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 | A Man of Integrity | Genesis 47
Genesis 47 starts out with the joy of a family reunion and quickly turns to the pain of a famine. The Egyptian people approach Joseph on separate occasions to stay alive. Jospeh models a life of character and integrity in the midst of a painful situation. What stands out in this passage is how the people of Egypt offer themselves to servitude to Pharaoh. Jospeh is not an active schemer in the plan but plays more of a passive role in their desires. Through all the pain we see God provide for Egypt through Joseph. Joseph comes up with a creative plan to keep the people alive and helps them to spread out into new land!
1) Neal shared a story about how God provided for him to go to college through his local high school. Think about a time in your life when God provided for you through a way that you never expected to see Him provide.
2) Read Genesis 47:13-17. We read that the Egyptians brought what they had to Joseph in exchange for food to stay alive. Think about the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). What surprises you most about the free gift of salvation?
3) The people came to Joseph with empty hands and he treated them with respect. He didn’t disrespect them or treat them poorly. Read Psalms 25:21, Proverbs 11:3, and Titus 2:7-8. What makes living a life of integrity so tough?
4) Read Genesis 47:18-19. Pharaoh is an archetype of sin. Sin is anything that is contrary to God’s word or plan. Read James 5:16. What is a sin that you are struggling with that is hurting your relationship with God and others?
5) Joseph comes up with a creative plan that will satisfy the people and please Pharaoh (read Genesis 47:20-26). What are some creative ways that you can come up with, that are theological sound, to help people?
6) The Scripture is clear that we are not to oppress the poor. Read Proverbs 14:31, 28:3, and Zechariah 7:10. How do you view people who are poor? What might God be inviting you to do to help the poor in your city, county, or state?
7) Jacob has his eyes set on not being buried in Egypt. He knows that Egypt is not his final resting place (read Genesis 47:27-31). For Christians, earth is not our final resting place but we get consumed with our lives on earth. What one thing do you want to change to help you keep more focused on heaven in your daily life?
Close your time in prayer.