Monday, November 16, 2020

2020.11.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 37:12–36

Read Genesis 37:12–36

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did who go in Genesis 37:12? Who sends whom to them (Genesis 37:13)? What did Israel want (Genesis 37:14)? What difficulty/delay does Joseph have to navigate (Genesis 37:15-17)? Who sees whom first (Genesis 37:18)? What do they decide to do (Genesis 37:18-20)? Who hears it (Genesis 37:21)? What does he do? What does he say? What alternative plan does he propose in Genesis 37:22? What do they add to the plan in Genesis 37:23-24? What do they do with Joseph in the pit? What do they see (Genesis 37:25)? Who proposes a change now (Genesis 37:26)? What problem does he propose with the original plan? What does he suggest to do instead (Genesis 37:27)? What do they end up doing (Genesis 37:28)? Who returns in Genesis 37:29? What does he see? What does he do? Whom does he ask what in Genesis 37:30? What do they do now (Genesis 37:31, cf. Genesis 37:20)? Whom do they ask what in Genesis 37:32)? What does he determine has happened (Genesis 37:33)? How does he respond (Genesis 37:34)? Who rise to do what in Genesis 37:35? How does he respond? What details does Genesis 37:36 give against the backdrop of the mourning in verse 35? 

We need to be humble about our plans. Jacob plans to get a report about the brothers. That plan fails. Reuben plans to save Joseph out of his brothers’ hands. That plan fails. The brothers plan to kill Joseph by the hand of the Ishmaelites. That plan fails.

God’s purpose and plan always succeeds, but what He has called us to is to be faithful. It’s not “well done My good and visionary servant” or “well done My good and successful servant” but “well done My good and faithful servant.” Everyone is trying to control things that they can’t; but as we’ll see in chapter 39, the main thing that God is “with us” for is that we would be faithful—even in the hardest of circumstances.

We need to be humble about our perception. Looking at the Ishmaelites carrying Joseph away, the brothers’ perception is that they have ended any hope of Joseph’s dreams being fulfilled. Looking at the blood-stained garment in his hands, Jacob’s perception is that Joseph has come to a brutal end, and that he himself cannot (indeed refuses to) be comforted—wrong on both counts.

The secret things belong to God. Not only are we unable to perceive God’s ordained plan; we cannot even see the full truth about our (and others’) present circumstances.

We need to have confidence and joy in God’s plan and perception. Of course, this is not true for unbelievers. His plans are against them, and things are infinitely worse for them than they can perceive! But, reading this backwards through the lens of Christ, we can see more even than the amazing wisdom of God for the life of Joseph; we can see the ultimate, history-defining-and-determining wisdom of God to bring salvation to sinners in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

If we are trusting in Christ, then we can have Romans 8 confidence and joy reinforced to us by Genesis 37: all things are working together for our good; God has given us all things together with Christ; we are super-conquerors in all these things through Him who loved us; and, nothing can separate us from His love!

In what primary roles are you currently called to be faithful? What current circumstances are perplexing you?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH413 “Revive Thy Work, O Lord”

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