Pipe Dreams

Pipe Dreams

Scripture: Genesis 40:1-23 (NRSVue)

Our story of Joseph continues involving sleep and dreams. Ancient Egyptians were fascinated by dreams. And they had people who studied in dream schools. There were dream encyclopedias that gave definitions and instructions for symbols in dreams. These dream interpreters were paid for their services. Joseph received two new prisoners to care for, a cupbearer and a baker who got on Pharaoh’s bad side. They both had vivid dreams and had no access to these dream professionals in prison. Then for the first time, Joseph speaks about God. “Dream interpretations are God’s business. Please tell me your dreams.” Joseph the Dreamer is now Joseph the Dream Interpreter. His own dreams led to his misfortune. But other’s dreams are the beginning of his rise…soon…but not yet. Instead of asking for a payment, he asks a favor. Find out what all these dreams mean for the butler, the baker, and our hero Joseph.


September 3, 2023 — Worship Service Bulletin (click)

  • Sermon Art: “Joseph explaining his dreams to the Pharaoh mosaic,” St Mark’s Basilica, Venice. Italy, 11th-13th century
  • All of Immanuel’s Worship Service Videos are available on our YouTube Channel.
  • All of Immanuel’s Sermons are available in our Library of Sermons.


BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS for Genesis 40:1-23 (NRSVue)

  1. Joseph had been in Egypt for eleven years. He was twenty-eight years old now and still in prison. What do you think sustained him in this incredibly long and discouraging time?
  2. Have you ever had a dream that seemed particularly important? How did you interpret it? Do you think you find the right meaning?
  3. Joseph paid attention to the prisoners placed under his care. How did he show concern to them?
  4. What was Joseph saying about dreams when he said, “Do not interpretations belong to God?”
  5. Look at the dreams of the chief cupbearer and baker. Imagine that you are Joseph in prison. How would you interpret them?
  6. How do you think Joseph felt delivering the interpretation of the baker’s dream?
  7. What emotions do you think Joseph was experiencing after hearing nothing from the cupbearer after his release?
  8. How might the prisoner/thief on the cross and Jesus on the cross help you when you’ve been going through the pits for a long, long time?




Other Sermons In This Series

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