Joseph By Norman P. Grubb
So now we have the next stage: Joseph not only had been concerned with his brothers’ conduct…not identified with it…but had taken a separate way and opened his heart to his father. This resulted in the brothers turning on him and hating him and making his life a hell for him, yet this only confirmed him more! That’s the proof. If Joseph had been just a self-seeking young man, he wouldn’t have stood this for long. Here he was, surrounded by a family who took every opportunity they could to tear him down. Then something happened. A happening which either is total nonsense or truth; an absurdity, a fantasy or imagination, or God. It was Joseph’s first dream.
We go on to see that all the way through his life Joseph knew the dreams were from God, and always said God spoke to him by dreams. That’s what it means to have the inner consciousness of God. You see, we live by inner consciousness. We live by what we know within us. That’s why my new birth is when I know Jesus is in me, not merely that I have believed in Him outwardly, but that I have had confirmation in me (as Paul wrote in Gal. 1:15-16). This is what Joseph had: a consciousness. The future was to prove this. This was that God said something to him, something so far out, something which had such an apparent characteristic of total conceit that a person couldn’t say it unless he believed it. He was to say that in this dream of these sheaves of wheat, all the sheaves were representatives of his brothers who would bow down before him and do obeisance to him!
Obviously a young man isn’t going to make a dream like that public to his brethren after he had already been suffering from them, unless he was getting prepared for a pretty good beat up. That’s conviction behind that. Faith has a conviction and you’ve got to say it. That’s what witnessing is, saying what I’ve got to say. So he said it! Therefore, it says, they hated him the more for his dreams and his words. “You’re not going to be head over us, are you?” Now he was coming up to the moment which is a crisis moment in people’s lives, when you get fixed. Here Joseph became a fixed person; he never deviated again.
You’re fixed when you’re fixed in unity and you know it is God in you. Period! It’s always God in you and God by you. God is in your form. That’s a fixation. I couldn’t prove this in Joseph’s life except by the evidence of the life that followed. But it is clear to me that this happened to Joseph when he had to take one final further step. He had another dream which is still more wildly fantastic. In this dream, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars do obeisance to him. Previously it had been sheaves representing the brothers. This was a sun and moon and eleven stars, including father and mother. So this young man had to say, “My own father, my godly, God-anointed father Jacob (his mother had gone by then, 35:19), my parents are all going to do obeisance to me.” You don’t easily say that unless God makes you. Life is God making you. This is this inward consciousness which is God in you, operating by you. Joseph didn’t do it at first – maybe was afraid. It says he first told his brothers, not his parents (37:9). Then it says he told his father and his brethren. Whether they challenged him to dare to do so, I don’t know. But he finally had to come right out, not only to his brothers who were on his level, but to his father and say, publicly, “God has said you are all to bow down to me in the course of God’s purposes.” That takes some saying!
Now I think that’s the moment, I would guess by his future life, when his God-union became established. He knew this was God operating by him. All that happened in the future was God operating by him. He knew it was not he himself, but the living God. This crisis comes out of the travail of faith, and these are travails he went through; they produce a birth, for faith is a conviction that God has said something. “I know it.” “He that believeth hath the witness in himself” (1 John 5:10). That’s the key verse on faith. “He that believeth…” If you believe, inside you know. So faith is knowledge. Faith is that the thing you believed is yours. So a conviction of faith isn’t a conviction that I just believed; it is a conviction that I know the thing is so. And I say so. I suggest that is the radical crisis moment in Joseph’s life when the relationship between God and him was settled. I might add this: if this was God and not phony, and the years were to prove that it wasn’t imagination and fantasy, but was God…God isn’t likely to say that to a conceited young man, is He? He isn’t likely to say that to a self-seeking, self-righteous young man, is He? He says that to a concerned man. God doesn’t talk to unconcerned people. He spoke to this boy because he could take it…he was conditioned. Ah, that’s it.
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