The Pharaoh had a dream. He saw 7 cows that were very fat.
After these 7 healthy, fat huge cows came out of the Nile, 7 skinny, ugly cows appeared, and the ugly cows ate the healthy ones.
The Pharaoh had another dream that same night. This time he saw 7 healthy, full heads of grain. Then came 7 thin, scrawny heads of grain, and again, the scrawny ones ate the healthy ones. See Gen 41:1-7.
The next day the Pharaoh was troubled: “…so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.” (Gen. 41:8 NIV). How frustrating to have such a troubling dream and have no one able to interpret it.
Eventually Joseph was called forth from prison, and God gave Joseph the interpretation of the dream. It was a dream of bad news, but Pharaoh immediately went into action to do something about the pending doom he had been given advanced notice of (See Gen. 41:14-41).
God has also given me dreams from time to time. I was 16 years old when I dreamed that I was on the balcony of my parents’ apartment. A light came to me, and I was surrounded by that light. The light talked to me, but not like humans talk. There were no audible words, for the light was my Heavenly Father, and He was speaking to me through my mind.
We often tend to ignore dreams, for so often they are just our overactive minds playing out different scenarios in our sleep. At times, however, dreams come directly from our Father, and when we ignore these, we are rejecting what our Heavenly Father is trying to tell us.
In my dream, I was in peace. After all, My Father was with me. He told me that He had a message for my brother, then He told me: “Watch!”
All of a sudden I was at the local street market and huge hailstones were pounding down upon us. It was especially my brother who was afflicted by the hail. He was suffering so much, but somehow I couldn’t help him. Then my Heavenly Father said to me again: “This is a message for your brother.”
I knew this was not good news. I didn’t know how to share it with my family, but when I did, none of them took it as bad news at all. They truly believed that it meant my brother would blossom in ministry, that God had a call upon his life.
A few days later, I received another dream. I was heading into a tunnel. Before I entered, I saw that the tunnel was crumbling. Many ignored the signs and many were killed. I was told that this dreams was a message for my brother as well. I tried to tell him. I wanted so much to warn him. How I wish he would have listened. I cried for my brother for many years, and now, unfortunately, it is too late.
Several years after these dreams, my brother, who was a pastor at the time, began to abuse people and run after prostitutes. I again tried to warn him. I told him again about the dreams. His response? “It’s too late!” My brother refused the warnings. He didn’t want to change. Sadly, he recently passed away of a heart attack. He was completely alone and was found days later by strangers.
It isn’t easy to bring bad news to people. Many will ignore it. However, if it is from God, we will discover that it is true.
I am actually quite impressed with the Pharaoh. Unlike my poor brother, he took his dream as a warning. By following his dream, he saved many people from dying of famine. His thoughts were on his people, as we will see in the next devotional.
(To access the entire “Hope in the Distance” devotional series, please click here.)