We have reached another transition in the story of Israel as a nation, another generational shift. Jacob begins to fade into the background as his sons become the focus, Joseph in particular. But the same God continues to work, and he chooses to work in some of the same ways. Just as Jacob grew into a man of God who spoke with God face to face and who received dreams from God, so Joseph becomes a man who is sensitive to God’s voice. God uses dreams and visions to direct Joseph’s life, from tragedy to tragedy it seems, but all within God’s control.
There are some who believe that God’s prophetic voice, his choice to work through dreams and visions, has passed from this age. I am not one of those. I believe that God still works in those ways. I believe the seeming lack of these types of divine communication has less to do with God and more to do with us. I believe that if someone were to stand up in most of our evangelical churches and utter a true prophetic word, it would be met with such criticism and doubt that the meaning and power of the experience would be lost on us. Of course when Joseph shared his dreams with is brothers, it was also met with not just criticism but open hostility.
It is a hard thing to believe in something that doesn’t seem to happen all that often. I have been reflecting lately that I would absolutely love to experience that level of divine communication. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing lacking in that still small voice that mutters to our inner spirit, those nudgings we receive as the Spirit moves and motivates us; but I have come to crave a deeper divine experience. Perhaps that is wrong of me, I don’t know, but to hear the voice of God is definitely on my mind.
And God does still speak. There have been some absolutely amazing testimonies coming out of countries that are completely closed to the gospel and Christian influence of people who have met Jesus in a dream, been convinced of his love and salvation plan and come to know him as Lord and Saviour.
By having these thoughts I do not want to diminish in any way those other avenues God uses to speak in our lives. The influence of godly men and women who speak truth and love. The powerful work of the Bible as God’s living and active Word. The nudging of the Holy Spirit. The direction offered through circumstance (because I do not believe in coincidence). And of course the close communion we experience when we come before God in heart-felt prayer and worship.
Perhaps the real thing on my mind is less the mode that God uses to speak and more the craving we have in our hearts to hear him speak. David speaks in the Psalms, on more than one occasion, about craving, longing to be in God’s presence. An insatiable thirst for more of Him.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 38-40