Genesis 37:1-11 Believers can receive revelations and speak hope and salvation to the nations

Genesis 37:1-11  Believers can receive revelations and speak hope and salvation to the nations

Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the records of the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic. 4 His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.

5 Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; 7 for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9 Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.


“These are the records of the generations of Jacob” pertains primarily to Joseph and Judah. In this section, Joseph emerged as a seer speaking prophetically about his impending elevation. In anticipation of a protracted famine in Canaan, God raised up Joseph to speak revelations of hope and salvation for Israel. In today’s devotion, we will discuss how a believer can receive divine revelations and speak hope and salvation to the nations.


Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age.

It is obvious that Joseph even in his youth was not pally with his brothers. He worked independently and found himself useful as a roving eye for his father. Was Joseph doing his job or was he misrepresenting his brothers and acting out of malice? Looking at the brother’s previous behaviour, it is likely that they were doing wrong. Nevertheless, Joseph served the role of a pestering little brother everyone could do without.

Now Israel can only be partially blamed for his show of favouritism for Joseph was oozing with usefulness which Israel in his old age would welcome. How else could Jacob in his twilight years keep his infamous sons out of trouble? Hence, Joseph was the favourite by virtue of his usefulness, and that he was sufficiently independent and virtuous to serve as watchman. And not to mention that Joseph was extremely gifted prophetically and in administrative abilities. The varicolored tunic marked Israel’s affection for Joseph, the crown jewel of his old age“So they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms” suggests a rift so deep it is no surprise if murder came up in one of their discussions.

Please listen to this dream which I have had…

It is appropriate to discuss the reason Joseph’s two dreams were given to him and whether it should have been told to the family members. Dreams in the ancient Near East were a common means of divine communication and prediction. And the brothers knew full well about the dreams’ implications. Hence, the brothers retorted, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” That further exacerbated the enmity between them to extent that they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Joseph had a second dream and this time it involved his parents which offered the same interpretation. Only this time, his brothers’ hatred turned into jealousy; which infer their acknowledgment that it might actually happen afterall. His father, on the other hand gave him a sharp rebuke, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” Nevertheless, he did not dismiss Joseph’s dream but kept the saying in mind.

Joseph might come across as brash, cocky and insensitive to his brothers and parents. Nevertheless, God had in mind to make known a piece of the future to keep them looking forward in faith. First and foremost, this dream will serve as lifeline during Joseph’s darkest moments to keep him going until the word is fulfilled. Secondly, it brings out the jealousy, malice, and the worst in the brothers so that they may repent. Thirdly, the dream will seed within Jacob the hope that he may see Joseph again.

In all of Joseph’s youthful zeal, God is in fact using him as a prophet to keep the holy family looking forward when the famine comes.


When in dire circumstances, allow the Spirit to bring to mind the prophetic words.

When in dire circumstances, remember the prophetic words spoken to you no matter how incredulous it may sound. Joseph’s dreams may seem unbelievable to his family, but his words came to pass some years later. Therefore, we should not let negative thoughts or sentiments enter our minds but cast them out immediately! Do not entertain them. Paul admonished believers to guard their minds and dwell on constructive things: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:7-8

But, how do we know if the words spoken by others, well intended they may be are true and prophetic in substance? The prophetic word resonates with the bible and draws us towards God where we find peace and comfort. It follows that, the more we dwell of these words, the more peace we will have. Indeed, peace is the fruit of the prophetic word!

As an idle mind is the devil’s playground, we must continually occupy our minds with the words of Jesus. And the Holy Spirit brings a deep and profound peace into our souls. Jesus said,

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:26-27

Believers can receive revelations and speak hope and salvation to the nations.

Many believers including those who are supposedly mature and learned in the word often experience spiritual famine. Hence, they are not able speak prophetically into their circumstances much less bring hope to the nations.

That said, there is a difference between knowledge and revelations. Knowledge by itself does not imbue life. Revelation, on the other hand, is prophetic and powerful in transforming lives and nations. In anticipation of a protracted famine in Canaan, God raised up Joseph, the dreamer who spoke revelations of hope and salvation for Israel. Revelation comes in various forms: dreams, visions, prophetic utterances and by interpretation of tongues. Believers must prepare themselves to be channels through which God speaks hope and salvation for the nations. Revelation does the following:

  • It changes a person’s mindset to overcome the challenges of life.
  • It regenerates a person’s heart towards goodness and love.
  • It provides wisdom and insights into complex situations.
  • It changes a person’s focus and worldview towards life.
  • It foretells future events.

The Holy Spirit is the source of all truth and He speaks of what is to come. Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13. 

How can a believer prepare himself to receive revelations through the word, dreams and the gifts of the Spirit?

  • Be innocent like a child. A child receives whatever his parents give fully trusting and never doubting their goodness. God requires maturing believers to maintain the quality of childlike innocence. Jesus taught, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4.
  • Acknowledge God as your King. If a believer acknowledges God as King (as opposed to a consultant), and willing to do what He says, he will hear God with clarity. Jesus taught, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” John 7:17. Regrettably, many see God as their consultant; they want to know God’s opinion before deciding if they should follow. Because their hearts have dishonoured God with their unbelief, such will not receive anything from God.  
  • Practice self-reflection. The psalmist said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart. Then my spirit made a diligent search.” Psalm 77:6. In the discipline of self-reflection, we search our heart of its posture, and its ruling love. In so doing, the word searches and bring to the surface the hidden issues and intents of the heart. We ask ourselves why we do what we do? And what we will do if the rewards and recognitions are suddenly removed.
  • Continually reorder your inner world towards the kingdom. If a believer’s inner world is constantly ordered towards God’s kingdom, he is said to possess heavenly understanding. Those who possess understanding put God’s kingdom first, then followed by the church, nation, family and himself as the least of priorities. Order and understanding is essential in receiving heavenly wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs 14:6 says, “A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.” As it is futile to give a beautiful bouquet in a vase to one whose house is in a perpetual mess, we must order our world in preparation of receiving heavenly wisdom.
  • Offer your mind to God while you sleep. God loves to give us instructions in the night when we find it difficult to receive them during the day. The psalmist said, “I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:7-8. As you offer your nights to God, He instructs you and keeps you safe from being shaken by nightmares.

Revelation comes to those who are humble enough to consider the unfathomable ways of God.

The content of Joseph’s dreams are a radical departure from conventional wisdom and traditions. Will God who sanctions the honouring of parents endorse the idea of Jacob and his wife bowing to their son? Yet this is so! For indeed God will give authority to whom He desires. Nevertheless, Jacob pushed at the boundaries of the traditions agreed to keep Joseph’s dreams in mind. Great men in biblical history have had their boundaries tested, and those who have overcome are considered great. The likes of Peter and Paul who saw visions and went against the traditions of Judaism by accepting the gentile people as fellow children of God.

God is about to introduce more radical things into Christendom in line with His unsearchable wisdom. We cannot stress enough the importance of seriously considering these things that are happening (or about to happen) in the Christendom by studying the word with a humble and open spirit. The apostle Paul urged believers not to allow the limitations of their natural experiences (eyes and ears) and traditions (entered the heart of man) hinder the exploration of all that God has prepared for His children,

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Paul added that the way to know these things (the revelations that are yet revealed) is to humble ourselves and acknowledge that we indeed know nothing. In doing so, God counts us worthy to receive His Spirit so that our eyes may be opened to know the things freely given to us by God.

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 1 Corinthians 2:10a, 12

In humbling ourselves, we acknowledge that we are absolute retards, incapable of understanding the heavenly things. Hence, the only way for us to even catch a glimpse of what God is about to do is by revelation through the Spirit and to develop heavenly wisdom as opposed to earthly cognitive analysis.

…But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:10a,12,14-15


Are you in some kind of dire situation? Ask the Spirit to bring to mind the words spoken to you and the promises that you came across. Hold onto them by putting the words to memory. Be vigilant to reject and cast away the thoughts that are negative. Be sensitive in welcoming the words of the Spirit, but reject the voices of despair.

Have you been feeling dry in your spiritual journey and the words of the bible seem trite and dull? Perhaps, you may be fixated on your own needs and what you want to get out of the bible instead of letting God speak to you. When we alter our focus in loving God and believing in His promises without doubting, the bible will begin to come alive.

Do you find it hard to accept certain spiritual experiences because it departs from traditional beliefs and practices? Make it a commitment to study the bible for yourself so that you may take responsibility for what you believe and why you make a stand for them. Be humble and take your time to listen and to explore the various positions according to the word. This will be a fulfilling journey where the Spirit will help you understand God’s unfathomable ways.

Dear Lord, I desire to know the truth and experience the promises that bring abundant living. I commit myself to loving you and knowing your truths. Open the eyes of my heart so that I may see and understand. Strip away my pride and presuppositions that hinder my journey with the Spirit. Use me to speak encouragement to those who are in despair. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

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