Journey through the Book of Genesis with me. The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!
** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier!
QUESTION 1: Was Joseph a practitioner of divination (v.5, 15), or did the servant simply assume that much of Joseph's spiritual insight and wisdom were a result of divination (as opposed to being from God)?
QUESTION 2: What was going through Benjamin's mind when the cup was found in his sack? Did he suspect foul play among his older brothers? After all, they were the ones who "lost" his brother.
QUESTION 3: Why isn't Reuben (the firstborn) speaking up?
QUESTION 4: How might God have lifted Joseph to a position of authority and power over his siblings had they not sold him into slavery? Joseph's trials appears to be Plan B. What was God's Plan A?
QUESTION 5: Why among Jacob's sons was Joseph the favored one?
WHAT I LEARNED
INSIGHT 1: t's hard to not to think Joseph is doing this to his brothers simply to torment them for the hardship they put him through. His true motives, however, may be nobler. it would seem Joseph is still trying to test their integrity.
INSIGHT 2: An indicator of changed hearts among the brothers is that they now trust each other, so much so that when they are accused, they don't turn on each other out of suspicion, but go as far as offering their lives and servitude should the loot be found on them.
INSIGHT 3: Another indicator that Joseph wasn't carrying out these tests to torture his brothers is the fact that he doesn't repeat their offer of a death sentence (v.10) if they are found guilty, but simply says, "Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame." Joseph is clearly not looking for vengeance.
INSIGHT 4: Offering themselves as slaves in Egypt for the rest of their live was a vert humbling act when one considers that they all come from a household of great wealth and prestige. Jacob had prospered financially, hence his family (barring the famine) was well to do (Genesis 30:43).
INSIGHT 5: Verse 16 suggests that the brothers lived with a constant sense of guilt about their action of selling Joseph into slavery.
INSIGHT 6: Judah continually demonstrates a high level of responsibility in speaking on behalf of the group. In H.C. Leupold's exposition of Genesis, he writes this about Judah's speech, "This is one of the manliest, most straightforward speeches ever delivered by any man. For depth of feeling and sincerity of purpose it stands unexcelled."