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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dreamers, Haters, and Favor: God’s Main Ingredients

Gen 37:1-8

37 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

Gen 37:4-11
4 When his brothers realized that their father loved him more than them, they grew to hate him — they wouldn't even speak to him.

5 Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said, "Listen to this dream I had. 7 We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine."

8 His brothers said, "So! You're going to rule us? You're going to boss us around?" And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.

9 He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: "I dreamed another dream — the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!"

10 When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him: "What's with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?" 11 Now his brothers were really jealous; but his father brooded over the whole business. MSG

Most of us know the story of Joseph, of how he was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery by his brothers, and found himself in prison falsely accused and finally raised up to become a national leader in Egypt during a time of economic recession first in Egypt and then the world over. Many people speak of the blessings of Joseph, of coming through the struggle and making it out on the other side.  I want to share with you some principles from the life of Joseph. One thing you need to understand is that as you walk in favor, there are some things that come with the territory: one of those things is haters; If you are going to move forward in God, you must process the hate as part and parcel of God’s plan.

Read Genesis 37 1-8, MSG 4-11

The Father’s love, the Father’s favor can spur a brother’s hate
This love is the Hebrew word aw’hab meaning friend or beloved
The Hebrew word for hate miseo here means to hate personally; a foe or enemy, odious, utterly full of hate; to detest; persecute; love less
To be hateful is to be love-empty.
Joseph was not simply hated for what he did; he was hated for who he was.
As the favored of God, you experience hate beyond what you do; when a person operates in the spirit of hate, regardless of what you do, they will not accept you.

When Joseph’s brothers saw (perceived, discerned) the Father’s love, they could not speak peaceably. It wasn’t in them because they were full of hate.

The text starts out giving you a bit of history about Joseph. Joseph had been working the fields and placed alongside his half-brothers, placed with the lowest ranked sons in the family. Whether you know it or not, some people think they know your place, want to put you in your place, or have a place to put you.  You need to know that just a few chapters back in Gen 34:25-29, Levi and Simeon got the family kicked out of Canaan due to retaliation against the Shechemites for raping their sister. This early exodus subsequently led to the birth of Joseph on the way, and Rachel’s death. Not exactly a good way to put themselves in the Father’s favor. In Gen 35:21-22, you will see that Reuben the firstborn of Leah, disgraced his father by sleeping with his father’s concubine, his brother’s mother. Is there any wonder why Joseph was favored?
According to Deuteronomy 21:15-21, Jacob was within every right to give the mantle of leadership to his next firstborn of Rachael, Joseph.

Deut. 21:15-20

15 When a man has two wives, one loved and the other hated, and they both give him sons, but the firstborn is from the hated wife, 16 at the time he divides the inheritance with his sons he must not treat the son of the loved wife as the firstborn, cutting out the son of the hated wife, who is the actual firstborn. 17 No, he must acknowledge the inheritance rights of the real firstborn, the son of the hated wife, by giving him a double share of the inheritance: that son is the first proof of his virility; the rights of the firstborn belong to him.

18 When a man has a stubborn son, a real rebel who won't do a thing his mother and father tell him, and even though they discipline him he still won't obey, 19 his father and mother shall forcibly bring him before the leaders at the city gate 20 and say to the city fathers, "This son of ours is a stubborn rebel; he won't listen to a thing we say. He's a glutton and a drunk." MSG

So, here you have some brothers who have squandered their opportunity to lead, to be examples who are now acting out, possibly because they are in bad standing with the Father. Firstborn doesn’t always equate to first blessed.

Let’s look back at the Dreamer who walks in Favor:

37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

When you are favored, hatred becomes fuel for your Dream life! Remember Joseph’s brother wouldn’t speak peaceably to him. So, God spoke to him in a dream about his future. You dream because God loves you enough to speak to you. When others try to suppress your purpose, you can be sure God is ready and waiting to speak a word to you.

Joseph didn’t respond to his haters with hate; he declared his dreams instead. You don’t have to be afraid to declare your dreams. Will you declare your dreams in the midst of your haters?

37 8 His brothers said, "So! You're going to rule us? You're going to boss us around?" And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.

9 He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: "I dreamed another dream — the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!"

What happened after his encounter with his haters? He had another dream! They hated he was loved by the father, they hated the way he talked, they hated the way he dreamed. They hated the essence of who he was.

The Hebrew word for dream means to be in good liking; to recover
When people hate, what they don’t realize is they are stirring up the dreamer in you, they cause you to recover those things God put in your spirit man; you find yourself writing, dancing, starting a business, the dreams in you begin to wake up! The gifts in Joseph didn’t decrease because he was hated.

God gave Joseph dreams so that he would know his place in the world- God the Faithful Father will speak to you concerning your purpose in the world- he doesn’t want to leave you in the dark! His plan is to prosper you and not harm you, to give you an expected end.

Joseph, when he received these dreams was a young man; he lacked physical maturity and insight in the beginning, but he had the heart of his father.
Dreams restrain people from doing evil, reveal God’s will, encourage you, reveal the future, and provide instruction.
Dreams reveal is what you have a right to; it is up to you to seek God for understanding.

Read on:
Gen 37:18-24

18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him;

24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. KJV

When you are Favored, when you are a Dreamer, people will stage a death or fake you fall to try to thwart your destiny. Who are they? They are those who operate in the spirit of hate.

They can’t take your life, so they attempt to stage your fall
  •  Bad press
  •  Rumor mills
  •  Character assassination    
  • These are the tools of haters, but NO WEAPON formed against the Favored shall prosper!
Like Joseph’s brothers, they are hoping the Father will forget you! Just as Joseph’s father mourned him the rest of his life, until he was reunited with his Son. No matter how much time passes, the Father doesn’t forget you.

This Hater mentality came simply because of the Dream.

How many know, when you sow hate, you reap a harvest of famine.

  •  Sowing discord
  •  Arrogance
  •  Lying tongues
  •  Shedding innocent blood
  •  Plotting schemes
  •  Swift to commit evil
  •  Giving false testimony
  •  The brothers were guilty of the abominations laid out in Prov.6

Joseph’s dream revealed a time of future blessing for not only his family but for the world:

6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

The spirit of hate had totally eclipsed the brothers’ ability to receive, discern, and understand God’s plan for them to prosper and their role in it. In studying this passage, note:

  •  Everything was there at the time of harvest
  •  Their harvest was not less, it was just in a different position: Joseph’s harvest had the position of authority
  • Hate for Joseph caused them to miss the point of the dream altogether
  •  They were so focused on the position of their harvest that they missed the fact that they had a harvest at all
  •  This dream spoke of the time in Joseph’s life where there would be lack in the land, he would be in control of the harvest, and ultimately his brothers would come to him for assistance and be blessed because they were connected to Joseph
  •  Joseph saw their harvest, his brothers saw their position- where is your focus? The wrong focus threw off their favor

Instead of them asking what the dream meant, they began to go on the attack in v.8. Instead of seeing Joseph as a key to unlock favor and blessing in their life, hatred caused them to take their favor, mistreat and abuse it, and sell it down the river!

Amos 3:17- when you don’t believe God's  prophets, you close the door on your own prosperity!

Haters despise those who have a dream life. Joseph was open to God because he was closed to the spirit of hate. The brothers were open to the spirit of hate which darkened their minds to the will of God. Hate made them spend more time plotting Joseph’s demise rather than caring for father’s sheep.

Cain had the same issue with Abel. God told him, sin is lying crouched at the door, waiting for you. You opened the door because you hate your brother. Because he didn’t remove it from his mind, the hate moved to his heart and then his hands.
Some think it is the enemy blocking your ability to dream to open doors of favor but God says hate is there, bitterness is there, not understanding the love of the father for some is there.

If you hate, your dream can’t get in you and you can’t get into your dream.
Hatred builds a fortress against Love’s invasion but it cannot stand.

Those that are favored must understand haters are out to steal your attention, kill your dream, and destroy your life! This spirit comes from the devil! He is the enemy of the Harvest, Empowerment, Love, and Life of God. This is the Hell that satan is afraid of! It torments him when you walk in victory, authority, dominion, power, and cast him out of your life and home!

Joseph had Weapons of Massive Direction on his side!
We can deduce by the text that Joseph maintained relationship with God
He deepened his roots in God; Joseph did very little talking but God was noted to be with him.
God was with him in every step down and every promotion up
He had a prayer and communication life with God
As citizens of the Kingdom, we can not pray like we are visiting the kingdom!

Joseph abided in the Love of the father even as we must, even without that visible evidence. When you’re not “feeling” the love, feeling the covering, will you still abide? Will you still know God loves you? Will you still realize God has not forgotten you?

I believe that Joseph’s father did not rebuke him, for his sake, but for his brothers’; remember Jacob himself was a dreamer. But here’s the issue: sometimes we seek out the wrong people, in the wrong timing, in the wrong order about our Dreams. His Father rebuked him, but he revealed the meaning of the dreams to Joseph. The dreams pointed Joseph out as the rightful heir. He was doing what his father did.

Do we take what God has spoken to us back to the maker? Joseph should have sought his Father first (Mt.6:33) do we ask the Father, “what does this mean?”

Sometimes when you are favored, you may want to be the follower but favor’s purpose is to send you ahead to prepare a way, to preserve posterity. It is comfortable to ride it out, but God has entrusted you with favor to send you ahead.

Favor places you in direct line of target but it also makes the impossible possible, the insurmountable conquerable, protects, defends, and hedges you in! Your dreams are your treasure that God has placed in you: they can’t be destroyed by people, elements, or pestilence, but they can be corrupted through sin. Only when you walk in love can you be trusted with true riches and Favor.

Joseph understood his dreams and purpose for favor in the end. When you have Favor, your job is to bring the kingdom of God to the earth, not assimilate into earthly kingdoms and serve false gods. He was a servant to God and a ruler in the earth. Can God trust you not to overthrow His government once He grants you favor? Favor was not given for him to horde it but cultivate and share it with the world. When you serve God’s purposes He can trust you with souls and provision: your national plan could save the world. When the world’s storehouses close, if you follow God, His storehouse will be open to you.

God can create a need in the world and give the plan to you just to bring those  who hated you to the floor. Think about this? Are you the cause of the famine or are you the answer to it? Your favor should end the famine in the lives of those you are connected with.

Joseph was a Hater Breaker
  •  He didn’t retaliate
  •  He showed mercy instead of justice
  •  He tested the sincerity of those around him
  •  He kept his dream life and his walk with God cultivated so that bitterness and resentment would not replace his DREAMS

He attended the University of Hard Knocks:
Earned his BS (Believed in Salvation plan for his generations)
MS (mastered his Soul, Spirit and Will)
PHD (put his dreams in Gods hands)
Favor may be given but Faith will be tried and pressed upon!
Joseph knew his purpose: It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened through his night, his darkest times. In your darkest time, God is just closing the curtains so He can work unseen behind the scenes!

Joseph's Purpose

Favored to
1)    sent ahead to preserve life -prophetic
2)    establish a remnant in the land/oversee nations-apostolic
3)    show forth a great deliverance by a God Idea-miraculous

Look at these similarities of Joseph and Jesus

  •  objects of their father’s love (gen 37:3, John 5:20, Mt. 3:17)
  •  their bretheren hated them (gen 37:4, John 15:25)
  •  their brothers rejected their superior claims (Gen 37:8, mt. 21:37)
  •  their brothers conspired to kill them (v.18)
  •  became blessing to Gentiles
  •  reconciled with their brothers and exalted them
  •  coat dipped in blood, dispute over the death and body of both

If you are a Dreamer, Favored, and Hated, you are in Good Company and in God company! Keep the faith!