During our current sermon series on Joseph we are posting questions to help you think about the scripture passage. For Week 2 on Sunday 30th September we looked at Genesis 37:12-36. We invite you to use some or all of the following questions as you consider this week’s scripture and sermon.
- What part of your own ‘story’ might cause others to say of you, as the Christian martyr Stephen said of Joseph: “God was with him…” (See Acts 7:9)
- Do you think Joseph ‘had it coming’? Even if his actions did not justify the violence he suffered, had he been wise, or righteous, to say and do the things he did? (See Matthew 23:27; Matthew 26:62-66)
- V15 finds Joseph wandering in search of his brothers and a man asks him…’what are you looking for?’ Think about this in relation to your own life. How would you answer the question? What are you looking for, seeking, in your life?
- The brothers manifest their hatred and hypocrisy in this part of the story; what are the dangers in not allowing God to confront these things in our own lives? (See James 1:19-20; 1 Peter 2:1).
- Why do you think the author records the involvement of those he names as Ishmaelites and Midianites? (Genesis 37:28) Was the fact that they were passing by on a trading trip to Egypt just another ‘accident of history’? Is it relevant that these two tribal groups could also trace their ancestry back to “sons of Abraham”? (See Genesis 16:15 and 25:2).
- Imagine you are Joseph, rejected and abused by your brothers. How do you think he felt? What reactions and emotions would you expect him to feel? Have you ever been a victim of injustice or know anyone who has?
- What qualities do you need to develop in your character in order to stay close to God whatever happens?