The story of Joseph is a favorite among children’s tales. It’s a story of family dysfunction that leads to slavery. The pain of loneliness and abandonment that ultimate lead to Jospeh saving Israel. So often we don’t sit in the pain that Joseph experienced. We don’t think about what went through Joseph’s mind in the bottom of the pit. We forget that Joseph never went to his senior prom. We miss that he lost a vital relationship with his mother. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions | The Promotion | Genesis 41
We’ve all experienced times in our life when things don’t go our way. For Joseph it was about thirteen years of his life that were taken from him. At the end of Genesis 40 we read that Joseph was once again forgotten. But in Genesis 41 Pharaoh has a disturbing dream and Joseph is remember. If you notice Jospeh’s posture, he is a completely different person than the teenager we met in Genesis 37. Jospeh learned to point to God in all situations. We see here that in his darkest times God shaped Jospeh’s character so he could lead Egypt through an immense famine. God had uniquely qualified Jospeh but it took years of shaping.
1) We started out looking at the fable of Cinderella. Her life started out so beautiful but endured dark times. The conclusion of her story is a fairytale. When you think about Cinderella, what in her attitude/demeanor stand out to you?
2) Read Genesis 41:1-8. For two years Jospeh waited in prison with no excitement happening in his life. Think about a period of you life that seemed pointless or lackluster but looking back, you can now see God’s hand of shaping.
3) Read Exodus 41:14-16. Offers Pharaoh peace in his time of trouble. God has called us to be peace makers (read Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 5:9, and John 16:33). How can you be a person who offers peace to those in times of trouble?
4) Joseph is able to be humble in the presence of Pharaoh because allowed God to shape him in the pain of his youth (see: 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Timothy 4:5, and Hebrews 12:2). What painful situations have taught you endurance as a Christian?
5) Read Genesis 41:33-40. After interpreting the dream, Joseph offers a solution to Pharaoh’s problem. Joseph is patient in the situation and does’t resort to self-promotion. Do you struggle with patience or wanting to promote yourself?
6) It’s obvious that what Jospeh’s brothers did hurt him (read Genesis 41:50-52). Think about a painful situation in your childhood. How did that shape the way you live your life? Have you surrendered that pain to the Lord for spiritual healing?
7) As we look at how Jospeh has changed in the twenty years since we met him in Genesis 37, share some of the inner changes God has done in his life. What Bible verses do you run to as you seek the Lord to shape your life?
Close your time in prayer.