Sunday, March 10, 2013

Joseph, The Interpreter of Dreams

In the bible there are examples of dreams and visions.  All without exception are symbolic and can be interpreted through spiritual intuition.  God’s people had dreams and often had the ability to interpret them.  In Genesis, Joseph not only dreamed but he, along with his father Jacob and his brothers, could interpret the symbolism of the dreams.

An example is in Genesis Chapter 37 verses 5-11.  Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.  He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

 Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”  He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had?  Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind. (NASB)

Neither dream was literal.  They were both symbolic.  A key point is that not only did Joseph understand what they meant, but his family understood the message in them as well.  They all knew that dreams were symbolic and that the symbols could be interpreted through intuition.

After Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt he encountered more dreams and his ability to interpret them resulted in his rise to power in Egypt.  The Pharaoh recognized that Joseph had spiritual intuition and a connection to God to be able to interpret dreams when nobody else could.  In Egypt it was not Joseph having the dreams but Egyptians.  First Joseph interpreted the dreams of his fellow prisoners, the Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker.  This opened the door to Joseph being called to interpret Pharaoh’s dream.

Pharaoh had two dreams and they are recorded in Genesis 41:2-7.  And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.  Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.  The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.  He fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good.  Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them.  The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.  Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.  (NASB)

Then the Chief Cupbearer remembered Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams and recommended him to Pharaoh.  Joseph came before pharaoh and said the two dreams were one in the same.  The 7 fat cows and 7 plump ears of grain represented 7 good years of harvest while the 7 gaunt cows and 7 thin ears of grain represented 7 years of famine.  The dreams were never about literal cows and ears of grain.

So how does this relate to us today?  The answer is that it is critical for God’s people to understand dreams, dream symbolism, and develop spiritual intuition to interpret dreams.  In Joel Chapter 2 verses 28-29 which relate to the End of Days it states:  “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.  (NASB)

God would not be pouring out His spirit on all mankind to dream and have visions if He didn't intend for us to understand those dreams and visions.  God’s people have spiritual intuition to interpret dreams like Joseph did while the world will be given dreams as well but will not understand them just as Pharaoh did not understand his dreams. 

Dreams come from multiple sources.  First, they can come from eating the wrong food in the evening.  Another source that dreams can come from is our subconscious minds.  Our brain is split between conscious and subconscious.  The conscious deals with the physical world we live in while our subconscious deals in more of the spiritual realm.  Many times our dreams are our subconscious mind trying to communicate unresolved issues that we need to deal with in our conscious minds.  A third source of dreams involves messages from the Spirit of God.  These are the kind of dreams that when you wake from them you know that it is a significant dream due to the detail and impact that it leaves on you.

As God’s people, we need to start chronicling our dreams and then develop the spiritual intuition to interpret them.  If we don’t, our eyes will stay blinded to the messages that God promised to give us in these last days.  Pay attention to the symbols in the dreams and then look them up on dream interpretation websites.  The websites will give you multiple potential meanings for the dream symbol you are looking up.  When reading the various meanings, the one that rings true to you is likely the true meaning.  In the end you will discover both messages from your subconscious for dealing with your personal issues and powerful dreams that are messages from God.

In Joel 2:28-29 God says He will pour out his spirit on all mankind and speak to us in dreams in the end of days.  I am convinced we are now at the end of the age of the kingdom of man and God is speaking to us as He promised.  It matters not who you are.  It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not.  He is speaking to all mankind as He promised.  It is up to us to wake from our slumber and listen closely to His message while there is still time to act.  The days of mercy are nearly over and the days of judgment are about to start!

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