Reading the Bible Together – Day 45

DAY 45

A.M. Reading: Genesis 49

Genesis 49 Questions Worth Pondering:

As Jacob prepares to die, why does he call his sons to him?

What does “what shall befall you in the last days” mean?

These prophetic utterances would in many cases be fulfilled in their lives, as well as in their tribes for many generations to come. Some remain yet to be fulfilled.

How do we know that some of these proclamations were based upon the character and lives of these men? Give examples.

Which two of the sons received the most attention in these prophesies?

Which son was the one to whom the scepter belongs?

Judah’s line would be the one through whom the Messiah would come.

Read Revelation 5:5. What is Jesus called in this verse?

Isn’t it amazing that from the first book in the Bible to the last, God fulfills His Word!

Reread Genesis 49:22-26.

What has Jacob come to understand about Joseph’s life with God?

What names does he use to refer to God?

Does Jacob say those things about God to any of the other sons?

Where does Jacob request to be buried? Why?

P.M. Reading: Genesis 50

Genesis 50 Questions Worth Pondering:

What do we know about Joseph’s great love for his father?

How is Jacob’s body prepared?

Even though they followed burial customs of Egypt, how did Joseph fulfill Jacob’s burial request?

Once Joseph’s brother saw that their father had died, what did they fear?

What did the brothers request?

What was Joseph’s immediate reaction?

What does Joseph mean when he said, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?”

How did the brothers mean evil toward Joseph?

But how did God mean it for good?

What was God’s ultimate purpose in sending Joseph to Egypt?

How would Joseph demonstrate his forgiveness to his brothers?

How did he speak to them?

As Joseph ages and prepares for death, what request does he make? Why?

A “think” question: How can we see God’s faithfulness to Joseph throughout his life?

How can we see God’s faithfulness to all His people?

What do we learn about forgiveness?

How would that apply to our lives today?

Think upon these things.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 44

DAY 44

A.M. Reading: Genesis 47

Genesis 47 Questions Worth Pondering:

How are Joseph’s father and brothers received by Pharaoh?

Remembering how the Egyptians felt about the Hebrews, why is it amazing what portion of land Pharaoh gave them?

How does Jacob describe his life when he meets with Pharaoh?

How does Joseph deal with the Egyptians as the famine persists?

Who did Joseph buy the land for?

When Joseph gave the Egyptians seed, what were the people to do?

Jacob has aged. How old is he now?

What does he ask of Joseph?

In light of God’s covenant, why would that be important?

P.M. Reading: Genesis 48

Genesis 48 Questions Worth Pondering:

As Jacob is dying, what does he tell Joseph about God?

What does he say about Ephraim and Manasseh?

What does he say about Rachel, Joseph’s mother?

As Jacob brings Joseph’s sons near to bless them, how is this passage similar to when Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau?

How is Jacob’s description of his life different in this blessing than when he blessed Pharaoh?

What truths does he reveal about God?

Note: This is the first place in Scripture where the word redeemed or redeemer is used.

What does Joseph do to try to change the blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh? Why?

How does Jacob respond?

What does Jacob say to Joseph about God?

What portion would Jacob give to Joseph?

The larger portion was usually given to the firstborn. Was it given to Reuben? Why or why not?

A “think” question: As each of Jacob’s sons become one of the twelve tribes of Israel, why do we never hear of the tribe of Joseph? Why are both Ephraim and Manasseh named among the twelve tribes of Israel?

Think upon God as a faithful covenant-keeping God.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 43

DAY 43

A.M. Reading: Genesis 45

Genesis 45 Questions Worth Pondering:

How can you see Joseph’s heart toward his brothers as he makes himself known to them?

Why does Joseph say they have no need to be grieved or angry with themselves?

What does Joseph repeat three times about God?

What message does Joseph tell them to deliver to their father?

How did he and his brothers react to one another after Joseph revealed all these things?

What does Pharaoh instruct when he hears of Joseph’s brothers?

Why would Joseph encourage them not to become troubled along the way?

How does Isaac respond to the amazing news about Joseph?

A “think” question: Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves … for it was not you who sent me here but God … He sent me before you to preserve life – Joseph’s astonishing words! In spite of all that had happened to Joseph, how can we see that he had come to understand both the sovereignty and goodness of God? How would this understanding influence Joseph’s forgiveness toward his brothers?

How might this truth apply in your life?

P.M. Reading: Genesis 46

Genesis 46 Questions Worth Pondering:

Recall God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob about their descendants and the land.

Why was it so important for Israel to hear the message the Lord gave him in Beersheba?

Therefore, what did Israel and his family do?

Recall that the covenant also said that all nations would be blessed through Abraham and his seed. The Messiah was to come through them.

What purpose then, would all these Old Testament genealogies serve?

Joseph’s people (Hebrews) would live in Goshen, separately from the Egyptians.

A “think” question: How did the Egyptians view the Hebrews? How would this view and the Hebrews living apart in Goshen help to keep Israel’s people from intermingling and intermarrying with the Egyptians? Why would this be important in light of God’s covenant?

One more “think” question: How do we see God perfectly caring for His people as difficult circumstances come? How does that truth encourage you today?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 42

DAY 42

A.M. Reading: Genesis 43

Genesis 43 Questions Worth Pondering:

Why did Jacob tell his sons to return to Egypt?

How does Judah respond?

How do the brothers reinforce Judah?

What does Judah promise Jacob about protecting Benjamin?

Reread Genesis 37:26-28. What had Judah been willing to do to Joseph?

What is different in his treatment of Benjamin?

How does Jacob (Israel) finally respond?

When Joseph saw Benjamin, what does he do?

Why are his brothers afraid?

How does the steward of Joseph’s house reassure them?

When Joseph comes in to dine with them, what do the brothers do?

How do we see Joseph’s dream from his youth fulfilled once again?

What were Joseph’s words to Benjamin?

What was Joseph’s heart toward Benjamin?

Why did he go into his chambers?

Why were the brothers astonished as they were seated for dinner?

Did the brothers seem to react negatively to Benjamin when he was given special treatment?

In the past, how had they reacted to Joseph being treated specially by their father?

A “think” question: How can we see, as Joseph insists on their bringing Benjamin and this “test” as he give sBenjamin special treatment, that he is trying to find out how the brothers treat Benjamin? Did they treat Benjamin as they had treated Joseph all those years before? What is he determining about his brothers?

P.M. Reading: Genesis 44

Genesis 44 Questions Worth Pondering:

As Joseph’s brothers prepare to leave, what does Joseph instruct his steward to do?

Explain Joseph’s plan. By putting the cup in Benjamin’s sack, how will he again test his brothers?

How do the brothers defend themselves?

Why is it significant that the one found with the cup would become a slave in Egypt?

How do they react when the cup is found in Benjamin’s sack?

How do they respond to the statement that Benjamin would be a slave, but they could return to their father in peace?

Compare the brothers scheming together to sell Joseph into slavery with their plea to prevent Benjamin from being taken into slavery. What are your insights?

What difference is seen in Judah in the two incidents?

What is Judah’s final plea?

A “think” question: Joseph was described as a wise and discerning man. How can you see his wisdom and discernment in all his dealings with his brothers?

Note: Often readers question Joseph’s cup of “divination”. Based upon the context in this passage, Bible scholars generally agree that this term was used as part of the plan with which Joseph would test his brothers. Such a cup (made of silver, belonging to the second in command in Egypt, and used for “divination”) would have been very valuable and would also cause the brothers to believe that is why he “divinely” knew things about them. Stealing such a cup would place the “thief” in grave danger. There is no scriptural evidence that Joseph actually used the cup for divination. However, there is much evidence that God was with Joseph and blessed Joseph and that Joseph walked with God.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 41

DAY 41

A.M. Reading: Genesis 41

Genesis 41 Questions Worth Pondering:

How much time had passed since Joseph had interpreted the dreams for the butler and the baker?

Describe Pharaoh’s two dreams.

With a troubled spirit about the dreams, who did Pharaoh send for to interpret his dreams?

Were any or all of those men able to interpret the dreams?

What events does the butler now recall?

Instantly, what occurs concerning Joseph?

What does Joseph tell Pharaoh about his own ability to interpret dreams?

What does he tell him about God?

What does Joseph tell Pharaoh that God is going to do?

Why was the dream repeated twice?

What does Joseph recommend for Pharaoh to do?

What kind of person does Joseph recommend to be set over the land of Egypt?

How did Pharaoh receive Joseph’s advice?

How does Pharaoh describe Joseph?

What position is Joseph exalted to?

List the phrases that reveal what honor was bestowed upon Joseph.

How did Joseph fulfill the advice he had given to Pharaoh?

Pharaoh also gave Joseph a wife. What was the significance of his sons’ names?

What was the extent of the famine?

What was the extent of the countries who came to Egypt for food?

A “think” question: Recall how old Joseph was when his brothers sold him into slavery. Recall how old Joseph was when he stood before Pharaoh. How many years had passed? And then, in a moment of time, Joseph was placed as second in command over all of Egypt. Though He is unseen, what can we learn about God?

P.M. Reading: Genesis 42

Genesis 42 Questions Worth Pondering:

What does Jacob instruct his sons to do? Why?

How many brothers went?

Why was Benjamin not allowed to go?

Describe the situation as Joseph’s brothers come to him in Egypt.

Explain what made Joseph remember the dream he had many years before.

How does Joseph interact with his brothers?

What “test” does he require of the brothers to prove that they are not spies?

Describe how the brothers express their guilt.

What was Joseph’s response?

What did Joseph learn about Reuben, the first born?

Who, then, did Joseph select to be held in prison?

After receiving grain and beginning their journey home, what occurred that caused them to be afraid?

When the brothers told Jacob of all the events, why does he still refuse to allow them to take Benjamin back to Joseph?

A “think” question: How can we see a guilty conscience still plaguing Joseph’s brothers for their actions all those years before? Why does a guilty conscience persist in someone?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 40

DAY 40

A.M. Reading: Genesis 39

Genesis 39 Questions Worth Pondering:

Where was Joseph taken?

Who bought Joseph?

Consider the importance of the statement, “The Lord was with Joseph.”

Considering all that Joseph’s brothers had done to him and the fact that he is now a slave, would the circumstances of his life seem to indicate that the Lord was with him?

A “think” question: How would you reconcile those two opposing ideas?

How was it observable that the Lord was with Joseph?

Why did Joseph find favor in Potiphar’s house?

What did Potiphar do because of this?

As Joseph served Potiphar, who brought the blessings to his household?

Describe the situation with Potiphar s wife.

Under repeated temptations, how does Joseph show that he is a man of integrity?

What reasons does Joseph give for refusal of Potiphar’s wife?

How do his reasons reflect both respect for Potiphar and dedication to the Lord?

How does Potiphar’s wife both lie and deceive to retaliate against Joseph’s righteous actions?

How does she also blame and disrespect her husband?

How did Potiphar respond to the accusations against Joseph?

Why would the other men of the house corroborate her story?

What does Potiphar do in response?

In spite of unjust treatment once again, what phrases are used regarding the Lord and Joseph?

A “think” question: Compare Joseph’s position in Potiphar’s house to His position in the prison. Locate all of the parallel phrases. What can we learn about God’s faithfulness to His people, even in the most distressing and “unfair” circumstances?

Think upon these things!

P.M. Reading: Genesis 40

Genesis 40 Questions Worth Pondering:

Describe the situation with the butler and the baker.

How did they meet Joseph?

How can you see Joseph’s genuine care for the men?

Describe the butler’s dream.

What interpretation did Joseph give?

Who does Joseph credit with the interpretation?

What request does Joseph make of the butler? Why?

Describe the baker’s dream.

What interpretation did Joseph give?

Did the interpretations come true?

Did the butler remember Joseph’s request?

A “think” question: As hope arose that Joseph may be brought out of prison, but that hope failed to come to pass, was there any failure in God’s care for Joseph? Joseph had made an attempt to get out of prison, understandably so, but how can we know it was not God’s time for Joseph to get out of prison? Explain your thoughts. Include your thought about God’s trustworthiness.

Think upon these things.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 39

DAY 39

Note: We have completed reading the gospel of John. We will do morning evening readings in Genesis, as we study the life of Joseph.

A.M. Reading: Genesis 37

Genesis 37 Questions Worth Pondering:

Genesis 37 begins with a focus on the life of Joseph.

How old is Joseph as the account begins?

Recall the sin that was revealed about Reuben in Genesis 35:22.

Recall the sin of Simeon and Levi that was revealed in Genesis 34.

Now Joseph brings a bad report about some other brothers.

Who are they ? (You can know by who their mothers are.)

How is Jacob (Israel’s) relationship with Joseph described?

What did he give to Joseph?

Describe Joseph’s brothers’ feelings toward Joseph. Why was this so?

Describe Joseph’s first dream.

How did the brothers react?

Describe Joseph’s second dream.

How did his father react? How did his brothers react?

A “think” question: Recall that God had spoken to Jacob in a dream. Also recall that Jacob was the younger brother, but recall Isaac’s blessing on Jacob the younger brother (Genesis 27:27-29). How could these events cause Jacob (Israel) to keep the matter of Joseph’s dreams in his mind?

Where did Israel send Joseph and what did he ask him to do?

When his brothers saw Joseph coming, what evil did they conspire to do?

What did Reuben do? Why?

What did the brothers then do?

What does Judah suggest they do? Why?

A “think question: How had Jacob deceived his father (Isaac)? How do Jacob’s own sons now deceive him (their father)?

How did their father react?

But Joseph is not dead. Where is he?

P.M. Reading: Genesis 38

Genesis 38 Questions Worth Pondering:

During Joseph’s slavery in Egypt, we are given insight into the sin of another of Jacob’s sons.

Which brother is Chapter 38 about?

Does he marry a relative as Isaac and Jacob had?

Who does he marry?

Who were their sons?

Who was Tamar?

Describe what happens with Judah’s sons and the Lord.

What does Judah tell Tamar to do, as was customary at the time?

Did Judah keep his word to Tamar?

How did she deceive Judah so that she could conceive a child?

How did Judah respond when he heard Tamar was with child?

How did she prove to Judah that he was the father of the child?

A “think” question: How was the birth of Tamar’s twins similar to that of Jacob and Esau?

A “think” question: How often have we seen one who has deceived another as the one who later is Himself deceived?

Another “think” question: Does the sin, deception, and wickedness found in humans deter God from carrying out His plan? Why or why not?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 38

DAY 38

A.M. Reading: Genesis 36

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

Whose genealogy is given in this chapter?

What is Esau also called?

Why does Esau and all of his people move out of the land of Canaan?

Recall God’s covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

To whom did God promise this land?

How can we see God fulfilling that promise?

Recall God’s Word to Rebekah. (“Two nations are in your womb.”)

How can we again see God fulfilling His Word?

A “think” question: Using as many examples as you can recall thus far from our readings, how would you explain to someone that God ALWAYS does what He says He will do?

P.M. Reading: John 21

John Questions Worth Pondering:

As we conclude our reading in the gospel of John, skim back through Chapters 1-21.

Give each chapter a title or write a summary sentence for each chapter.

Try to remember each one so that you can readily refer to them at any time you might need to.

A “think” question: The word “gospel” means “good news”. Why is the book written by John “good news”?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!