November 14, 2019
In study one we looked at Joseph’s life with the benefit of hindsight, saw God at work, His sovereignty and His plan unfolding even though it wasn’t obvious at the time. Also we observed Joseph’s response to adverse and unfair treatment of himself by others.
As you continue to see these things ask God to help you trust and obey Him especially in times that seem to make no sense to you as it did at times with Joseph.
2. God’s Grace.
God was preparing a very important and significant work for Joseph to do in His plan for humanity. This plan involved the forming of the nation of Israel through whom the Messiah would be born about 1900 years later, the ‘Saviour of the world’. Joseph’s ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were already part of this plan.
With His work God provides all that is needed and is looking for people who are willing and available to let Him work in and through them.
What do the following tell us about God’s involvement in Joseph’s life?
A. God’s Presence and Blessing.
Read the following which show that though Joseph was in a foreign land, culture, people and language in difficult circumstances yet he was not alone. Discuss how much this would have meant to Joseph.
• In Potiphar’s house. Genesis 39:1-6.
• In prison. Genesis 39:20-23.
What gift(s)/ability(s) do you see God gave and was developing in Joseph?
B. Joseph’s Part.
As Joseph lived out his life in far from ideal circumstances what was his attitude? How did he apply himself with the opportunities God gave him? Where was his focus? Can you see his growth?
• In Canaan. Genesis 37:6, 9-10.
• In Potiphar’s house. Genesis 39:8-9.
• In prison. Genesis 40:6-7, 8.
• Before Pharaoh. Genesis 41:16, 25, 28-32, 33-36.
What happened when Joseph tried to take things in his own hands that was not God’s will, Genesis 40:14-15, 23 compared to when God’s timing was right? Genesis 41:1, 9-13. Could Joseph have been just ‘testing the waters’ to see if it was God’s will for him to get out of prison?
Imagine what would have happened/not happened if God had allowed Joseph to be let out of prison before God gave Pharaoh his dreams and how different the outcome could have been.
Discuss the importance of doing God’s will in His time and not trying to go ahead or hanging back when He speaks.
3. God’s Preparation/Training of Joseph.
What happened when it was God’s timing? Read Genesis 41:1-45.
What things needed to happen when the time was right? eg: Pharaoh, Joseph, consider also Genesis 41:8.
What sort of person did Joseph need to grow into and skills he needed to learn and develop in order to handle the responsibilities Pharaoh gave him?
It was 13 years before Joseph was ready. Discuss the value of being patient and trusting God to do His work in His time in you preparing you for the work He has for you. Consider:
• Moses, 40 years in Pharaohs palace, 40 years in the wilderness, 40 years leading God’s people.
• Jesus, 30 years old when he started His three and a half year ministry.
4. Joseph’s Heart.
What sort of person did Joseph grow into? Consider the following:
A. How Joseph applied himself to the opportunities God gave him.
• Genesis 39:4, 6a, 22-23.
• Genesis 39:11-12. What could have happened if Joseph had given in to the temptation?
• Genesis 40:6-8, 41:15-16.
• Joseph didn’t just interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Genesis 41:33-36. Discuss the importance of God’s training of Joseph with managing Potiphar’s household and in charge of all those in prison to get to the level of confidence to instruct Pharaoh with a plan as to what he should do. Genesis 41:33-36.
• How did Joseph immediately apply himself to his new responsibilities? Genesis 41:46-49.
B. Joseph’s attitude towards his brothers.
Why do you think he was so harsh with his brothers at the beginning? Genesis 42: 6-20.
Discuss the following which showed how he really felt towards them.
• Genesis 42:21-24.
• Genesis 44:30-34, 45:1-7.
How could Joseph feel this way after all they had done to him? Genesis 50:17-21.
Discuss the importance of forgiveness toward those who treat us wrongly. Consider Joseph’s attitude and treatment of his brothers in the light of Paul’s teaching in Colossians 3:12-14.
What have you learned/been reminded of as you looked at the life of this man of God?
Do you see God at work in your life? Are you allowing Him to train and prepare you for great things He wants to do through you to bless others? Are you applying yourself to opportunities He is giving you now? You are just as important to God as Joseph was. Share in your group.