Read His Words Before Ours!
Something was amiss.
Our morning rations, never a priority here in the dungeons, arrived even later than usual. With shaking hands, Abasi, a young kitchen servant, fumbled the basket and water jug to the sandy ground.
In my role as overseer of the other prisoners, Abasi and I interacted regularly and had struck up a friendship; his behavior today was decidedly odd.
Meeting my eyes for a brief second, he whispered urgently,
“They’re coming for you.”
The best days in the life of a prisoner are marked by monotonous drudgery, and with this unusual warning, I felt dread settle over me.
Abasi scurried away, and it wasn’t long before I heard confirmation of his prediction in the rattle of armor and tandem thud of marching feet descending to the dungeons.
“Yahweh,” I flung a quick prayer heavenward, “is this the end?”
A few hours later, I found myself standing before Pharaoh’s great throne. A crowd of courtiers ringed the pavilion, their murmurs dying into silence as Pharaoh raised his hand. Breathless, I waited.
When the guards had escorted me not to my execution, but to a sumptuous bath where I’d been cleansed, shaved, and dressed in fine clothes–luxuries I’d nearly forgotten existed–I’d been able to discover my sudden removal from prison was motivated by a series of disturbing dreams. Pharaoh’s disturbing dreams.
Several years ago, I’d vowed I was finished with dreams. They brought nothing but intense suffering and soul-crushing disappointment. Never again, I’d promised myself, would I speak of dreams or their interpretations.
“I have had a dream,” Pharaoh’s voice rang out. “And no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said about you that you can hear a dream and interpret it.” (Genesis 41:15)
My heart plummeted through the smooth obsidian floor on which I stood.
Closing my eyes, I swallowed hard.
“Yahweh,” my mind cried. “What should I do?!”
Suddenly, I was back where it all began, in my father’s tents. I watched myself, decades younger, interrupt the family meal to describe my vivid dreams.
As the scenes I’d re-lived a thousand times played out before my eyes, the familiar narrative replayed. I viewed my brothers as demons, driven by the threat of my dreams to wreak incomprehensible cruelty on my younger, defenseless self. But this time, the narrative began to shift and my eyes were open to new insights from the Lord.
Suddenly, I saw pride snaking around my heart and spilling from my mouth in impetuous, thoughtless words.
Suddenly, I realized that, as my father’s favorite son, I’d been given more voice and power than was wise for such an immature, zealous boy. I’d abused these, never once considering what words, context, or timing would be appropriate for sharing my dreams . . . or even if Yahweh was leading me to share.
Suddenly, I understood the dreams were not the cause of my suffering.
My brothers’ sin . . . and my own, I saw for the first time . . . had landed me in that cistern.
In the years that followed, my voice and power had been lost.
Instantly, my mind returned to the dungeon.
Unjustly imprisoned, I’d grabbed at a chance to free myself by interpreting the dreams of members of Pharaoh’s court. Again, I saw my interactions with sudden clarity.
I’d pinned my hopes for freedom on a fellow prisoner, too caught up in protesting my innocence and decrying my victimhood to seek guidance from Yahweh. I’d planned for my release, and spent days rehearsing the speech I’d give when I was exonerated.
But days turned into years, and my plans fell apart.
Overcome by hopelessness, I decided I was finished with dreams.
They were nonsense; how could they possibly be part of Yahweh’s plans?
But . . .
What if I’d misunderstood Yahweh’s purpose in His dreams?
What if Yahweh sent them as assurance of His plans, inviting me to trust His faithfulness and power despite my confusion and suffering?
What if dreams were a tool in Yahweh’s hands,
which He used to work His designs for my life and His world?
Suppose, instead of spelling disaster, dreams were a divine kindness,
a call to partner with Yahweh on His mission?
What if Yahweh used dreams and interpretations as part of His plan to bring justice and salvation to the world?
The impatient clang of the Pharaoh’s serpent scepter against the floor brought me back to the present.
My plans will not fail.
His words reverberated through my spirit.
Drawing upon what I’d learned, both in my moment of sudden understanding and throughout my time in Egypt, I spoke.
Through me, Yahweh spoke words of prophecy and forewarning.
He revealed a plan of kindness, provision, and salvation.
Yahweh’s faithfulness to fulfill His plans is unfailing! (Psalm 36:5-9)
King Ahab has led the people of Israel into desperate sin, so drought strangles our land. Yet Yahweh’s goodness is unfailing. He has saved me from Ahab’s search parties and satisfied all my needs. I cling to hope, knowing He is working out His plan to pursue and rescue His people. (1 Kings 17:1-16)
Queen of Babylon
Like the Cupbearer who finally remembered Joseph, I recalled a young prophet who could explain the inexplicable. When a message appeared in the air as King Belshazzar desecrated the holy instruments of the Hebrew God during a debauched festival, the prophet revealed it as a warning of the kingdom’s impending collapse. In His kindness, the Hebrew God offered a last chance for repentance, but Belshazzar refused. Within hours, he was slain by a rival. This Hebrew God’s plans are unfailing. (Daniel 5)
In my dream, the Hebrew God instructed me to send for a leader of The Way, named Simon Peter. Within four days, Simon Peter stood before me and taught about the Messiah, inviting me and my household to faith in Him. Though I didn’t understand them at the time, I now know God’s plans are unfailing! (Acts 10:1-33)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!