'Please listen to this dream which I have had; 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.' 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.
For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
Joseph (Jacob's son) and Jesus (the Man) had three things in common: 1) They loved God. 2) They had big destinies. 3) Their brothers did not believe them. Therein, their brothers became intimate enemies, a.k.a. dream haters.
King David faced them, too. Consider the jabs of Eliab, his oldest brother, before the fall of Goliath: 'I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle' (1 Samuel 17:28).
Later, David described the additional pain of church betrayal: 'If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers' (Psalm 55:12-14).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When brethren and believers become skeptics and deceivers, wounds cut deep. Betrayals hurt fiercely. But consider:
1) Jesus understands intimate enemies. 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?' (Luke 22:48). He was betrayed by family, disciples, priests and nation, but He forgave them all. In love, His Arms remained opened--even on the Cross.
2) God sees every tear: 'Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll -- are they not in Your record?' (Psalm 56:8). 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted' (Matthew 5:4). God's comfort is no small matter. 'By His stripes we are healed' (Isaiah 53:5).
3) God exposes the truth. 'For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light' (Luke 8:17). Painful truth is better than hidden lies. Light brings new growth to broken hearts.
4) God replaces every loss. 'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten' (Joel 2:25). 'Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for My Sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life' (Matthew 19:29).
5) God can transform anyone, even our intimate enemies. The brothers of Joseph, David and Jesus became followers. Families were reunited. Be encouraged!
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Dream Haters series.