Genesis 37:33-35 NLT
33 Their father (Jacob) recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe (Joseph). A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. 35 His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.
As I read the above scripture , I almost cried. I could feel Jacob’s pain as he mourned his son Joseph. Death is painful and no parent ever wishes to lose their child. The bible says he tore his clothes and dressed in burlap/sackcloth which was used in Old Testament times as a symbol of mourning. I saw a picture of a father, who was being approached by one family member after another, all attempting to comfort him. With each attempt, his response was the same, “I will go to my grave mourning for my son”, and then he would weep again. The bible says he mourned for a long time.
What hurt me the most was the fact that the son whom he cried bitterly over was alive! My heart bled and I quietly asked the LORD , “LORD , why did you let Jacob go through all this pain when you knew Joseph was alive. Could you not have spoken to him and assured him that his son was still alive?” You loved Jacob and protected him in so many instances. When his sons Simeon and Levi, killed Shechem and the whole town, you did not even allow one person to attack him or his family. You brought fear upon all the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. You personally told Jacob to return to Bethel and they moved out safely. Cain could have killed him, Laban could have killed him but in all this you always made a way to protect him. But now ,why are you are allowing him to go through all this terrible pain – mourning a son who is alive?”
Even though, I know it is practically impossible for God to not have been moved by the funeral process and the mourning that was taking place , I just could not figure out why God was silent in all this. I know he always loves and he always cares but I just could not figure out why he had not said anything to Jacob. My heart found no peace in just accepting the God who has always been protecting Jacob, did not care and did not even say a thing during this difficult season of his life.
Within a short while, I was directed to the thirty seventh chapter of Genesis, where Joseph had the two dreams(Gen 37:5-10). That’s when it hit me! God had spoken, not even once but twice!
In the first dream , Joseph and his brothers were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly his bundle stood up, and his brothers’ bundles all gathered around and bowed low before his. When he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever and none of them believed in this dream.
Soon after the first dream, Joseph had another dream. In this dream, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to Joseph. This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him.
The two dreams were from God. This was the act of an all-loving and all-knowing God who was communicating in love with his children. This was God assuring Jacob about the bright future that lay ahead of them. This was God forewarning them and preparing them for the future that he had planned out for them.
When Joseph spoke about the dreams, his brothers did not believe both dreams but rather allowed their envy to get in the way. His father wondered about the dream for a while and that was the end of it. What if Jacob had believed in the dreams? Wouldn’t he have known that his son was alive somewhere. When he saw his son’s robe covered in blood , could he have not chosen to believe his son was alive somewhere. If he had gone before the LORD to ask what that dream meant, wouldn’t God have been faithful to answer him?
Jacob is not so different from us. So many times God speaks to us in different ways but we choose to ignore him.
We have mourned over situations that we believed were “dead” in our lives and yet God had spoken and assured us victory. We have given up on dreams and opportunities that seemed “dead” and yet God had shown us the light that awaited us at the end of the tunnel. We have mourned over situations that we did not understand and yet we could have gone to him for more revelation. There are so many promises that we could have stood on, only if we had not chosen to ignore the voice of the almighty when He spoke to us. We have blamed him for being silent over situations which he had spoken about. We have blamed him for the pain that we went through and yet our ignorance brought us to that terrible place. We allowed ourselves to paint him as a God who doesn’t care and is not moved and yet that is not Him.
God loves us so so much. And he does speaks to us so many times in our lives. He forewarns us , he guides us, he leads us and he corrects us every time we miss a turn. He speaks to us through dreams, visions, His word and many other various forms. How I wish we’d listen to him and pay attention to his voice every time he speaks to us.