Week 7 — Genesis 39 thru 43 (Feb 11-17)
We are skipping the Judah and Tamar story in chapter 38 this week, even though it figures in the Lord’s lineage (Matt 1:3). Chapter 39 refocuses on Joseph, as he prospers and then suffers even more in Egypt. Chapter 40 gives the reader a glimmer of hope that Joseph may eventually get out of prison. In chapter 41 Jo-seph’s phenomenal faith and determination to always credit God for all things comes to the front. We finally begin to see God’s plan for Joseph take shape! 42:57 reveals why we are learning about Joseph. There is famine everywhere which means the family of promise is threatened with starvation back in Canaan! In Chapter 42 Joseph’s brothers begin traveling to Egypt where he will save his family. Those trips continue in chapter 43 where Joseph tests his brothers. He intends to determine if they are the kind of evil men who will give up a brother to save their own necks. Will they do to Benjamin what they did to him so long ago?
How will you react if your reward for doing the right thing is sever punishment? That is exactly what happened to Joseph in chapter 39. Are you ready for that? These chapters also provide much food for thought on the subject of forgiveness. Could you forgive someone who mistreated you in a similar way Joseph’s brothers wronged him? Do you recognize his schemes are designed to deter-mine if they are genuinely repentant?
Let’s keep the main thing the main thing here. The entire Joseph story is told to help us see how God kept the promises to the house of Abra-ham alive. God insures that Jacob and his family don’t starve in the great famine. God foresaw everything and sent someone ahead to make plans and prepare for the famine. The lesson for us to take home is God wants to use us to accomplish His purposes. Our realization should be this: sometimes life can take very unexpected turns when the Lord is positioning us to serve Him where He needs us.