Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (Genesis 37:9-11)
That the message of the first dream was repeated in a second dream apparently convinced the brothers that this was from God. At that point, their hatred morphed into envy. It is reminiscent of what occurred between Cain and Abel — a jealousy so strong that it turned to murder. Understandably, it would be hard for most to consent to the spiritual superiority of a younger brother. Couple that with the fact that Joseph was the son of their mother’s rival. All these factors were coming to a head and Joseph was apparently too young and, perhaps, naive to perceive what was taking shape. He was so excited to share what God was showing him that he didn’t realize no one else was excited with him.
It is clear that his brothers were just not ready to hear what he had to say regardless of whether it came from God or not. Frankly, you can’t convince someone of something they are not ready to be convinced of even if they know it is the truth. Have you ever been excited to share with others what God was showing you only to find that it fell on deaf and indifferent ears? Most likely that has happened to us all in one way or the other.
The lesson we should take away from this is, first of all, to acknowledge that zeal which is not tempered with wisdom can lead to undesirable consequences. Joseph certainly had to learn that lesson. Years later, because he was faithful, he learned wisdom, discretion and was full of the Spirit of God. Armed in this manner, when the appropriate time came he was better prepared to share God’s purposes with his family. We also see that, by that time, God had changed everyone’s circumstances. In other words, they weren’t ready to hear him the first time because the environment wasn’t the proper one. But years apart from Joseph, their own maturing through the years, coupled with the threat of extinction due to famine created the environment in which they were ready to hear what God had to say.
If you feel that no one is listening to what God is saying through you, consider that maybe the time isn’t right. It might be that you need to work on some things in your own life while God works on them. Let Him arrange things and create the environment that is just right for them to hear God’s word through you. If God has given you something to share, He will most certainly give you the proper time to share it. In the meantime, grow in wisdom, discretion and seek to be filled with His Spirit.
Blessings and Shalom,