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By: Larry Shaffer
God the Communicator
Joseph, lesson 14
Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changes his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream, you can interpret it.’ Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.’ 41:14-1
There were various ways that God communicated during the era of the Old Testament. God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son… Hebrews 1:1,2. In the case of Joseph, God made Himself known through dreams. This is similar to what He did through Daniel. Joseph was before the king of Egypt and Daniel the king of Babylon. In both cases, God used humble, men of God. I’ll come back to that thought…
First, let’s consider that God is a God of communication. He has spoken. This fact is a blessing of great magnitude. Our God has made Himself known to us. We can know of Greatness through the natural revelation of His creation. Atheists and other non-believers deny this but any reasonable individual intuitively realizes that the creation we observe must have a creator and that Creator must be great and powerful. This is the ‘general revelation’ of God. His greatness is seen in the vastness and complexity of the heavens and earth.
Paganism is born out of this intuitive sense of God. When a people group has only the ‘general revelation” of God in viewing His creation, they create gods from what they see in the heavens and earth and within their own perspective. Literary, they create gods in their own image. They create gods after the moon and earth and they create gods with human characteristics including arbitrary vengeance and revenge; gods that require baby or virgins sacrifice, etc. These are created gods that display the lusts of the people who create them and their natural sin nature.
These people need more than ‘general revelation.’ They need what theologians call ‘special revelation’; Specifically, the Word of God. The Bible, as we have today, has all the revelation that anyone needs to know the creator God of the universe not just as great power but as a Savior. This is why missionaries have gone to “unreached” people in far-away places. They are ‘unreached” because they’ve never seen a Bible or heard the gospel.
In Joseph’s time, God used dreams to communicate and get the attention of pagans. And in our story, God used Joseph to make the interpretation known. But today, we have the complete revelation of God’s Word and Jesus has called us to spread that word to all nations. But let’s start where we are at. Know God’s Word and take every opportunity to help others realize, GOD HAS SPOKEN! He has spoken and He has communicated everything needed to not only know about Him through creation, but to know Him through the written Word.
Consider the statement of Joseph, It’s not in me! Joseph quickly acknowledged that the words he will speak, the interpretation of the dream, is not Joseph’s knowledge but it is from God. Our God is not a distant deity but an intimate God who has a heart to communicate. Do you apply yourself to read His Word, listen and obey?
Lord, we are so privileged to have the fullness of Your communication to us through the Bible. Let us not take it for granted. May we study it, to show ourselves useful unto you, handling accurately the Word of Truth. Amen!