Throughout the Old Testament a few Bible heroes really stand out. They were noble men and women of faith, who were loyal to God in the midst of challenging circumstances: Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Esther, Elijah, David, and of course, Joseph. Joseph’s life reveals God’s constant blessings for those who trust Him in times of trial and difficulty.
In this lesson we will discover how the principles that guided Joseph’s life can guide ours as well.
1. What mistake did Joseph’s father, Jacob, make in raising his son?
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all of his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him” (Gen. 37:3, 4).
“Now Israel ________________ Joseph ________________________ all of his children.”
A parent’s partiality to one child can easily create friction in a family. Joseph’s brothers gradually developed an attitude of envy and jealousy toward him.
2. How did Joseph’s actions contribute to his brothers’ jealous attitudes?
“Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more…. ‘There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf’” (Gen. 37:5-7).
Not only did Joseph have a dream—he_____________________________ it to his brothers.
Joseph’s brothers were certainly responsible for their own attitudes and actions, but Joseph’s unwise decision to tell them his dream contributed to the jealousy that was already growing in their hearts.
3. What did the jealousy in the hearts of Joseph’s brothers make them willing to do?
“Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him” (Gen. 37:18).
They conspired to ____________________ him.
Jealousy and envy lead people to do things they would never imagine doing. But in this case God had other plans. Joseph was eventually sold as a slave to Egypt.
4. How did God honor Joseph, even as a slave?
“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master [Potiphar] saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Gen. 39:2, 3).
Potiphar saw that the Lord prospered _____________________, and everything he did
________________in his hand.
Throughout history God has especially blessed those who have been faithful to Him. He has given them a peace in the midst of their storms, strength in their trials, and wisdom in the face of overwhelming perplexities. God’s favor has not always come in the form of material blessings, but at times it has.
5. When Potiphar’s wife attempted to lure Joseph into temptation, what was Joseph’s response?
“There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he [Potiphar] kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9).
Joseph said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and _______________________
Joseph’s loyalty to God was stronger than the temptation placed before him. He would not dishonor God by indulging in the passions of his youthful heart. Potiphar’s wife was furious and accused Joseph falsely. Eventually Joseph was unjustly condemned and thrown into prison.
6. How did God honor Joseph’s choices, even in prison?
“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Gen. 39:21).
The Lord gave him _____________________________in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Read Genesis 40 and discover how God brought Joseph into further favor by allowing him to interpret the dreams of two other inmates.
7. When Pharaoh dreamed of seven fat cows and seven lean cows, seven full heads of grain and seven withered heads of grain, what was Joseph’s interpretation?
“Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land” (Gen. 41:29, 30).
“Seven years of _______________will come throughout the land; but after them seven years of
Pharaoh was amazed at the wisdom God gave Joseph, and appointed him second in command over the entire kingdom to oversee the storage and preservation of grain during the years of plenty so that the nation could survive the years of famine.
8. Years later, when Joseph met his brothers again, what was his testimony?
“Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about this day, to save many people alive’” (Gen. 50:19, 20).
“You meant _________________against me; but God meant it for _____________________.”
As Joseph looked back over his life, he had absolute confidence that God had guided him. He knew that in spite of the trials and difficulties he faced, God had worked things out for his good, and for the glory of heaven’s eternal purposes. Joseph honored God, and God blessed him.
When, even in difficult times, we place God first in our lives, He will bless us in remarkable ways. And, like Joseph, we will look back over our lives with remarkable confidence that God does all things well.
Next month’s Bible study, “The Divine Helper,” begins a new series about the Holy Spirit.
Read 743 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 03:30