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The Dreamer

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
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June 27, 2020 12:01 am

The Dreamer

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 27, 2020 12:01 am

In the book of Genesis, Joseph received two great gifts early in his life: a rich coat from his father and the ability to interpret dreams from God. Today, R.C. Sproul shows how both of these gifts aggravated the jealousy of Joseph's brothers.

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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind a dream about Rager's gift an extremely jealous brothers story Joseph in the coat of many colors.

Of course, is favored in children's books and Sunday school classes, but this incredible account which covers several chapters in the book of Genesis shows us how God can actually work in the midst of tragedy. Joseph's virtuous life points us to the much bigger story of redemption. Today we are pleased to begin.

Dr. RC scroll series, the wife of Joseph look at the life of the patriarch Joseph in the book of Genesis.

It's a remarkable thing to study the life of this man there something extraordinary about Joseph were accustomed as we read the biblical account of the patriarchs of the Old Testament, and even of the prophets to see their portraits being painted warts and all. The Bible doesn't hesitate to broadcast for the whole world to read the sins of the saints. We know of the great wickedness in the sum of the act of King David of some of the deceitfulness manifested even in father Abraham, and so on.

But we have to press very hard and very close to find anything blameworthy in the character of Joseph. In fact, so extraordinary is the virtue manifested by this man that throughout church history. Many interpreters of the Old Testament have seen in Joseph and Old Testament height of our Lord himself now that remains a matter of speculation, but I certainly understand why such speculation has been ventured in light of the sterling character of this man. The basic narrative of Joseph begins in the 37th chapter of the book of Genesis we are told earlier. Of course of his birth from his mother, Rachel, and you recall Jacob who had so many sons had to work seven years for his father-in-law Laban in order that he might receive in marriage. The hand of his daughter Rachel Jacobs beloved, but Laban deceived him, and after that seven year period of labor. He was given Leah instead of Rachel to be his wife and she was the mother of most of Jacob's sons and he had the labor another seven years before he was able to marry Rachel and Joseph was the child of Jacob's old age and the firstborn to Rachel, that background let's look at chapter 37 picks up the narrative of Joseph's life.

Chapter 37 begins with these words. Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger in the land of Canaan and this is the history of Jacob, Joseph, being 17 years old was feeding the flock with his brothers and the lad was with the sons of Bill Hall and the sons of Zell file his father's why and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now, some have argued that at the very beginning of the narrative of Joseph that we see a wart that we see a defect in his character because here is a brother who was squealing as it were, on his other brothers bringing a bad report of them to his own father, a report that would not be taken kindly by the brothers, but if we read back into this text, the whole character of Joseph that is manifested throughout his biographical sketch in Scripture, we would be inclined to think that though the report was negative. It was presumably true and that Joseph could be excused for giving a response to a higher duty, namely fidelity to his father then fidelity to his brother.

It's a stretch to be sure, but it also hints at a similar incident in the life of Jesus where we know next to nothing of Jesus boyhood years say for the occasion when he visited the Temple in Jerusalem at age 12, and where he stayed behind to talk with the doctors in the temple on matters of theology, and his parents were unaware that he had been left behind.

Presumably the men were traveling with the men and the women with the women. Joseph presumably thought that he was with Mary and Mary thought that he was with Joseph and so on.

But when they hurried back to Jerusalem and found their son disputing with the theologians in the temple and they rebuked him. Jesus answer to his parents was do you not know that I must be about my father's business so that Jesus behavior on that point was not sinful, but righteous and that he was obeying his father again stretching this a little bit and trying to bend over backwards to be gracious to Joseph and I'm assuming that something of the same sort was taking place here when Joseph was giving his father an honest report. In any case we read on verse three now Israel. That's of course the name for Jacob that God had renamed in melt this rail. Love Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age and also he made him a tunic of many colors, but when his brother saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him what follow-ups is not only the history of a boy, but it becomes foundational to the history of the entire nation of Israel, and it is a history that takes up pivotal turn that is rooted in human envy and jealousy early on in the narrative of Joseph, the salient point is introduced, but for whatever reason of his personality is clear that his brothers despised him they would not even speak peaceably within which means that their attitude toward their brother was one of belligerence. They were bellicose they were hostile toward him and their hostility was rooted in grounded and initially at least, not so much in what Joseph did, but in what Joseph's father did. They despised Joseph because of the special affection that he received from their father is an interesting how hostile were the people of the church of Israel toward Jesus. When Jesus was seen to be the beloved of the father, but here, in this case we have a sibling rivalry with a vengeance.

Now, anyone who is the parent of more than one child has to deal with the problem of sibling rivalries.

They are customary in the home, and unless you've been apparent.

It's hard to know the struggle that parents have at times with showing favoritism to their own children, and we are told that Jacob did that that Jacob loved Joseph more than he loved the rest of the sons doesn't mean that he didn't love the rest of his children, but he had a greater love for Joseph and we are told that the reason for that is because Joseph was special and that he was the firstborn to Rachel and was the child of Jacob's old age course. He was older when he had Benjamin that in any case. Sometimes parents do favor one child over another. Usually the parents, they will. I love each one equally, but I love you differently and I don't think parents can really all that accurately discern the relative degree of affection that they have for their own children and my wife's and my marriage we had a girl and a boy in the course, they never had any sibling rivalry. Growing up, but my daughter's nickname for my son I should say our son is precious from what I can discern, I've always been delighted to see the affection that my children have for each other but my daughter dubbed her younger brother precious because she said all he always gets treated this immediately is the practice line of belief in and so, from her perspective.

There was no doubt who was the favorite in the household. Namely, the son, but if you asked the sun they would say all no no no no, she was the one that got away with murder and so children sometimes have a jaundiced view of who really is the favorite in our household. Of course that nickname that my daughter gave to my son was given years and years and years ago and of course is something that we would just assume passes away with time.

Except that she still calls him her precious it's become.

In fact the family name for RC Junior so if you want to write to him or speak to him about his involvement in this class, you can always refer to him as precious and we will know to whom you are referring. But in any case, Israel loved Joseph more than his children and he manifested this by giving him a tunic of many colors. We've even had a Broadway play called the Technicolor code. Joseph's technicolor coat. The thing that makes this so dramatic in the ancient world was the things that we take for granite of being able to go to the shopping center and enter into the clothing store and choose our garments from myriads of colors, all of which are produced by the manufacturer with all kinds of exotic dies, and so on.

We tend to forget that in the ancient world, the producing of color in a garment was something that was a very laborious process and that those garments that were colored were exceedingly expensive and most of the garments worn by the semi nomads of the Middle Eastern region were black or brown or sometimes white but not the rich colors and hues of the rainbow the Reds and the yellows and the greens and so but this tunic not only had one color, but it had a huge variety of colors, making it all the more expensive and all the more treasure this would be an extraordinary gift that Jacob gave to his son. The single him out from all the rest of the boys to receive this multicolored garment I can imagine a parent doing that without knowing in advance that this would be a point of contention among them, because this was an obvious sign of favoritism, but we can't fault Joseph. He is the recipient of the gift not the giver, but when his brother saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him that there father. They hated their brother and could not speak peaceably to him on to make matters worse, Joseph receives a gift not only from his earthly father, but he receives a gift from his heavenly father.

He is endowed with the charismatic ability to interpret dreams. Now, Joseph had a dream we read in verse five, and he told it to his brothers and they hated him even more so he said to them, please hear this dream which I have dream there. We were binding sheaves in the field then behold my sheaf arose and also stood upright and indeed your sheaf stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf and his brother sets and so shall you indeed reign over us or show you indeed have dominion over us. So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words is one thing that God would give this drain to Joseph. It's another thing for him to tell them this dream and again we can only speculate here about Joseph's motive. If we take the dark side of it, we can see Joseph as a young boy 17 years old who sick and tired of being despised and hated by his brothers and being mistreated unjustly because of his father's favor and so in a sense to get even with them. He gives this wonderful dream where he has this vision of the sheaves of wheat that are all bowing down before him and so he comes to them and we can interpret this way since the Bible doesn't give us voice inflections and that sort of thing. The justices just you wait. Henry Higgins just you wait. You guys think you're something that I just had a dream and a dream told me that some that you guys are gonna be groveling in the dirt in front of me all the truth of the matter is that the dream was prophetic and the dream was fulfilled the very detailed Joseph spoke about. Now we ask is I say why Joseph shared the content of this dream to his brothers. On the one hand, the dark side it could be that he was motivated to gloat over his brothers and to glory in the favoritism to be a self righteous obnoxious 17-year-old boy who is rubbing it in his brothers faces for the favoritism that he has received, on the other hand, a more charitable judgment toward Joseph would be the Joseph could have been instructed by God in this dream to make the contents of this dream known normally when God reveals something in Scripture to one of his prophets. The purpose of that revelation is to make it known for the edification of others, and that would be consistent with Joseph explaining the content of the drain.

If we learn anything about Joseph Sue examining his life.

We know that Joseph was, not stupid and he would have had to assume that if his brothers envied him and hated him now after he tells them this drain is only going to exacerbate the situation, but I don't know whether his relating of it was out of obedience to God or out of being spiteful towards his brothers, but let's go on then he dreamed verse nine. Still another dream and told it to his brothers and said look I have dreamed another dream and this time the sun, the moon and the 11 stars bow down to me and so he told her to his father and his brothers and his father rebuked him and said to him, what is this dream that you have dreamed, shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you and his brothers envied him that his father kept the matter in mind now Jacob is angry Jacob joins in the rebuke against Joseph for sharing this second dream because the second ring not only indicates that his 11 brothers will sometime bow down before him, but his parents as well and this is a little bit more than Jacob could handle.

Remember in this trio, the patriarchs were just that patriarchs and it was a patriarchal society where the father was the one who was to be exalted in the family not the son we know, for example, that in the Jewish custom when the father walked into a room where the sons were present. It was the duty of the sons instantly to stand up out of respect to the appearance of the father. There was only one exemption to that particular custom.

One exception to the rule, and that would be if the son grew up and became a rabbi. The office of the Rabbi was so honored among the Jewish people that this custom would be reversed if the son who was the rabbi walked into the room. The father would rise out of honor to him. But Joseph was a 17-year-old boy. He was not a rabbi and so now he suggesting that his father is going to bow down before him and Jacob rebukes him but it's interesting that when we're told the rest of the reaction. We're told the brothers increased their envy to Jacob, but Jacob meditated on even though he was upset and rebuke Joseph.

He still did not obviously come to the absolute conclusion that this was just a dream of Joseph's vein, imagination, from bumper only at the beginning of Joseph's amazing story about already. We're getting hints at the trauma that is to come.

Betrayal, misery, mercy, forgiveness and restoration. We look forward to returning to the series by Dr. RC Sproul every Saturday here on Renewing Your Mind and we hope you'll make plans to join us. RC's teaching style really bring stories like this to life. Doesn't it. That's why we put together a generous collection of teaching resources as our offer for today. When you give a gift of any amount to later ministries will send you a collection of RC's teaching contains four complete DVD series, including knowing Christ knowing Scripture and the parables of Jesus.

Plus, you will receive four complete audio series including the message we heard today from the series the life of Joseph, simply contact us today with your gift of any amount, it will send it your way.

You can reach us online at Renewing Your Mind.word or you can call us at 800-435-4343. We are certainly living through interesting times are way challenges that few if any of had to face before but we've also been presented with an incredible opportunity to assure the truth of God's word. A record number of people around the world have been accessing the online teaching ability in your ministries so were grateful for your financial gives which make all of this possible and we will say thank you today for your gift of any amount by sending you RC Sproul's teaching collection request.

All eight teaching series when you call us at 800-435-4343 or when you contact us online at Renewing Your Mind.word before we go today.

Let's return to Dr. Sproles lesson on Joseph for a final thought.

There is a message for us in this initial part of the narrative history of Joseph, particularly for those of us who are parents, not all of us are parents, but all of us have been children. They don't necessarily all have brothers or sisters or siblings to have to deal with, but we can see how much destruction can come to a family and into a home when jealousy destroys the mutual love and affection among children and in their relationship with their parents and so I think we have to see that the showing of favoritism is very foolish thing to do and can have extraordinary negative consequences in a home now. I think perhaps the way we should do is try to manifest the love that we have for our children as clearly as we possibly can. That sometimes includes and demands the giving of punishment because the Scripture tells us that those who do not punish their children hate their children and we have that wrong in our culture, we somehow think that what we want more than anything else is for our children to love us where our first obligation is to love them built next Saturday. The brothers will act on their disdain for Joseph and they will hatch a plan of unimaginable deceit.

We hope you join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind

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