Questions for week beginning October 14th

During our current sermon series ‘Joseph: The BIG Picture Guy’ we are posting weekly questions to help you think about the scripture passage. On Week 4 on Sunday 14th October we looked at Genesis 40. Please use some or all of the following questions as you consider the scripture and sermon:

1. V1-4 introduces 4 characters. All have different perspectives and attitudes. Imagine how each one of them may have been feeling.

2. V7 Joseph asks ‘why do you look so sad today?’ His compassionate and sensitive nature are shown by a direct and meaningful question.
How easy do we find it to ask such questions of others? Do you think it is a good thing?

3. V8 Joseph is clear that interpretation belongs to God. He does not claim to own it and points others in God’s ways through his answer. Dreams of the future are also gifts from God and God gives Joseph the gift of interpretation, so Joseph is using the talent/gift God has given him even in bad circumstances.

What Gifts has God given you? How are you using them? (Everyone has strengths and gifts but sometimes they get forgotten, become unused or are overlooked).
How well do we serve others, using our gifts, and happily receive no recognition?

4. The dreams in this chapter are the breaking in of God’s plans and show that Pharaoh was not as powerful as others thought him to be. He was limited as he could not discern what his own dreams meant. Joseph was able to discern and interpret their meaning.
How important is spiritual discernment for Christians today? Knowing God’s will in situations. How do we practise it? How can we get better at it?

5. V14 we see Joseph’s personal story and struggle as he pleads with the cup bearer to remember him and help release him from the prison. He is God’s man but he still needs others to help him.

As Joseph did we also live in a place between knowing God’s love, that he is all powerful and good (and that we are saved through Jesus which Joseph didn’t know), and yet on this earth we are still in need, still suffer and life is not always good.

This is a ‘Big Issue’ for us today. Living in that in-between place, what do you think we need to practise as we wait?

6. What can we learn from the following scriptures about times of difficulty? Psalm 13, Isaiah 49:13-16, Luke 12:4-7.

7. All of us have times of waiting for one thing or another, there are many examples of waiting in the bible – Sarah for Isaac, Hannah for Samuel, David’s time after he was anointed and before he became King, Paul in prison. Can you think of others?

How well do you wait? What character traits do we need to wait well?

Taking Stock/Review
After 4 weeks of this series what character trait do you consider God is calling you to work on in your own life for this season of your life and circumstances? How are you going to go about it? If possible share it with someone who you can be accountable to for its development.