Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When there is “more month left at the end of the money”, what grocery items do you do without? What must you buy anyway?
2. What is the tenderest expression of love your father has ever shared with you?
3. What is the longest period you have been separated from your family? What was memorable about your reunion?
4. Should true repentance be judged on its intention, its emotion or on its results? Why do you think so?
5. When someone has deeply wronged you, are you most likely to seek revenge or reconciliation? What does this tell you about yourself? About your trust in God and His ways?
6. Like Jacob’s sons (vv. 21, 22), where are you still paying the price (or reaping the effects) of a choice (or mistake) you made? Is God speaking to you in this?
7. Like Jacob (verses 36 – 38), what situation in your life seems “hopeless” at the moment?
8. What does this story tell you about the sayings, “what goes around comes around” or “you reap what you sow”? What (if anything) can you do now to avoid a later repayment for ways you have mistreated others?
I can’t help but smile every time I read Jacob’s question in verse one. Isn’t it exactly something a father would say? We tend to forget Bible personalities were real people we can relate to regardless of culture and time.
One of the things I love about God’s word is how it gives me the permission (the freedom) to acknowledge and express my humanity and vulnerability before Him and others. I’m a guy and everyone who knows me will tell you I feel things very deeply – especially the tender feelings. The action, dialogue and emotions experienced by Joseph and his family in the rest of Genesis is gut wrenching.
Their story (for me) is a stark foreshadowing of the process of reconciliation with God through Christ that many of us go through.