Saturday, December 12, 2020

2020.12.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 41:1–45

Read Genesis 41:1–45

Questions from the Scripture text: How long is it since the end of chapter 40 (Genesis 41:1)? Who did what? Where was he in his dream? What came up out of the river (Genesis 41:2)? What were they like? What did they do? What else came up (Genesis 41:3)? What were they like? What did they do (Genesis 41:4)? What did Pharaoh do? What did Pharaoh do again in Genesis 41:5? What did he see this time? What else did he see (Genesis 41:6)? What did the seven thin heads do (Genesis 41:7)? What did Pharaoh do? What happened in the morning (Genesis 41:8)? For whom did Pharaoh call? What did he tell them? What couldn’t they do? Who speaks in Genesis 41:9? What does he remember? What had Pharaoh done (Genesis 41:10)? What had the butler and baker done (Genesis 41:11)? Who interpreted for them (Genesis 41:12)? And what came of it (Genesis 41:13)? Whom did Pharaoh call in Genesis 41:14? What did they do to him? What does Pharaoh say about Joseph in Genesis 41:15? To Whom does Joseph redirect the attention in Genesis 41:16? What details does Pharaoh add in recounting his dreams (Genesis 41:17-24, cf. Genesis 41:1-7)? What does Joseph tell Pharaoh that God is showing him (Genesis 41:25Genesis 41:28)? What are the good cows/heads (Genesis 41:26)? How do the dreams relate to one another? What are the ugly cows/empty heads (Genesis 41:27)? What is going to happen first (Genesis 41:29)? For how long? Then what will happen (Genesis 41:30)? For how long? What will happen to the plenty (Genesis 41:30-31)? Why was the dream repeated twice (Genesis 41:32)? What does Joseph make bold to do, in Genesis 41:33-36, that was beyond his original task? Whom does he say Pharaoh should recruit (verse 33a)? To do what to him (verse 33b)? Who should appoint the rest of the officers (Genesis 41:34a)? To do what (verse 34b)? What does Joseph say to do with the surplus (Genesis 41:35)? Why (Genesis 41:36)? Who thinks that this is good advice (Genesis 41:37a)? Who else (verse 37b)? What does Pharaoh ask in Genesis 41:38? What does Pharaoh declare about Joseph in Genesis 41:39? Over what and whom does Pharaoh set Joseph (Genesis 41:40-41)? What three things does Pharaoh put onto Joseph in Genesis 41:42? Onto what does he put Joseph in Genesis 41:43? What do the people cry out before him? What does Pharaoh say about himself in Genesis 41:44? What does he say about Joseph? What does he rename him (Genesis 41:45a)? What else does he give to him (verse 45b)?

The primary thrust of this chapter is the Lord’s lifting up Joseph. Joseph had hoped that this might come by the cupbearer’s remembering him (cf. Genesis 40:23), but he did not. By stating that this chapter occurs “at the end of two full years” (Genesis 41:1), the Holy Spirit draws our attention to the fact that this timing and method was rather different than Joseph had anticipated.

The Lord lifted His servant at the time and in the way that was best. He may keep us low and lowly for an extended period of time. But, it was to be conformed to the image of His Son that His love predestined us (cf. Romans 8:29). 

In the ordinary workings of His providence, the Lord often gives these small displays of Himself as the God who lifts up the lowly, because this is ultimately one of the great things that He displays about Himself in His redemption. He takes those who had descended to being by nature children of wrath, and so justifies and adopts them that at last they are both declared and displayed as children of God!

But let us not miss the companion truth about Pharaoh. Here he was, the greatest man known on earth, reduced to a psycho-emotional mess by dreams about skinny cows and bud-less plants! This, too, is a foreshadowing of the great work that the Lord does on a massive scale in His plan of redemption. Demons and men that seem to be something, the Lord reduces to nothing in an instant. 

Pharaoh even tries to compliment Joseph at first (Genesis 41:15), but Joseph makes sure to give God all credit and glory (Genesis 41:16). Joseph makes it plain that man can do nothing to undo or delay what God has determined (Genesis 41:32). Our God is One who lifts up the lowly and brings down the proud!

In what ways/circumstances are you low or lowly? What is God going to do to you? Why? How are you in danger of being proud? Or of envying or fearing the proud? What is God going to do to them? Why?

Suggested songs: ARP138 “With All My Heart, My Thanks I’ll Bring” or TPH138A “With All My Heart, My Thanks I Bring”

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