Is anyone else planning on catching the Perseid light show?
I always felt special, having such a cool display occurring so close to my birthday. The idea that pieces of space are falling to earth and disintegrating into showers of indistinguishable dust is magnificent, like one of Joseph’s dreams. This morning, we are presented with Genesis 37:9-10, a passage of simplicity, yet utter irony in its plainfaced forecast of the future.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”
God’s methodology for speaking to us often seems odd, misplaced, or just plain countereffective. Joseph, repeats a God-given dream to his family and they scoff. Scripture doesn’t indicate how Joseph felt after being ridiculed for his dreams of leadership–the impression given is his complete oblivousness at their discomfiture. He continued to dream, and they continued to scoff.
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
Reuben, playing it cool, figures he’ll smooth things over later. His brothers, precursors to the tribes of Israel, evince the qualities that Israel would later pay for in the desert outside the land of Egypt. Bloodthirsty, vengeful, spiteful, hating their own, and liars; yet God chose them to become the twelve-stone foundation of the nation of Israel.