Redemption Story: Joseph the Dreamer


Genesis 37:1-11

Questions for Reflection

  • At what point in your life do you feel like your redemption story began?
  • What milestones along the way have been "part of the process?"
  • Has God ever revealed something to you about your life and what His purpose is for you?


A redemption story wouldn’t be a redemption story if it didn’t start out with some good before turning bad and then good again. Such is the case in the story of Joseph. Interestingly, Joseph is but one of several men we find in the Old Testament who had found favor over his older brothers. This was true of Abel and Jacob before him and David after him. This recurring theme shows us a very important characteristic about God. It is not always the one whom we would expect to be chosen that ends up being the one used by God.


More widely throughout the Old Testament, we find a pattern where God’s chosen deliverers were rejected and yet still accomplished God’s purposes. In fact, the rejection itself is often part of the process. Without the rejection, the story would not be complete. Again, what we expect is not always how God works.

Joseph was one of the youngest in his family line, most of his brothers (besides Benjamin) being only half-siblings. For whatever reason, this caused his father Israel to favor him above the others. This did not go unnoticed and caused resentment. Matters were only made worse when Joseph began to dream about the great things God had in store for him.


It’s important that we realize that Joseph was not chosen by God because he was better than the other sons of Israel. Likewise Jacob had not been “better” than Esau, nor Isaac better than Ishmael. This is a powerful representation of God’s sovereign election. He chooses whom He chooses, not based on any merit or any earning of favor. God’s election is all of grace. Joseph was singled out for a greater purpose by God and then he was allowed a bit of a foreshadowing through these dreams.


We find as the story goes on and Joseph gets older, that he is quite good at interpreting dreams, so it’s a fair assumption that his dreams that occurred in his youth meant something to him. His problems began when he told his family what he had dreamed. How would you feel if a younger sibling told you that God revealed that they would rule over you? This even irked Israel. You can see why this would cause some discontent in the family. We, as people of the future, know where all of this is leading. Joseph and his brothers, however, had no idea what was to come or, more importantly, how it would happen. Joseph was still a long way off from being in a place that God had showed him he would be. He still had a long, painful, and yet necessary process to endure before he would be over anyone. As I previously mentioned, this process is vital to the redemption story, just as the process is vital to your story.


No matter what you have gone through, no matter how painful, the process is necessary. Where you are now is not where you will be, but how you get there is important. God will use whatever means He chooses to make you ready. It might hurt along the way, but as with Joseph, God is always present.