Genesis Lesson 26 (2015)

 

JOSEPH’S FINAL YEARS

(Faith, Love and Hope)

Genesis 50

Key Verse: 50:20

 

Like a fine painting or sculpture, God’s work takes time, but its beauty is a tribute to the artist. The previous studies have shown how God used the years of hardship and suffering to produce in Joseph a spiritual maturity unsurpassed in the Old Testament. In this final chapter of Genesis we see Joseph’s life reflects the character of God. He provides a model for the way we should relate to God and others.

 

1. Read Genesis 50:1-14. How is Joseph’s love and respect for his father evident? The morning period of seventy days for Jacob is just short of the seventy-two days observed for a Pharaoh. What light does this lengthy ceremony throw on Joseph’s authority and prestige in Egypt?

 

2. Read Genesis 50:15-26. Describe the reaction of Joseph’s brothers after their father’s burial and the strategy they devise to save themselves (50:15-18). Why do you think Joseph weeps when he receives their message?

 

3. What does Joseph’s answer to his brothers reveal about his attitude toward being treated unjustly (50:19-20)? Think of someone who has injured you. What is your attitude toward that person? In what ways can you see how God has used this injustice for good?

 

4. How does Joseph show his brothers that he not only forgives but genuinely loves them (50:21)? If your relationship with someone is trained because of a wrong done to you, what action may God want you to take – beyond the usual forgive and forget attitude – to demonstrate loving concern for this person’s welfare?

 

5. One hundred and ten years was considered to be the ideal life span in ancient Egypt. How are Joseph’s final years and words similar to his father’s (50:22-26)?

 

6. As you look back over this chapter, descry be some of the ways Joseph demonstrates the qualities of faith, love and hope.

 

7. In the Genesis narrative we have seen that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph all died in faith, looking forward to promises they did not see fulfilled in their lifetime. How does their example provide a model for our hope as Christians?

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