Dream Collision
Sermon Summary
This message looks at Genesis 37 which is the beginning of the story of Joseph and his life. Some background is given concerning Jacob and Rachel, Joseph’s parents. This sets the stage for the circumstances surrounding Joseph’s brothers and their reaction to his God-given dreams. Of course, the brothers did not believe the dreams were from God and doubted they would ever come to pass. They even took steps to ensure the dreams would never happen when their hatred of Joseph led them to sell him into slavery to foreign merchants. In other words, Joseph’s dreams collided with the harsh realities of life. They were rejected by others and the circumstances seemed to indicate the dreams would never be fulfilled. The application comes when we analyze whether our dreams are God-given or self-generated. If God-given they’re worth fighting for, and if not, we wouldn’t like the results even if they did come true!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Have you ever experienced a dream collision? Explain.

2. What are some ways we can discern whether or not our dreams are God-given or Self-generated? (Hints: Were they birth in prayer? Were they informed or inspired by Scripture? Does the dream elevate God and others or self? Who benefits the most if the dream comes to pass?)
Phil 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Phil 2:4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Phil 2:5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

3. Sometimes it’s hard to see how God’s dreams for us could ever come to pass when we look at the reality of our present circumstances. What steps can we take to keep the dream alive during these times?
Proverbs 3:5-7
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

4. A related question surrounds the reality of tragedy in this world. Do you have any examples of how God took something tragic and made good come out of it? Explain.
Romans 8:26-28
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Full Sermon Notes
The Dream Collision

How many of you here today have aspirations, hopes, dreams and plans for the future? How many of you used to have aspirations, hopes, dreams and plans for the future, but you gave up on them a long time ago? What happened? Every dream eventuality collides with reality! The reality of roadblocks, detours, lack of resources, naysayers, complications, health issues, timing, age, and a host of dream killers, which we'll talk about next week.

When your dream collides with reality, you have to determine if the dream is worth fighting for. You have to assess where the dream came from. And if you know the dream is God given, then you must decide whether or not you're willing to trust God to bring the dream to fulfillment! If the dream is not God-given, but rather an invention of your own selfish desires and wishes you may fight for and eventually achieve your dream on your own, but I can guarantee this, you'll be disappointed. Why? Because the dreams we dream up never bring the satisfaction or fulfillment we hoped for. They are at first illusive so we spend our energy, time, and resources in pursuit of the dream. And once achieved, we discover it was not only illusive, but was an illusion!

On the other hand, when our dream is God-given, it may seem to be illusive, but when we achieve the dream we discover that God was using every roadblock, detour, lack of resource, naysayer, complication, health issue, timing issue, age, and even the dream killers to bring the dream to reality. The Bible has an amazing story of a dreamer named Joseph who had a God-given dream and it when it collided with reality it happened with such force it's hard to imagine the dream could survive such a catastrophic hit.

Our story is found in the first book of the Bible, Genesis 37. Let's pray and then we'll begin our series on The Dreamer!

Genesis 37:1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

Jacob was Joseph's father. I need to give you just a little background here. Jacob, or Israel, as he was named by The Angel of The Lord, was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Jacob's brother was Esau. Jacob had stolen the blessing of birthright from Esau and Esau wanted to kill him. Isaac told Jacob to leave and live with his uncle Laban in Haran until Esau's anger subsided, which he did. When Jacob arrived there he saw one of Laban's daughters, Rachel. He fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. Laban made a deal with Jacob. "Work for me seven years and I will give Rachel to you as your wife." Jacob did! Seven years. But the night of the marriage consummation, Laban sent his older daughter Leah. The next morning Jacob realized he had been deceived. Listen...

Genesis 29:25-28
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me? ”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.
27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work. ”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.

Now, why is this important? You just need to know Jacob had several wives and several of them had children, but not Rachel, the one he had worked for 14 years. When she did finally have Joseph, it was a big deal for Jacob. You'll understand why I told you this in just a moment.

Back to our story of Joseph the dreamer. Genesis 37:2...

2 This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

I don't think Joseph was trying to get them in trouble, he was just young, innocent, and honest to a fault. Now, when I say honest to a fault, I'm not suggesting it's okay to be dishonest, but I am saying this: I may not think your new hair style is very becoming, but that doesn't mean I should tell you!

Besides, I just wish I had some hair to style! Anyway, you know what I mean…
Verse 3...

3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him.

Right or wrong, I hope you at least understand a little more of why Jacob favored Joseph, Rachel's firstborn son. This caused no small problems for Joseph, but it seems Joseph was a bit naive and didn't see the problems coming. Listen...

4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.
6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had:
7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

So Joseph's God-given dream collides with reality. His brothers mock him and their hatred grows. But, again, Joseph is young and naive and just doesn't see it. Of course he is a dreamer, and sometimes dreamers are not deterred by reality.

9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”

There's a lot of debate among scholars over whether Joseph's mom, Rachel had already given birth to Joseph's younger brother Benjamin and died from complications during the birth or was still alive.

If she had already died, Leah would have assumed the responsibility of being the mother to Rachel's children and this would have been who Jacob was referring to. Regardless, Joseph's dream only serves to make his brothers even more spiteful of him...

11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Jacob was bothered by Joseph's presentation of his dream, but he was wise enough not to totally dismiss it. He was aware that God sometimes works in mysterious ways, so he kept the matter in mind.

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,
13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” “Very well,” he replied.

Spoken just like a true dreamer. "Sure, I'll go, no problem. I love adventures!" Impervious to the peril that awaited him at the hands of his brothers. Unaware his dream is about to have a serious collision with reality.

14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. When Joseph arrived at Shechem,
15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan. ’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan.
18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer! ” they said to each other.

20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

Amazing the sick depths jealousy and hate can take people! But, thanks to God there was at least one brother who had not allowed the hate to totally consume him.

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.
22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing—
24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?
27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. ” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.

Some Biblical scholars think Reuben had left the camp and was trying to sneak to the cistern a back way and rescue Joseph, but the brothers got to him first and sold him into slavery.

30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
32 They took the ornamented robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.
35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son. ” So his father wept for him.
36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

It's important to note Joseph dreamed of being exalted but he didn't dream of being sold into slavery or being imprisoned. God, in His wisdom doesn't always reveal the struggles we may endure on the way to dream fulfillment. If He did, we might be inclined to abandon the dream.

Right now, some of you may be wondering what, if anything, this has to do with your life. If you are a follower of Christ and are seeking to follow the dreams and purposes God has designed for your life, be sure of this. There will be opposition! For one thing, Satan will not give you a free pass!     

And you know there will be those who will ridicule you for your faith in Christ and your God-given dreams.

So remember these things...

1. Your dreams will collide with reality!

2. The collision may be so serious it will threaten the dream's very survival!

3. You must decide whether or not the dream is God-given or self-generated!

4. If the dream is self-generated, you won't be happy even if the dream comes true, and you may find it was an elaborate illusion filled with destructive realities!

Paul put it this way in his letter to the Galatians...

Galatians 6:7-9
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

If the dream is, God generated, God-given, and God glorifying then you need to remember the following things.

5. God's dreams are bigger and better than anything you could ever dream up!

I think I said that in a recent sermon, so it must be really important!!! Paul put it this way...

1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” —

6. If the dream is God-given, God's reality trumps our reality every time!

Philippians 1:4-6
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

In other words, if God conceived it, He'll carry it and He'll complete it!

7. If your dream is God-given you have to trust Him with the details. The path to fulfillment may not make sense to you!

Proverbs 3:5-7
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

8. Remember God has a way of making good come from even the worst tragedies when we let Him!

Romans 8:26-28
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

So if your suffering from a dream collision today, please know God wants to encourage you today. If the dream is from God He's got a plan to make it happen. Don't give up!!

If your dream is self-generated, God takes trade-ins!! Trade your the wrecked dreams of your life, for a God designed dream that will change your life for now and for eternity!!