Memory Text: “Then they said to one another, ‘Look, this dreamer is coming!’” (Genesis 37:19, NKJV).
The story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) covers the last section of the book of Genesis, from his first dreams in Canaan (Gen. 37:1-11) to his death in Egypt (Gen. 50:26). In fact, Joseph occupies more space in the book of Genesis than does any other patriarch. Although Joseph is just one of Jacob’s sons, he is presented in Genesis as a great patriarch, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As we will see, too, the life of Joseph highlights two important theological truths: first, God fulfills His promises; second, God can turn evil into good.
In this week’s study, we will focus on the early life of Joseph. He is Jacob’s favorite son, who is ironically nicknamed ba‘al hakhalomot, the “dreamer” (Gen. 37:19), which means literally “master of dreams,” implying that he is an expert of dreams. This title fits him very well, because he not only receives, understands, and interprets prophetic dreams, but he also fulfills them in his life as well.
In these chapters, we will see, again, that God’s providence is affirmed, even despite the evil and wickedness of the human heart.