Chapter 37-40 tells the story of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob by his wife Rachel. In addition to a spiffy robe, Joseph had the gift of revealing dreams- to his brothers dismay they sold him into slavery and told their father that he had been killed by an animal. The story then turns to Joseph’s brothers Judah and his family. The verses chronicle several misfortunate situations caused by their choices and actions which were not for God.The story returns to Joseph and details his success in his Eygptian masters home. He is given the power to oversee the whole household and everything the master has. Joseph ends up catching the eye of the master’s wife who makes a pass at him. He refuses and she frames him for rape, and gets him placed in jail. Joseph prospers in prison with God’s watch and favor and is placed in a high position. He reprises his role as an interpreter of dreams and brings understanding to the dreams of two fellow prisoners with close connection to pharoah.
What is one key verse? Why?
Genesis 37:18 “They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.”
The sin was in their heart before it was ever acted out. Our sin problem begins in our heart and must be dealt with on a heart level. Our goal is not only to change our behavior, but especially to let god change our hearts from inside out.
How does what you read change your vision of God?
I think it just reinforces that God always has a long term game plan for everything and everyone. God works through difficult and messed up families, not abandoning or forgetting them, but like with Joseph and his brothers, God made sure to keep his promises and his word.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
Joseph’s life tells us a lot about how God fulfills his word. His brothers were determined to defeat God’s revealed word, but as seen through Joseph’s life God’s word never fails.
How will you go with God because of this reading?
People can try to disprove God’s word and what he says, just like Joseph’s brothers tried to do with his dreams, but as we see in the story- God’s word never fails. I will trust God’s word to overcome whatever tries to impede it.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?
Jesus himself came from difficult family circumstances- unexpectedly and socially unacceptable; his mom became pregnant before his parents were married. Also, Joseph is like Jesus in the way he never complained and never compromised his relationship with God during times of adversity or times of success.