Bible Discussion — Genesis 40-43

May 16, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, David, Job, Josh J, Steve, Tom  | 5 Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next four chapters of the Bible, Genesis 40-43.

Previously in Genesis:
1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18-2 | 19-22
23-26 | 27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39

 
INTRODUCTION:
Pastor Paul:
Rev. Paul Gmitter is senior pastor of Dexter Faith Fellowship, in Dexter, NY!

Joseph has kept his heart right through 13 years of trial. God has brought him through multiple betrayals and he has served others faithfully while seemingly not getting any closer to the dream and purpose in his own heart. God knows.

Chloe:
More histrionics from Jacob/Israel, promises from the many brothers, and glory for Joseph.

David:
Joseph goes from being a slave to being Prime Minister of Egypt, gaining a new family in the process.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
Joseph’s words should have surprised his brothers or given them a hint: “I fear God.” Also Joseph used the exact same phrase (“Pharaoh will lift your head:”) to introduce the fates of both the blessed butler and the doomed baker, like he was building suspense about who was going home on American Idol or something. More than a little bit mean!

Tom:
I didn’t understand how Joseph had fooled his brothers, until I noticed he had his name changed to the popular Zaphnathpaaneah, and used interpreters.

David:
Pharaoh was having a birthday party. I don’t know why I find that amusing but I do.

Chloe:
Reuben has this incredible eldest son complex. He believes it’s his responsibility to solve every problem the family encounters, just as he tries to do when he promises Jacob he can put both of Reuben’s sons to death if Benjamin isn’t returned to him.

Then again, Reuben’s need to please may have something do with how he slept with his father’s concubine.

Job:
It seems that Jacob and his tribe had sorta quit on Simeon, counting him as lost and wishing him the mummified best…

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Chloe: Priest of On
Steve: Into the Dungeon, Seven Thin Heads
Job: Make Way
Josh: Five Times Benjamin
Pastor Paul: Seven Ugly Cows (that’s a joke), Prisoner’s Dreams
Tom: Chief Butler
Josh, Steve: Just as Ugly
David: Out of the Dungeon

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Pastor Paul:
This text is a portrayal of the truths taught in Psalm 139. We see God’s intimate knowledge of people, His abiding presence everywhere, and His capacity to search a heart.

Josh:
I love the fact that Joseph used an interpreter to interact with Hebrews. Sometimes letting people think there’s a communication gap can be very advantageous. Just ask Sammy Sosa.

Job:
My sister Carolyn made it a very deliberate practice to conserve her Halloween candy until after we, her four brothers, had exhausted ours. We became, with great expediency, her slaves.

David:
A friend of mine suffered through a marriage to a very unfaithful woman. After several gracious acts of forgiveness he divorced her, and in time God sent him a wonderful godly wife. He named his first two children Manasseh (forgetting the past) and Ephraim (fruitfulness out of affliction).

Steve:
Only a few centuries ago, news traveled on foot or horseback, and you could rarely be certain it was true, since the reporter may not have actually witnessed it. Jacob’s family must have been in dire straits for him to send ten boys to faraway Egypt based on a rumor of available grain.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
David:
Joseph becomes the benchmark of patience for all of us still waiting for our dreams to be fulfilled.

Pastor Paul:
God is omniscient and omnipresent. He knows all before it happens, and works in all according to His perfect will.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
If I was in jail and had a dream, and someone else in jail with me had a dream, and yet another guy in jail told us our dreams meant that the other guy would die and I would get out, and then that actually happened, that seems like the kind of thing I would remember. Every day.

Job:
For a man so adept at deceit I wonder why it didn’t occur to Jacob to round up some Canaanite lad to go to Egypt as “Benjamin.” You’re getting soft, old man:.

David:
Joseph hears the butler’s dream and he’s like, “Dude! Shut up! That’s awesome! You’re getting your job back!,” and so the baker’s all excited, like, “Whoa dude, wait till you hear this! I had a dream too…

Tom:
I think Joseph and I would get along. In 42:8 he recognizes his brothers from a position of power, but then in 42:9 it says he remembered his dreams, and goes on to accuse them of espionage. He takes a run-of-the-mill “told you so” moment and makes it so much more.

Steve:
I don’t really like forced ritual humility such as you find in these Middle Eastern cultures. “Your servant our father is in good health,” said the brothers. Huh? How was the absent Jacob the servant of some Egyptian grainmaster? Flattery. Feh. Save it…

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
Pastor Paul:
Jesus is typified in Joseph. He has gone before his brethren to prepare a place for them. He has become a slave in the flesh for a season and soon ascends to the throne. Joseph provides bread to sustain life for the whole known world. And Joseph was thirty when he was brought out of prison and into his “ministry.”

Steve:
One man, humiliated and sacrificed by the chosen people, is elevated to a position of honor where he quite literally becomes their salvation. Joseph and Jesus.

David:
Joseph is a wonderful type of Christ. He suffers humiliation and betrayal, all so he can be there to save the very people who mistreated him.

Job:
Joseph is often viewed as a Jesus figure. That he was 30 when he was put in charge of Egypt and charged with his life’s work, or the manner in which he tested his brothers, is really not where I begin my parallels. From Joseph’s marriage to the daughter of the Priest of On, to his opening up Egypt’s storehouses for the entire — starving — world, I see a man concerned more with the care of all than for a single race, but not just because that single race spurned him.

Josh:
In Joseph, weeping for those who had wronged him.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Job:
42:31 — The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe.

Josh:
41:44 — Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Pastor Paul:
41:38 — And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

God help us all be that kind of person.

Chloe:
43:18, a precursor to the Hebrew enslavement — Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and seize us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”

Tom:
42:14 — And G-d Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your older brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

Steve:
43:30 — Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.

David:
42:9 — And Joseph remembered the dreams…

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
David:
How it worked out with Joseph marrying the daughter of the Priest of Heliopolis. “Joe, my Dad wants us to come to his church this weekend for some big human sacrifice thing he’s been working on for months — do you mind?”

Steve:
Since Joseph and Benjamin were the children of the chosen wife, seemingly the most blessed and godly of Israel’s children, why was it that their eventual three tribes were neither the priests of God nor in the line of Christ? They weren’t even on the right side of the divided kingdom.

Josh:
All these years later, and Joseph’s brothers still felt the burden of their sin the moment they encountered adversity. I have to wonder how often they ran into trouble through the years and chalked it up to being deserved “because of our brother.”

Pastor Paul:
I wonder if the chief baker went quietly. I wonder what kind of person Pharaoh was. I would also like to hear more about Joseph’s approach to his brothers. I understand he squeezed them in a manner that would reveal character, but I believe there was more to it.

Chloe:
Why does the writer keep switching between Jacob and Israel? Is there a significance, or does he just like using them interchangeably?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Pastor Paul:
God interprets dreams.
Callings are fulfilled by the power and grace of God.
You never know who is going to tell you a lie.
You actually do reap what you sow.
God will work through governmental leaders and situations.
And it is a lot of fun to get to the punchline of a life story.

David:
God gives us dreams and he fulfills them in his own time and manner.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Chloe:
I love the drama between Joseph and his brothers. It sounds like a story O. Henry would write, but it happened so long ago. Every time I read the account of Joseph, I imagine being there with them, feeling the anticipation and anxiety that must have come with seeing his family and waiting for the right moment to tell them the truth. And then to see the little brother and the father he thought he would never see again! It’s one more reminder that God is always guiding our footsteps, even when our own blood betrays us.

David:
It is a nice passage.

Josh:
Joseph is the original underdog story, overcoming the longest of odds. And although Joseph went through incredible trials over a great length of time, the scriptures never really take on a bleak outlook to his plight. God was constantly with Joseph, and His faithfulness to deliver seems almost a forgone conclusion.

Job:
This portion of Scripture is interesting in that the only real villain is the famine itself. The Pharaoh shows prudence and fear of God, and his attendants a good humor and generosity. The sons of Jacob show sincere remorse and a brokenness of spirit, and Jacob himself, beginning his repose, shows a tenderness far removed from his headstrong youth. Judah mans up in a way the text hasn’t shown since Esau, and Joseph’s “games” are only to coax the best out of those around him. It’s the Hallmark movie of the week as far as Genesis is concerned.

Pastor Paul:
Joseph’s rise to power and purpose is a beautiful reminder of God’s ability to get someone into a position of influence if He so chooses. Joseph’s choices underscore that there is no excuse for a departure from godly integrity.

Steve:
I love the game Joseph plays with his brothers on their trek to buy grain. He gets the information he wants and causes them no small amount of distress along the way, but doesn’t fall victim to the temptation for real vengeance. Instead he truly saves their lives.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
To Joseph: “Did you know while you were waiting,
to make your dreams come true,
that the waiting and the dreams were making you?”

Pastor Paul:
Live with character and integrity as you keep your connection with Jesus Christ alive. Do not allow the failure of others to move you from a belief that God is at work in all of it for good.


Comments

5 Comments to “Bible Discussion — Genesis 40-43”

  1. Steve on May 16th, 2007 12:34 pm

    I like that we got both “Into the Dungeon” and “Out of the Dungeon.” They’d be very different bands, I expect.

    And thanks for joining us this week, Pastor Paul!

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