It is vital that we spend time in God’s Word.
But it’s not always easy.
We read a chapter and we don’t know what to get out of it or even how to start to understand it.
I thought I could try to help you get a little something out of what you are reading by providing you with some questions to ask as you look at the text. Good questions are a good start to understanding. Sometimes there will be more questions, sometimes less.
You can do this!
So, get a notebook, a pen, your Bible, and if you would like some help, take some time to answer the questions, and you may be surprised by all God teaches you.
- Where did Jacob live? How doess the author describe his place? What does that tell you about the promise of land? (It’s a little like a hint. Keep reading! There’s more to come.)
- He says these are the generations of Jacob. But then he tells a story about who?
- Now let’s get the setting. How old is Joseph at this point? What is he doing? And what does he do to his brothers specifically?
- What is Jacob’s attitude toward Joseph?
- Now favoritism is a real problem in this family. Who else in Jacob’s past shows favoritism?
- How does he express his love for Joseph? (This will come up several times in this story – see v. 23 and 31-33.)
- What did the brotehrs feel about the way their father treated Joseph?
- That’s the problem. Now a dream. The story about the dream begins and ends by telling you how his brothers felt about it. How did they feel? (v.5 and 8)
- What do the brothers think is the point of the first dream?
- Their anger doesn’t stop Joseph from telling them another dream with the same point. How does his father and brothers respond to this dream? What is similar and different about their response?
- What might this illustrate to you about the normal human attitude toward authority?
- Joseph’s brothers go to pasture their flock near Shechem. What had they done at Shechem earlier? Joseph’s father sends him to look for them. They are not easy to find but eventually he finds them at Dothan. (We will read about Dothan again in 2 Kings 6:13)
- What do they decide to do when they see Joseph from afar? What do they call him? They are attacking him for his dreams, which we will see are actually revelation from God.
- Now, what is ironic about this decision? They try to stop God’s plan from happening, but what are they doing instead?
- Imagine your own brothers wanting to kill you. Reuben stops them and has them do what instead? Before they throw him in the pit what do they do?
- These men are pretty heartless. After they throw him in teh pit, what does verse 25 say they do?
- What does Judah decide they should do and why?
- What plan do they come up with to deceive their father? How does he respond?
- From a human perspective, this seems about as bad as possible. But, ultimately why is Joseph really going to Egypt?