Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Genesis Bible Study notes- Chapter 45 & 46

Genesis 45

-Joseph cannot keep up the charade any longer and sends everyone away but his brothers to reveal himself to them weeping so loudly that the Egyptians heard it with the news even reaching the household of Pharaoh. The Bible tell us that his brothers were greatly disturbed (the sense of the word here would probably be terrified) at, literally, his face. This could mean his appearance stunned them, which it obviously would have. But, I think it indicates the realization to them of Joseph’s power and authority over their lives at this point and how the dreams had come true with justice coming around full circle under the providence of Almighty God.

-At this point Joseph’s grace and mercy shine through as he tells them to come closer to him in a demonstration of kindness and welcome. He told them not to be grieved or angry with themselves because of their deeds in selling him as a slave. The reason was clear now. God had sent Joseph ahead to preserve their lives. The famine was two years in and there would be five more lean years, which would have destroyed the Abrahamic line had not these providential things occurred. This is what Joseph calls, “a great deliverance (Genesis 45:7).” *Application* Jesus is the great Deliverer. He is the one who rescues us from spiritual depravity and offers us new life in Him. Trust His grace and mercy immediately if you have not already.

-Joseph reassures them by stating that it was actually not them who sent him to Egypt, but God. Joseph indeed sees the hand of the LORD in all his life’s dealings and knows that nothing happens apart from His divine and overarching will. *Application* This should be a source of great comfort for our lives. At times life can seem very unfair, complicated, and chaotic, but those who trust in the LORD and are called according to His purpose will have everything turn out good in the end (Romans 8:28). That is a promise of God, which releases us from fear, anxiety, and earthly tension.

-Joseph and his brothers have a sweet reunion at this point as he tells them not to delay in bringing his father’s entire household to Goshen in Egypt for sustenance and prosperity. He weeps with them in loving embrace and they kissed with brotherly affection. The news pleased Pharaoh and he instructs nothing but the best for them in getting the family down to a place of safety during the famine.

-As they depart to get their father and the rest of the family Joseph gives them this advice, “Do not quarrel on the journey (Genesis 45:24).” Joseph knows his brothers and human nature well. This to me is humorous that after all they had been through and were going to undertake, the spoiled little brat brother is the one who is trying to unify them. Spiritually it is awesome to see the progression and maturity of this great man of faith. His leadership skills are very apparent. *Application* Unity is key in any endeavor. We must learn to work together under the direction of the LORD and not quarrel and fight all the time. This has to do with our attitudes and words, which have a tremendous impact on others.

-Joseph’s brothers return to Hebron and bring the incredible news to their father that Joseph is alive and ruling in Egypt. This news obviously stuns Jacob and he does not believe them at first. This family has been known to tell a lie or two J. When Jacob sees the wagons and gifts that the brothers brought from Egypt, his spirit revived and he exclaimed with renewed hope and vigor, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die (Genesis 45:28).” *Application* Isn’t it awesome to hear great news? We can all imagine the thrill that went through this old patriarch’s spirit when he heard his son, whom he thought was dead, was alive. Sometimes a good word of hope is all it takes to get a person kick started on their way to great and incredible things. Be a bearer of good tidings wherever you go.

-I was wondering as I read this chapter whether or not Jacob ever got the full story of what happened to get Joseph down to Egypt for the earthly salvation of his family. I wonder if the brothers ever came clean in honesty and confession, or if they took those events and hid them from their father, as children will sometimes do, until the end of his life. In my pondering of this dilemma, I believe they never told him. To my knowledge the Scripture never states that he knew of the brothers selling Joseph into slavery. Thus, Israel had more incentive to bless Judah with the Messianic promise at the end of his life (Genesis 37:26-27; 49:10). Who knows?

Verse to memorize: Genesis 45:28


Genesis 46 

-Israel sets out with all he had and came to Beersheba, where he offered a sacrifice unto the LORD of his father Isaac. God reveals Himself to Israel again here in visions of the night instructing him not to be afraid and to go ahead down to Egypt. God promised he would surely bring him back up again to Canaan and that Joseph would close his eyes (be with him in his time of death). They go on to the land of Goshen.

-The record of all the family is listed. There were 66 people in all who went down to Egypt and there they met up with Joseph’s four in his family to make 70. There would be an estimated million or so when they left Egypt 400 years later.

-Judah, the brother of surety, is sent ahead to point them to Goshen and get Joseph. Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel in a magnificent reunion. As soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept for a long time. *Application* Seeing someone we love dearly after a long absence is one of the great joys in life. The old saying is true, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

-Joseph instructs his family to maintain their identity as shepherds and keepers of livestock. The reason for this is simple. The Egyptians loathed shepherds, which would keep Israel’s people distinct in the land of Goshen. This becomes a trademark of Jewish people as the LORD keeps them separated for His salvific purposes.

Verse to memorize: Genesis 46:29

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