Life of Joseph – Part 2

Last week I shared with you the 3 question Bible study method, using the first verse in Genesis 37 as my example.  That started us on the journey of a close look at the life of Joseph.

Joseph is one of my favorite biblical characters. He went through so much heartache and betrayal, but didn’t let it make him bitter. And God promoted him and used him greatly.

Joseph is a wonderful example to study, especially with our children who are learning to live in an unfair world, facing challenges and temptations in our secular society, and living with the heartbreak of betrayal. Come to think of it, it’s a great story for adults as well, for all the same reasons.

Joseph’s story is a great reminder that God is always with us, even in the hard times. And that if we allow Him, He’ll use us wherever we are.

Joseph’s story is also a great reminder not to give up on the dreams God has given us. But we haven’t arrived at that part of the story just yet. Today I’m sharing my answers to the 3 questions for the next 3 verses in Joseph’s story. Here they are:

Genesis 37:2-4

New English Translation (NET)

This is the account of Jacob.

Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, was taking care of the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because he was a son born to him late in life, and he made a special tunic for him. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated Joseph and were not able to speak to him kindly.

1.  Facts:

v. 2 – Joseph (Jacob’s son) was 17, worked with his half-brothers, tended their father’s flocks. He reported to his father the bad things his brothers were doing.

v. 3 – Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than his other sons because he was born in his old age. He made him a distinctive robe.

v. 4 – The brothers saw their father loved Joseph more  and they hated him and couldn’t speak kindly to him.

2. Truths:

v. 2 – Families are rarely ideal.

v. 2 – Tattling takes 2 people – 1 to report and 1 to listen.

v. 3 – Parents are human.

v. 3 – Sometimes parents have favorites and it’s usually obvious to everyone around them.

v. 4 – Favoritism can stir up hatred and destroy relationships and families.

3. Application Questions:

What about my families (of origin, by marriage) isn’t ideal?

What do I need to forgive my parents for? forgive my spouse for? forgive myself for?

How has my favoritism affected relationships?

When have I been the favored one? What were the effects?

When has someone else been favored over me? What effect did that have on our relationship?

Next time, we’ll learn about Joseph’s dreams.

See you then!

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