Genesis 40:5–8 (ESV)
Joseph Interprets Two Prisoner’s Dreams
one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning,
he saw that they were troubled. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” 8 They said
to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
The two prisoners have dreams, but they don’t
understand them. Luther writes: “Through the dreams from God an impression of such a nature is made on the hearts that not only the intellect but also the will is troubled beyond normal” (AE 3:11). I think a bit of caution needs to
be extended, because not all dreams are from God. Some could be from indigestion. Too often, people try to interpret dreams that have nothing to do with God… but in today’s readings, God’s hand is involved. Luther also
states: “Since certain instances strongly prove that dreams may be meaningful, they are not to be entirely rejected. However, to be of value, dreams must, as Paul says of prophesying in Rom. 12:7, be according to the analogy of faith. But how to know
whether God or the devil inspired a dream cannot be taught by rules. Experience must reveal it” (WLS § 1273).
I pray: O Lord, help me to know when you are speaking
to me and when it is Satan. I want to seek Your guidance. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 78). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.