Most of the times we need the power of interpretation to understand our desires, the rejections, our emotions, our situations and our advantage in life.
This is part 6 of the series [Triggered] and we are going to use the life of Joseph to understand the power of interpretation. If you don’t know that story don’t worry because here we’re going to highlight some scenes of his life to give the context for this message.
The power of interpretation
5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”Genesis 40.5-8 NIV
The next verse doesn’t seem to correlate with the last one but it does and you’ll see it afterward.
13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.1 Corinthians 14.13 NIV
We’re taught that we’re filled with the spirit of God whenever we speak in a tongue but it’s not a gift that should be used as a spiritual status, it’s a gift to bless others.
A lot of times we want God’s intervention but most times He will give us the interpretation. He won’t necessarily change our situation because we need to change the way we see our situation.
Joseph is going through a lot of stuff in his life, he was betrayed by his brothers, he was falsely accused and left on the prison, yet he starts to worry about other people problems. He worried about his prison mates.
Did you notice Joseph attitude in v.8? He didn’t say “I have the power of interpretation”, instead he claimed that God can make sense of them. We need to have that same attitude in our lives.
The story of Joseph continues with this two men. The first man start to explain his dream:
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.” 12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”Genesis 40.9-15 NIV
As it seems like a favorable interpretation the second man decided that he want to understand his dream too. So he starts telling his dream to Joseph.
16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” 18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”Genesis 40.16-19 NIV
As you can see, Joseph didn’t have the power to make the dream mean what he wanted. And so the second man (chief baker) got disappointed and surely hate Joseph because of that interpretation, but guess what, all that came true.
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. 23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.Genesis 40.20-23 NIV
In the end, we see how the first man (chief cupbearer) forgot about Joseph.
You should know that Joseph went through three main interpretations mentioned in the scriptures. This was the first one and now we’re going to see the second one.
Sure, Joseph got forgotten for a long time until one day the Pharaoh gathered all the magicians in his court to interpret his dream. The story goes:
8 In the morning his mind 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. 9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.” 14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. 15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”Genesis 41.8-16 NIV
Again, Joseph attitude is outstanding because is not about what he can do but what God can do through him.
We love to pray against the problems in our life but we ignore that those problems provide the opportunity that we have been waiting for so long.
Pharaoh’s problem was Joseph’s opportunity.
If you don’t know how that ends I’m gonna leave here the rest of the story:
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up. 22 “In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.” 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine. 28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. 33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” 37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”Genesis 41.17-40 NIV
That’s how his 2nd most important interpretation ended. Now we’ve to see the third one which was the most difficult for Joseph because he had to interpret his own dream.
To give you a little bit of context, he met with his brothers (the ones who sold him into slavery) but they didn’t recognize him. Although Joseph did.
1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. 4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.Genesis 45.1-5 NIV
Finally, Joseph was able to understand the dream that he had when he was young and now he could interpret the purpose of all those things that happened to him.
Without interpretation, he wouldn’t be able to forgive their brothers and restore his relationship with his family. Without interpretation, his emotions could drive him out of control.
That’s story is beautiful but it doesn’t change a thing in our lives unless we do something about it. So, let me ask you, who is your interpreter?
Are you interpreting your God through your life or are you interpreting your life through your God?
The devil is an interpreter that likes to add and to subtract as pleased.
Before we end here, I want to share with you what a DREAM means.
We need God to interpret our desires because sometimes we don’t know why we want what we want.
If the Holy Spirit doesn’t interpret our desires then we will expend our whole life trying to get what we want and after we get it we will not appreciate it.
The devil will also take our God-driven desire and distort it.
We need God to interpret our rejection.
Joseph needed to understand his brothers not through the lens of what they did to him but through the lens of what God wanted to do through him.
We need to do the same because rejection will always come to our lives.
We need God to interpret our emotions.
Our emotions have roots that sometimes aren’t clear for ourselves so we find ourselves trapped on a sea of emotions that we can’t control.
We need God to interpret the advantages.
Ask God to show you the advantage that He has given you and also ask why He has given you that advantage.
In the case of Joseph, the reason why God promoted him in Egypt is to save his own people. Now, you need to find why you have what you have while others don’t.
God knows so ask him.
We need God to interpret our situations in the middle of those situations.
Joseph spent 20 years living in a situation that contradicts his dream and yet all the time the scripture said “the Lord was with Joseph”.
With this message, I hope you can remember that the power of interpretation is to confess the presence of God in every situation whether you feel it or not.
Finally, don’t forget to stay healthy and to subscribe.
See you in the next post.
Source of the power of interpretation
- The power of interpretation | Steven Furtick | Triggered | [Link]