By Teena Myers
Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.
After Jacob kept his vow at Bethel, God stopped talking to Jacob and turned his attention to Joseph. Joseph dreamed of being exalted above his brothers, and his brothers hated him. But his father remained silent. Jacob knew God spoke through dreams, because God spoke to him through dreams.
Then Joseph dreamed of being exalted above his father. This time, Jacob rebuked him. A clear indication that Jacob did not understand the gospel Abraham taught him. To receive the things God promised, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must bow to one of their sons. Today we know that son is Jesus, but the patriarchs did not know which son they would inherit the promises from. Jacob did not know about Jesus, and he did not know when the son God made the promises to would be born. For all Jacob knew, he was rebuking the Messiah. Joseph was not the Messiah, but God used him to save the world from starvation.
God’s message and actions have remained consistent for three generations. He told Abraham his family would serve a nation that would afflict them, and God would judge that nation before he brought them out with great substance. That nation was Egypt, but the patriarchs did not know that. God gave Joseph dreams to prepare the way for their relocation to Egypt to fulfill the things he spoke and vowed that he would do when Abraham believed him.
It may have appeared that Joseph’s dreams were vain imaginations to both Joseph and his family. His brothers sold him into slavery, and then lied to their father. Jacob lived many years believing Joseph was dead. I find it interesting that Jacob’s sons treated him the same way Jacob treated his father, Isaac. And Jacob lived with sorrow for many years before he learned God made their evil deeds work together for good.