Day 4: The Dreamer

Today’s reading: Genesis 36-50, Psalm 7

Young Joseph sure knew how to rile up his brothers. Spurred on by his father’s favoritism, Joseph flaunted his esteemed position among Jacob’s boys, taunting the other eleven with his dreams. His arrogance is finally more than they can handle, and they find a way to get rid of him–or so they thought.

For the second day in a row, our reading reveals a core characteristic in someone’s life that, while misused at an early age, becomes a great asset later on. Sold into slavery, cut off from his family for what he probably thought was forever, Joseph is nevertheless given a chance to begin a new life in Egypt. His uncanny ability to understand dreams, and speak honestly in interpreting them, ends up putting him in a position of great power–and this time he uses his position for good, saving not only his family, but an entire nation.

Which raises a question worth considering: what characteristic in a child you know well, while exasperating now, may be worth nurturing so that as they grow up it might become a great asset both to them and to others?

Side note: For the second day in a row, we read a story that involves the abuse of a young female. It is significant that the Bible does not try to hide the stories of Dinah and Tamar, but brings them both to light as the narrative unfolds. It is also important to note that the name of God is not invoked as ordaining these events. In fact, in both cases, the storyline casts a judgment on the perpetrators for their behavior.

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5 Responses to Day 4: The Dreamer

  1. Di says:

    Forgiveness is definitely a strong theme in many of these chapters. Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers. We all have people to forgive. Surely the errors I need to forgive people for are pale in comparison with Joseph and Jacob.

  2. DP says:

    Which raises a question worth considering: what characteristic in a child you know well, while exasperating now, may be worth nurturing so that as they grow up it might become a great asset both to them and to others?

    Great question! It is something I have thought about since I have had children with huge and room-filling characteristics . 🙂 I jokingly say – the payback will be great…..forgetting the story of Joseph. I always say this with a loving smile. Sometime the effort is exhausting. This is obviously something that has been dealt with since the beginning.

    • Patricia McKeithen says:

      Imagine how exhausted God must be with us. Whenever I am correcting and disciplining behavior with my challenging child (not always grace-filled), I try to remember to tell her it’s because I love her (and it’s my job), so she can be the best person she can be. Sometimes, I even have to remind myself of this motherly calling let alone reminding myself it’s supposed to be unselfish and unconditional love. The fact that this is who God is and God’s love is effortlessly unconditional is mind-blowing at times. I’m humbled.

  3. Charlotte Wright says:

    As I read, I am struck by the examples of grace already displayed in the first book of the Bible. God provides clothing for Adam and Eve after they disappoint him. Esau welcomes his brother, Jacob, after he disappoints him. And now Joseph provides care for his brothers who disappointed him when they sold him into slavery. This grace is certainly part of God’s nature.

  4. Patricia McKeithen says:

    Thank you for the question posed about celebrating exasperating characteristics in children. I have not yet done today’s reading, and although it is familiar, I will have an objective to focus on.

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