Vessels of Hope

Genesis 42:9:  “Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them.”

Observation: Famine had spread throughout Canaan, so Jacob sent his ten oldest sons to Egypt to purchase grain. The brothers’ quest brought them before Egypt’s governor, whom they failed to recognize as their supposedly dead brother, Joseph. Bowing low in humility, they sought his permission to purchase the needed grain. In the act of bowing, Joseph suddenly remembered dreams God had given him years earlier, and realized their fulfillment was at hand.

Application: Joseph had been a teen when his dreams had occurred. In one, the brothers worked together in a field when his sheaf suddenly stood upright while their eleven sheaves bowed low before his. In another, the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed before Joseph. His brothers were infuriated by the presumption of Joseph’s dreams, but his father “kept them in mind” (see Gen. 37:5–11). 

Despite the passage of many years serving Potiphar, being imprisoned, and ultimately governing Egypt, Joseph had no doubt pondered the dreams from time to time, but until his startling flashback, he must have wondered how he had missed their meaning so completely. How could they ever be fulfilled now, with his family presuming him long dead while Joseph had moved on as Egypt’s governor? Had the dreams even been real, or merely the result of bad pizza? There had been no family contact for many years; Joseph had never come home on spring break, and the use of Christmas newsletters was not yet widespread. But isn’t it interesting that two people remembered the dreams:  the dreamer himself, and his father? 

When God gives a promise, regardless of the vehicle, it must necessarily be hidden away ‘til its time of fulfillment. Dreams, visions, prophetic words: these are like vessels of hope we cling to, hope that God will do as He said, hope of future promises well met in Him. Time’s passage may dim dreams’ remembrance; they become fuzzy around the edges, yet their substance remains. Mary hid in her heart prophetic things spoken over the child in her womb; no doubt her mind was flooded with instantly clear recall as she watched Him hang on a cross a lifetime later. 

It is good that we remember His promises, but it is far better that He remember. After all, such promises are His, like a sweet kiss of His favor bestowed upon a heart longing for intimacy. A generation may pass, but the Father remembers His promises; at just the right moment, so shall we.

Prayer: Father God, You have spoken many things to my heart in years past, promises of a future lived well in You for me and my family. Thank You for never forgetting.  Renew my remembrance today, Lord; renew hope.

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