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: In what way did Jacob "bless" Pharaoh (v.7, 10)
QUESTION 2: Joseph had foreseen these 7 years of famine coming. He counseled Pharaoh on what to do to prepare for it. Did he also offer the same preparation plans to the rest of the administration? To the ordinary citizens?
QUESTION 3: In offering to give them money for their livestock, land, and servitude, was Joseph exploiting the people, considering that he knew these years of famine were coming?
QUESTION 4: Why was it important to Israel/Jacob that he be returned to Canaan to be buried? (and insistent on not being buried in Egypt?)
WHAT I LEARNED
INSIGHT 1: Joseph's recommendation that his brothers request for the land in Goshen is smart because Goshen appears to a location most suitable for herdsmen. Since "...every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians" (Genesis 46:34), Joseph knew the Egyptians wouldn't feel threatened since no one would be vying for the land.
INSIGHT 2: The choice of Goshen as a dwelling place for his family may also simply have been Joseph's way of keeping his family close so he would protect them (Genesis 45:10) from any Egyptians who might wrongly perceive them to be a threat to national security.
INSIGHT 3: Pharaoh's job invitation to Joseph's brothers in verse 6 is probably based on the assumption that his brothers were just as brilliant as Joseph was, or that the "God of Joseph" had also filled the brothers with the insight and wisdom he'd observed demonstrated in Joseph's life.
INSIGHT 4: In answering Pharaoh's question in v.8-9 about his length of years, Jacob's response shows that he understood that though he might never physically return to Canaan, he was ultimately headed to an eternal home that God Himself had prepared for him, "...he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:10)
INSIGHT 5: Verse 14-15, Egypt experiences its version of the great depression, except worse! Joseph's economic policy during the famine saves the people, yet at the same time, enslaves them.
INSIGHT 6: Joseph's family's sojourn to Egypt was orchestrated by God as a means to persevere the Abrahamic promise in a time when the whole world would experience great loss (famine). Their time in Egypt served a a cocoon where God made them fruitful and multiplied them greatly (v.27), thus fulfilling His promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2, "I will make you a great nation."
REFLECTION: Sometimes, God keeps us in a season of "hiddenness" to prepare us for greater things He has prepared FOR us to do in His name. In that place, we may be kept from the ambitions and yearnings of our hearts and may begin to despair, but God makes us remain in that hiding-place because what we gain in it will pay off great dividends when we get to where's he's prepared for us. Sometimes, our "hiddenness" is so that we're not swayed by the way everyone else is doing things, but to learn the unique way God would have us do things that will result in the greatest return. Pray that God keeps you hidden until He's ready to introduce you to the world!
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.