow down to this coming King. Jacob prophesied that this King to whom all would bow down would come from Judah (Gen 49:8).
Understanding this, Joseph held his prosperity very lightly; he was focused on what was beyond the grave. His last instruction proved that he was more interested in the promised heavenly city rather than all the pleasures of Egypt. And thus he gave instruction about his bones (Gen 50:25).
He knew, as we do now: the dream has yet to be fulfilled. And since the dream is not yet finished, we too as part of the ‘new Israel’ need to keep faithful to God in all situations — whether in tragedy (not to grasp as Jacob did), or in prosperity (not to hold on to what will most certainly be lost).
But one day it will come. One day the sun, moon and stars will bow down to Jesus. The dream will be realized, the night will be over — and the true Day begins. What a glorious day that will be!
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! — Psalm 148:3
Pastor Dev Menon