GOD REVEALS HIS SOVEREIGN WILL
Key verse: 41:51, 52
1. Read 40:1-8. What was Joseph’s situation when he met the king’s cupbearer and baker? What was their situation? How did Joseph show a shepherd’s concern for them? How could he help them? What did he teach them about God?
2. Read 40:9-22. What was the cupbearer’s dream? How did Joseph interpret it? How was the baker’s dream similar to the cupbearer’s? How did Joseph show himself to be an honest and fearless teacher of God’s revelation? How were the two dreams fulfilled?
3. Read 41:1-13. What request had Joseph made of the cupbearer? Why? What was the strange dream that Pharaoh had? When did the cupbearer remember Joseph? (40:14,23; 40:9) What did he tell Pharaoh about Joseph?
4. Read 41:14-42. How did Joseph prepare to go to Pharaoh? What were Joseph’s first words to Pharaoh? What does this show about him? What did Joseph teach Pharaoh about God’s sovereign control of nature and history? What did the dreams mean? (17-32)
5. Read 41:33-40. How did Joseph counsel Pharaoh? Why was he not afraid of offending Pharaoh? How does this show his shepherd mind for Pharaoh and Egypt? Why did Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of his palace and in charge of Egypt?
6. Read 41:41-49. What did Joseph do after being make prime minister of Egypt? How old was he? How did Pharaoh honor him and provide for him? How did Joseph use his privileges? What does this show about his faith?
7. Read 41:50-57. What did Joseph name his sons? What does this reveal about his faith? How did God reveal his sovereignty over Egypt and the world? How did he use Joseph to save many lives?
JOSEPH’S FAITH AND STEWARDSHIP
Key Verse: 50:20
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
1. How did Jacob bless Joseph’s sons? (48:1-21) What is the significance of this blessing in Israel’s history? Joseph is not in genealogy of Jesus but his sons. In what way does he point to Jesus?
2. How did Jacob bless his children one by one (49:1-28)? Any noticeable blessing do you find in Jacob’s blessing? Why?
3. What did Jacob ask his sons do for his burial place? Why? What did they do?
4. Why did Joseph’s brothers become fearful after their father’s death? What did Joseph teach them? What hope did Joseph plant in his family? (50:22-26)
JOSEPH’S BROTHERS REPENT
Key Verse: 44:33
“Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.”
1. How wide did the famine extend? Why didn’t Jacob send Benjamin with them? What did Joseph think of when they bowed down before him? (9a) What does this show about his faith?
2. Why did he accuse them of being spies? What information about themselves and their family did they divulge? (6-13) How did he propose to test them?
3. What did they reveal about their burden of guilt? (21-13) How did their confession affect Joseph? Why? What additional anxiety did Joseph give his brothers? Why? (28)
4. What report did they give their father? What was their reaction when they discovered the rest of their money in the sacks? (29-35) What reveals the sorrow and fatalism in Jacob’s heart?
5. How did Judah persuade Jacob to send Benjamin? (3, 8-10) How did Joseph receive them and why were they so frightened? (15-22)
6. What serious problem did Joseph create for his brothers as they were leaving Egypt? Why? How did the brothers respond to the crisis? How have they changed? What was Judah’s plea? How was he changed? What can we learn from Joseph and from God of Joseph?
GOD WAS WITH JOSEPH
Key verse: 39:2
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.”
1. Read 37:1-11.Why did Joseph’s brothers hate him? What was his home atmosphere probably like? How did God reveal to Joseph a larger purpose for his life? How was Joseph’s inner life different from that of his brothers?
2. Read 37:12-17. What errand did Jacob give Joseph? How did Joseph carry out the mission his father gave him? What does this show about him?
3. Read 37:18-36. How did Joseph’s brothers come to sell him to Midianite traders going to Egypt? What were the roles of Judah and Reuben in this crime? How did they explain to their father, and how did this affect his life? What happened to Joseph? (Ps 105:17,18)
4. Read 38:1-30. Why did Judah leave home? Describe his family life among the Canaanites. Who was Tamar? Why did Judah say, “She is more righteous than I…” (26) How does God use her to bring Judah back into the covenant history? (See also Mt: 1:2,3)
5. Read 39:1-10. How did Joseph rise to power in Potiphar’s house? What did he have to overcome? Why and how did Potiphar’s wife try to seduce Joseph? What did he tell her?
6. Read 39:11-20a. What happened one day? What happened to Joseph because of her lies? Read 39:20b-23. What happened to Joseph in prison? What difference did it make that “God was with Joseph”?
JACOB RETURNS TO BETHEL
Genesis 33:12-35 (46,47), Key verse: 35:3
“Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”
1. Read 33:12-20.What did Esau propose? Why did Jacob refuse? Where did he go? How did he establish himself there? (17-20) Why might he want to settle down there near Shechem? Why could this not be what God wanted? (31:13; 28:20-22)
2. Describe the event that forced Jacob to leave Shechem. (34:1-31) Read 34:30-31 and 49:5-7. How did Simeon and Levi displease Jacob? What does Jacob’s attitude at this time show about his change of character?
3. Read 35:1-5. What did God tell Jacob to do? Why? (28:13-15,20-22; 31:13) How did Jacob prepare himself and his family to meet God at Bethel? Why did no one pursue him?
4. Read 35:6-15. What did Jacob do when he arrived at Bethel? Why? Why did he name the place El Bethel? What did God say to Jacob? When had God said these things before? (32:28; 28:13,14)
5. What did Jacob do to show his love for God and his faith in God’s promises? (35:13-15) Read 35:8,16-29. What were the human joys and sorrows which Jacob experienced during these times? Learn the names of Jacob’s sons.
6. After Joseph was lost and found 20 years later, Jacob went to Egypt. Read 46:1-7,26,27. What was God’s purpose in sending Jacob’s family to Egypt? Read 47:7-10. What does Jacob’s meeting with Pharaoh tell us about his faith and life?
GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISE
Genesis 20:1-21:34, Key Verse: 21:1
“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.”
1. After the destruction of Sodom, where did Abraham go? Who was Abimelek? How did Abraham lie to him? What was the excuse he made? (20:11-12) How did Abimelek respond to God’s warning? How had Abraham misjudged him? What might Abraham have learned from this experience (17)?
2. Read 21:1-7. How does the writer emphasize God’s faithfulness to keep his promises? How did the birth of Isaac affect Abraham and Sarah? Why did Abraham circumcise his son?
3. Read 21:8-13. How might Ishmael have felt about the baby Isaac? What did Sarah tell Abraham to do? Why did this distress Abraham so much? What was God’s direction and promise? How did Abraham obey? Why was this necessary?
4. Read 21:14-20. How did God show his care for Hagar and Ishmael? How does this relate to God’s promise to Abraham? What did Hagar learn about God?
5. Read 21:22-34. Why did Abimelek come to Abraham? What did he now realize about Abraham (21:22)? How did Abraham behave differently in this second encounter with Abimelech (21:25, 27)? How can we account for this change in Abraham and Abimelek’s relationship?
GOD CALLS ABRAM ABRAHAM
Genesis 16‑17 Key verse: 17:5
“No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be
Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.”
1. Why did Sarai and Abram think it was reasonable, and even God’s will, Abram to take Hagar as a concubine? What problem arose in Abram’s family? What can we learn about God who helped Abram’s family and Hagar?
2. What do you think Abram’s life had been like during those silent years? How did God reveal himself to Abram again? In what respect had Abram’s faith in the almighty power of God been lacking? Why did God tell him to “walk before me and be blameless”
3. What was Abram’s response? Why did God change his name? What does “Abraham” mean?
4. How did God affirm and expand the covenant promises? What did God tell Abraham to do as a sign of the covenant? (9-14)
5. How did God bless Sarah? What was Abraham’s response? How difficult for him to obey? What can we learn in these chapters about God and his ways of blessing?