Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. Growing up, how well did you get along with your brothers or sisters? Who was the baby in the family? How was that person treated?
2. Is your relationship different with them now that you are older? To what do you attribute your answer? Mellowing with age? Little brother or sister got bigger? Everybody moved away?
3. This family is quite conflicted by all that goes on here. Try to empathize with what each person is feeling:
- What feelings are aroused by Jacob’s sons plotting revenge on Joseph?
- By Reuben’s rescue attempt and sense of loss?
- By Judah’s successful intervention?
- By the sons’ deception of their father?
- By Jacob’s grief?
- By Joseph’s actual fate?
4. With such empathy, how do you account for why each person did what they did?
5. What was behind the 10 brothers’ desire to kill Joseph? Resentment? Mob hysteria? Jealousy? Egos?
6. In addition to conflict and irony, this story is filled with loss and regrets. What’s your deepest regret in life? How much pain is that regret causing you now? Is the pain getting better or worse?
7. As we struggle with the “if-only’s”, we can also envision both Jacob and Joseph struggling. How would you complete this thought, which may have ran across Jacob’s mind: “If only I hadn’t sent him to Shechem . . .”
8. How would you complete this thought, which may have ran across Joseph’s mind: “If only I hadn’t been so cocky . . .”
9. If you were Joseph, how would you be feeling?
- Bitterly betrayed
- Shaken and confused
- Enjoying the adventure
- Regretting my dreams
- Holding on to my dreams
10. What do you do when you are betrayed by people close to you?
- I want to get even
- I vow never to get close again
- I assume it is a part of God’s plan
- I get depressed
11. In the world of work, how is Joseph’s experience like getting laid off or fired from a job?
- the rejection
- the loss of dignity and respect
- being hurt by people I trusted
- being at the mercy of others
- the uncertainty of the future