January 14, 2021

The Faith Perspective

Genesis 41–45

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Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dreams

After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the...

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dreams

After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. And behold, seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke. And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. So in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today. 10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11 we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” 1 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land 2 of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

Joseph Rises to Power

37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” 3 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. 4 Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” 5 Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48 and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. 49 And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

50 Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house.” 6 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” 7

53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

56 So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses 8 and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.

Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt

When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him. Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”

12 He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.” 13 And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. 15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.

18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.

26 Then they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed. 27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 28 He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly to us and took us to be spies of the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. 34 Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall trade in the land.’”

35 As they emptied their sacks, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack. And when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me.” 37 Then Reuben said to his father, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.” 38 But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. If harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”

Joseph's Brothers Return to Egypt

Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’” Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14 May God Almighty 9 grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph's house. 18 And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.” 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph's house and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food. 21 And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man's money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, 22 and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And when the man had brought the men into Joseph's house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they prepared the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground. 27 And he inquired about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves. 29 And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30 Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, “Serve the food.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry 10 with him.

Joseph Tests His Brothers

Then he commanded the steward of his house, “Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.

As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 11 Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”

When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord's house? Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord's servants.” 10 He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” 11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, he was still there. They fell before him to the ground. 15 Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me can indeed practice divination?” 16 And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord's servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

18 Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’

24 When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26 we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One left me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’

30 Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy's life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”

Joseph Provides for His Brothers and Family

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, “Joseph's brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ 19 And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for 12 your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

21 The sons of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels 13 of silver and five changes of clothes. 23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26 And they told him, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Footnotes

[1] 41:16 Or (compare Samaritan, Septuagint) Without God it is not possible to give Pharaoh an answer about his welfare
[2] 41:34 Or over the land and organize the land
[3] 41:38 Or of the gods
[4] 41:40 Hebrew and according to your command all my people shall kiss the ground
[5] 41:43 Abrek, probably an Egyptian word, similar in sound to the Hebrew word meaning to kneel
[6] 41:51 Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget
[7] 41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful
[8] 41:56 Hebrew all that was in them
[9] 43:14 Hebrew El Shaddai
[10] 43:34 Hebrew and became intoxicated
[11] 44:4 Septuagint (compare Vulgate) adds Why have you stolen my silver cup?
[12] 45:20 Hebrew Let your eye not pity
[13] 45:22 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

The Faith Perspective



Key Verse | Genesis 45:4-5

So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life."

Bio | Shane Rasch

Hello! My name is Shane Rasch, and I currently serve with the Community Team as part of the Watermark Institute. My wife MaKenzie and I have been married for nearly four years, but no kids yet! I grew up a lonely, insecure, prideful, video-game-addicted, agnostic suburbanite. After a semester in college living a typical "work hard, play hard" lifestyle, God sent two Christ-followers to tell me the greatest news on earth. For the past six years I have done ministry among college fraternities at Oklahoma State, and I just moved to Dallas to learn about ministry in the local church!

Central Truth

A perspective of faith produces hope instead of despair and patience instead of panic.

Devotional | Genesis 41–45

"What would I have done?" This is the question I asked myself repeatedly while reading Joseph's story. How would I have responded to being forgotten in prison for two years? How would I have...

"What would I have done?" This is the question I asked myself repeatedly while reading Joseph's story. How would I have responded to being forgotten in prison for two years? How would I have responded to gaining an audience with the most powerful man on earth? How would I have reacted to the sudden appearance of my brothers, who decades before had sold me into slavery and now were begging for food?

Cynically, I kept hoping Joseph would lose his cool. (That's what I would do!) Then when his brothers show up asking for grain, I finally thought he did. And while it is true that he falsely accused them multiple times and even held one hostage, I still couldn't tell if he was torturing them or just teaching them a lesson. Maybe we aren't supposed to know.

One thing is clear—Joseph loved his brothers. Six times, Joseph wept because of them! This was not a man seeking revenge; he was one who loved his enemies.

I look at this story and see a man who trusted God in a way that I rarely have. Honestly, I struggle to stay humble and hopeful when things are tough. Instead, I tend to become insecure and bitter. When faced with conflict or insults, my flesh cries out for revenge rather than reconciliation.

But rather than compare ourselves to Joseph, let's learn from him. What was his secret? A perspective produced by faith.

Early in Joseph's life, God showed him that he would be blessed, and he never forgot it. Despite the setbacks, we continue to read that God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:23). But guess what? If we are in Christ, God is with us, too! Jesus Himself said, "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).

What's the difference between us and Joseph? Only that he believed what God had promised, while we doubt! Joseph's kind of faith produces hope instead of despair and patience instead of panic, and it blesses those around us.

Let us share the same perspective Joseph had. Not because he was so great, but because we share the same great God.

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Discussion Questions

1. Joseph had faith in the promises God made to him. What are some of the promises God has made to His people that you need to trust in? (Be sure they actually apply to you!) Some examples include: Colossians 1:21-22; John 1:12; Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:28.

2. The way Joseph treated his brothers may be confusing, but he certainly could have done worse to them. Who are the people in your life who have wronged you, and how can you show them grace?

3. What do you struggle to trust God with? Is it finances, your future, your career, your family, singleness, a sin struggle, or something else? What would it look like to trust God in that area?

Share your answers with someone today!

9 Comments available

Linda Green 5 months ago

Wow, Shane, way to ask yourself the hard questions and allow God to show you the answers.

Am struck by the total self focus of Jacob, compared to the God focus of Joseph. Thinking Jacob had made Rachel into an idol, even though he knew God Almighty. And all the suffering that brought to him and his family.

Someone said our hearts are idol factories- so true. Tim Keller’s book and message “Counterfeit Gods” opened my eyes. God wants to be God alone, because it leads to Abundant Life. Seems so backwards, because I think people or things are going to give me abundant life. Failure is a good teacher.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

Zaphrath Panea !!! Aka Joseph of Egypt !!!

Some clips from the ‘Sight and Sound’ musical Joseph https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMB9Efg1u8

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

One good song deserves another!

Jospeh on seeing and feeling God working from 'Sight and Sound’s" Musical Joseph. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRnInPhohcw

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

God speaks in 3 sets of 2 dreams showing he has firmly decided something and Joseph gets it in the end!!!

After years of suffering, it comes to mind the dreams. Not only the cup bearer and bakers dreams come true, but at some point Jospeh’s dreams of the sun moon and 12 stars bowing down and the 12 sheaves bowing down In each case 2 dreams… 2 dreams … another pair!! even Pharoah had 2 dreams the same… God firmly decided what till happen to Egypt, to his servants and even yes to Jospeh

In the end pointing to Abraham’s dream His descendents will suffer for centuries and come out of Egypt by God’s power.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

Good observation that Joseph wept for his brothers 6 times. Seems the Bible records lots of weeping of Joseph after he was ‘a success’ but not before while suffering unjustly… we would expect it other way round.

“You meant it to me for evil but God meant it for good in preserving many people alive” There was a confluence of wills, God’s being decisive and his brother’s.

Sue Bohlin 5 months ago

Thank you, Shane.

What struck me in today’s passage was the disparity between the commentary (43:32) that Egyptians wouldn’t eat with Joseph–the Number 2 guy in the country!–because they found Hebrews (and all shepherds) disgusting . . . and how Pharaoh and his servants reacted to learning that Joseph’s brothers had come. Not a whiff of contempt! Instead, Pharaoh offered Goshen, the best of the land, for Joseph’s family.

I see how racism and classism can thrive when judging a group of people, but getting to know individuals can make those judgments melt away. Or at least make it possible to set them aside when dealing with people individually. How even more true that should be for us, knowing that all people are made in the image of God, which makes them precious and valuable!

Greg Jones 5 months ago

“For God sent me before you to preserve life."(Genesis45:5b)

Jesus aware of synagogues scattered, like the descendants of Joseph, throughout the known world, and already established for hundred of years, would consider the truth of Joseph’s statement differently than we do. The truth of Joseph’s statement would not depend on verifying a historical quote as fact. The truth would be about meaning truth.

A covenant “truth” would cause a question. God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham was about possession of a certain land. Question, Why synagogues throughout the world, outside the land? Jesus would have considered the truth meaning of Genesis45:5b. Truth would be found associating current events to past patterns. “I am the pattern.”

Later Paul will visit these synagogues. First to arrest later to preach.

Greg Jones 5 months ago

Pattern for Egypt set by Abraham.

“This is the account of the family line of Esau(Genesis36:1)”one chapter.

This is the account of Jacob’s family line(Genesis37:2)this account continues for the rest of Genesis. Primary in the account is Joseph’s story. Future northern kingdom primarily associated with Joseph descendants. A pattern of exile, hope of resurrection. The name Ephraim means God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”(Genesis41:52)

Secondary in the account is Judah, name sake of the Southern tribes. The accounts of Rueben Simeon and Levi let us know why they are passed over as elders/why Judah gets that distinction following earlier established patterns among brothers-foreshadows a David Solomon pattern.

Later, 2nd temple Jewish religion, will look at its, Bible’s patterns, to understand, their, present day.

Hugh Stephenson 5 months ago

A friend prays for parking places. Wrong? I’m not sure. Another friend says, “Why limit what you believe God can do?”

In the Prodigal ministry we have leaders whose prodigal children/spouses etc aren’t better than when they came but actually worse. Their prayers are big prayers.

Another friend has a grandson whose father is an unrepentant and defiant drug addict who constantly causes chaos in their lives. She professes faith, so I asked her if she prayed for her grandson’s father. She said “Yes, I pray he gets struck by lightning”.

What’s the difference?

The first two know God. They know peace.

The 3rd has no God. She has no peace.

Joseph knew God. His faith was not dependent on his circumstances. Unjustly accused, his faith was unwavering.

Tozer or Lewis? Or both? https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/tozer-vs-lewis-whats-the-most-important-thing-about-us/

In recovery, it all starts with two questions:

Who is God?

Who am I?

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