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Today in Genesis chapter 37 we begin the incredible last portion of the book of Genesis where we read about Joseph! This portion of the story that starts in today's readings will carry us through the rest of the book of Genesis and will set the stage for the exodus from Egypt. Below is an image of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" from a modern day play of the same name (which I've heard is good - but I've never seen it - can anyone offer any reviews in the Comments below?):
In chapter 37 today we read about Joseph's dreams and how these dreams make his brothers jealous. A couple of things came to mind to me today as reading through this. First is that it is clear that God does some communicating through dreams in the Old Testament. We've already seen this in our previous readings - via a dream Abimelech had or a dream Laban had. And here we see some powerful prophetic dreams that Joseph has. My first question I had was whether Joseph should have shared these dreams with his family? And I asked this question because I wonder if sometimes we also maybe get an insight or what we believe to be a word from God - and if we should share these things with others? Or keep them between God and ourselves? I don't have an easy answer on this one... If you have some thoughts on this, please post up in the "Comments" section below. The other thing that came to mind for me here is what role do dreams play for us today? Does God still communicate to people via dreams today? I know this might be going out on some fringe thoughts or theology here... but, if anyone has some Christian perspective on dreams, I'd appreciate it. I'm just curious. I have had some dreams in the past that have scared me in big ways... and helped me set my life on a better course back when I had them. Below is a painting from the year 1853 by French painter Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet of Joseph's brothers in today's readings putting goat's blood on his coat:
Actually, while I am on this topic of dreams, let me share this. I did used to have nightmares periodically. However, when I started reading the One Year Bible each night before going to bed many years ago the nightmares basically went away. Seriously. I honestly believe because of the Light & life-giving power of the Word of God that the nightmares went away. Just a little testimony here for you on the power of reading the Bible each day. It is spiritual food and nourishment and protection for you in ways that you may not consciously realize. For me, there has been maybe a time or two in recent years where a nightmare has still come to fruition - and I don't remember the details of the nightmares, but somehow I know that in the midst of my dream I called out the name of Jesus and the nightmare stopped immediately! I am not kidding. I don't know how I got myself to call out Jesus' name in the nightmare, but I am so thankful that I did! Maybe this is something that prayer brings - or maybe this is something that happens when we really understand and believe in the all-powerful name of Jesus? If you suffer from nightmares, my two prescriptions are to 1. read the Bible before going to bed, 2. somehow someway say the name of Jesus in your nightmare. Pray about this before you go to bed. Maybe this will help you do this in your dream. I hope so! Below is a painting from 1630 by Spanish painter Velasquez Diego of Joseph's brothers presenting his bloody coat to their father Jacob from today's readings:
Genesis chapter 38 brings us the story of Judah and Tamar. Keep in mind that Judah, Tamar, and Perez from this chapter are all part of the genealogy of King David and Jesus as we recently read in Matthew chapter 1 verse 3: "Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron." Verse 24 stood out to me in this chapter as sad irony: "About three months later, word reached Judah that Tamar, his daughter-in-law, was pregnant as a result of prostitution. "Bring her out and burn her!" Judah shouted." This verse reminded me quite a bit of a recent teaching we read about from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 7 verse 3: "“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Is it possible that we too are sometimes like Judah? Condemning others for sins that we ourselves commit too? Even if we don't commit the same sin as someone else, should we instead leave the judging and condemning to God? Below is a painting from 1650 from the school of Rembrandt of Judah and Tamar from today's readings:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Genesis chapter 37 titled "Jacob, Joseph, Jealousy, and a Journey to Egypt" is at this link and commentary on chapter 38 titled "The Skeleton in Judah's Closet" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of Matt Redman's song "10,000 Reasons:"
Do you have any reason to love God? Click here for 10,000 reasons!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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