Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jun 10: Genesis 47

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 47. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In the first part of this chapter we read how all of Joseph’s brothers and his father meet Pharaoh and he gives them the best land to live in. Again this shows how much Pharaoh favored Joseph.
  • Then we read how the famine continued and the people of the land had to keep coming to Joseph to buy food to survive until they had no money to animals or land to trade. The people eventually had to sell themselves in slavery for food.
  • At the close of this chapter, we read how Joseph promises his father to bury him in his homeland and not Egypt when he dies. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • We read today how the people of Egypt had to sell themselves into slavery in exchange for food during the famine. This may sound like Joseph was doing the people wrong but he wasn’t. Remember that he worked for Pharaoh. So this food is the Pharaoh’s food but God gave Joseph the wisdom and insight to save up enough food for the people to survive the famine. And if you read how Joseph handled the people’s “slavery” you’ll notice how he was very gracious to them. He only commanded that they give a fifth of what they harvest back to Pharaoh and they could keep the rest. This was a generous exchange and Joseph could have demanded much more. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Have you ever had a time when you held a position of power over people? How did you handle it? Did you take advantage of people working under you or did you make sure they were provided for? Joseph could have demanded everything from the people of Egypt but instead dealt kindly with them. 
  • Let’s take a lesson from how Joseph exercised his authority. It’s my belief that God makes us strong (both physically and positionally) to take care of those who are weaker than us. Let us be good stewards of all that God has entrusted us with.