Destroying the Dreamer


John Piper’s sermon, “The Sale of Joseph and the Son of God” concludes this way:

The story of Joseph is the story of a righteous one who is sinned against and suffers so that tribe of Judah would be preserved and a Lion would come forth, and would prove to be a Lamb-like Lion, and by his suffering and death, purchase and empower glad obedience from all the nations—even from those who put him to death.

We will be reading about Joseph over the next tn days in our read-through-the Bible plan.  It is good to keep the big picture in mind as we finish the book of Genesis.  Here is an excerpt from the same sermon(click here to read or listen to the entire sermon):

Going back to Abram, let’s bring the story up to Joseph. Abram has a son Isaac. Isaac has a son Jacob (whose other name is Israel), and Jacob has twelve sons who become the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel. One of Jacob’s twelve sons, Joseph, has two dreams. In both of them, his eleven brothers and his parents bow down to him. Genesis 37:8 says his brothers hated him for these dreams. And verse 11 says they were jealous.

Destroying the Dreamer

The day came when they could vent their rage against their brother. His father sends him to see if it is well with his brothers (Genesis 37:14). They see him coming and say in verses 19-20, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” Reuben tries to save Joseph but his attempt is only partly successful when the brothers sell Joseph as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelites heading for Egypt (v. 25). They keep his special coat, soak it in animal blood, and his father assumes he was eaten by wild animals. The brothers think that is the end of that.

An Invisible Hand at Work

But they have no idea what is happening. They are utterly oblivious to God’s invisible hand in their action. They do not know that in the very effort to destroy this dreamer, they are fulfilling Joseph’s dreams. Oh, how often God works this way! He takes the very sins of the destroyers and makes them the means of the destroyers’ deliverance.

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