Once in elementary school, I was sent to the office for “whistling.” I “whistled” and my teacher asked who was making that noise. I raised my hand. She asked me to stop. I continued to “whistle,” and she promptly sent me to the office. I explained to the principal that I was not “whistling,” but rather breathing with a stuffy nose. I then proved my case by breathing, and on que my nose “whistled.” My teacher thought I was being defiant; however, I was just breathing and had been honest that I was making the noise. This week’s Bible reading picks up with Joseph being unjustly imprisoned and forgotten. Let's take a quick recap of where he has been Joseph was his dad’s (Jacob/Israel) favorite, which made Joseph arrogant. God had given Joseph dreams that he would one day rule over his brothers, and his brothers hated him for it. Then Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. Now in prison, Joseph seems miles away, both literally and figuratively, from ruling, from his brothers, and from ruling his brothers. The story continues with more God given dreams and a great famine. Pay attention to how God is still in control when life is spiraling out of control. As you start a new Bible book in Exodus, see how God sets the stage for the next chapter in His redemptive plan.
Each week, as you take in the Bible, find some friends to talk it out. You can follow this simple guide to help. First, R.E.A.D. and P.R.A.Y. on your own. Then, meet with friends to share what you've learned.
R - Repeated words
E - Examine and mark
A - Ask what you learn about God
D - Do if there is anything to do
P - Praise
R - Repent
A - Ask
Bible Plan Reading - Week 7
We're reading the Bible together in 2024. Specifically, we're taking a journey into how the story of the Bible unfolded in the Old Testament. If we get the big picture, we get the story the Bible is trying to tell us. From Sunday's message or The Big Picture Bible Reading Plan this week in the book of Genesis or Exodus, what is impacting you the most? Was there a word, phrase, Bible verse, or theme that impacted you?
From Genesis 41:1, how long was Joseph in prison? Who does Joseph give the credit to for his interpretations to Pharaoh in verse 16? How has Joseph changed from being "the favorite" to the faithful? What did God use to grow Joseph?
Reuben was the first born son of Jacob. He was expected culturally to hold the family together, which is why first-born sons got most of the inheritance. During Jacob’s grief after Rachel died, what did Reuben do in Genesis 35:22? After Reuben’s rescue plan for Joseph fails, what does he say in Genesis 37:29? Which person did he express concern for? Who does Reuben offer as collateral for Benjamin’s safe return in Genesis 42:37? What is Jacob’s blessing for Reuben in Genesis 49:3-4?
Judah willingly participated in the plot against Joseph. How do we see Joseph get involved in Genesis 43:8-10? Who does Judah offer as collateral? What is Jacob’s blessing for Judah in Genesis 49:8-12? Jesus came through the line of Judah. How is Genesis 49:10 a promise over 1,500 years before Jesus showed up?
In Genesis 50:15-21, to what authority does Joseph yield? How does Joseph show kindness to his brothers? How does he show faith in God’s plan?
Look at Exodus 2:11-19. What early evidence do we see of Moses being an imperfect deliverer? From verses 16-17, what did Moses do for 40 years after running from Egypt? How might have God used 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in Midian to prepare Moses for what comes next?
Using 3 words, how has the story of Israel been shocking so far? What makes it shocking?
How have you been reminded of Jesus in the story of Joseph?
Have you ever felt like you had a dream or plan you knew was from God? Did every step work out as you planned? How did you handle setbacks? How has God shaped you since then?
Judah was willing to offer himself out of love for his father. Compare with James 2:14-26. How does your obedience to God show what you really love?
How have you been encouraged to follow the Lord by individuals in the generations before you? Who are you seeking to encourage in the next generation?
Do you ever feel like you are unusable or past your prime? At the height of Moses’ time in Egypt and personal strength, did God use him? What type of person does God often use? (See 1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
Joseph was just a human. Through challenges, Joseph learned dependence on God. Hebrews 5:8-9 says “Although he [Jesus] was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.” Judah had previously gone along with the plot against Joseph without considering how it would affect his father. Shockingly, Judah later foreshadows Christ. Judah offers himself as the substitute in order that his brother might return to their father. He loved his father’s life more than saving his own life. Unlike Reuben, Jesus is the true older brother who actually sacrifices Himself on our behalf out of obedience to the Father. God is writing the story as we finish one book (Genesis) and start another (Exodus), and He keeps being the hero of the story.