Genesis 37 – 47

Hope that you all had a good Thanksgiving.  I almost got to the end of Genesis.  Tomorrow will be my last reading in Genesis. 

Things that are terrible can work for good.  The life of Joseph illustrates this.  What his brothers meant for evil God used for good.  The problem that presents itself is whether God wills the evil that comes into the life of those who suffer.  If he doesn’t will the evil, is he powerless to stop it?  If he has the power to stop it, why doesn’t he make the path forward more pleasant?  This is sometimes called ‘the problem of evil’, C.S. Lewis addressed the issue in The Problem of Pain.  My friend Mark addressed the issue for his Ph.D in philosophy.  He addressed the issue through Kiekegaard and the hiddenness of God.  People think this problem is a big worry for Christians.  Do you accept how God works through pain or evil?

Genesis 37-47

(Because of the length of the passage, I am not going to put it here.)

Questions

  1. Whose children is this section covering?
  2. What different positions does Joseph fill?
  3. How does Judah rise in importance over Simeon?
  4. How does God work to preserve his plan?
  5. What terrible things have drawn you closer to God.

Going Deeper

Observation

  • What is Joseph given by his father?
  • How is Judah held accountable by his daughter-in-law?
  • What does Potiphar’s wife hold?
  • Who steps up and volunteers to be held in place of Benjamin?
  • Where do the Israelites settle?

Interpretation

  • What did an ornamented or long-sleeved robe probably represent?
  • Why is there parallelism between the robes that Joseph’s father gives him and that Potiphar’s wife is left holding?
  • Why might Judah see a shrine prostitute?
  • How do the roles of the brothers reflect their roles as future tribes?
  • What kind of land is Goshen?

Application

  • Have you seen someone who has gotten themselves in a hole?  How have you helped?
  • Is there a time when you have to step away and let ‘bad’ things happen?
  • What are your responsibilities to your brother’s family or their spouse?
  • What position of authority do you hold?  How does God use it for good?
  • How have you fled sexual temptation?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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