Fruitful Day 10 The Goodness Of God: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out The Goodness Of God!

The Questions

1) After Jacob’s death and burial, Joseph’s brothers were concerned Joseph still held a grudge and would attempt to even the score. After all the kindness Joseph showed them, why would they think this? (verses 15-18)

2) Joseph spoke kindly to his brothers and told them God used their evil for good. What does this say about God? (verses 19-20)

3) Joseph promised to care for his brothers and their families. What does this say about Joseph? (verse 21)

Genesis 50:15-21

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.”

16 So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before he died your father gave a command: 17 ‘Say this to Joseph: Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin—the suffering they caused you.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when their message came to him. 18 His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. 21 Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Original Intent

1) After Jacob’s death and burial, Joseph’s brothers were concerned Joseph still held a grudge and would attempt to even the score. After all the kindness Joseph showed them, why would they think this? (verses 15-18)
For backstory, Joseph was his father’s favorite of twelve sons. For this favoritism, the eleven brothers hated Joseph. (Genesis 37:3-4) They mistreated him at every opportunity, eventually plotting his death, but then decided to sell him as a slave. The Lord remained with Joseph and gave him favor, even granting him the position as second in command in Egypt. As famine swept through the land, Joseph was able to extend kindness to his estranged brothers when they came to Egypt looking for food. When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, he consoled them by telling them their plotted evil was used by God for great good, “And now don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5) He showed his brothers love, “Joseph kissed each of his brothers as he wept, and afterward his brothers talked with him.” (Genesis 45:15) Joseph sent them home with food, clothing, money (Genesis 45:21-23), and wagons to transport Jacob (his father) to Egypt. (Genesis 46:5-7) After such kindness, why would the brothers fear Joseph still held a grudge? Firstly, they likely felt guilty for their treatment of him. Secondly, perhaps they didn’t fully believe Joseph truly forgave them. They likely felt Joseph showed kindness to please their father. Now, in light of Jacob’s death, Joseph may get even. Yet, if they reflected on all Joseph had done, they would recognize genuine love and compassion in his actions. As Warren Wiersbe explains, What the men should have done was to sit down and calmly review all that Joseph had said to them and done for them. In many tangible ways, Joseph had demonstrated his love and forgiveness and had given them every reason to believe that their past sins were over and forgotten. They really had nothing to fear.”

2) Joseph spoke kindly to his brothers and told them God used their evil for good. What does this say about God? (verses 19-20)
God disclosed to Pharaoh, not in one, but two distinct dreams of an impending famine. Then, the Lord gave Joseph the ability to interpret the dream, which God used to give Joseph favor in the eyes of Pharaoh. Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Since the dream was given twice to Pharaoh, it means that the matter has been determined by God, and he will carry it out soon.” (Genesis 41:32) Despite the oncoming famine, God displayed His goodness through Joseph and the skill set He had given him. Joseph’s plan involved storing up seven years of prosperous grain to dole out carefully when the famine would come and last an additional seven years. Joseph’s leadership not only saved Egypt from starvation, but also the surrounding areas impacted by the dearth of food, including Canaan where Joseph’s family resided. When the brothers arrived in Egypt to buy food, Joseph did more than supply them with necessities, he brought them to Egypt to live. (Genesis 46) Thus, Joseph saved the family-line God had made a covenant with that reached backwards to Abraham, to whom God had vowed to make a great nation from his offspring. Jacob’s family was a pivotal family in that lineage. (Genesis 12:2-3) Joseph’s presence in Egypt was not haphazard, though the circumstances under which he got there were terrible. Still, God was with Joseph, “The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master.” (Genesis 39:2) God didn’t abandon Joseph despite injustice and suffering. He was faithful to bring about His rescue plan. God is sovereign, operating outside of our human timeline. God holds all wisdom, ensuring that every action He takes is perfectly orchestrated and wisely performed. No human action, even if it is evil, is beyond God’s ability to use for His divine purposes.

3) Joseph promised to care for his brothers and their families. What does this say about Joseph? (verse 21)
Joseph suffered immense injustices at the hands of the ones who were supposed to love and care for him with utmost loyalty. Joseph was kidnapped (Genesis 40:15), accused falsely (Genesis 39:10-20), imprisoned (Genesis 39), and neglected for years (REF). There may easily have been points in his life where he held hatred and bitterness toward his brothers for their cruel treatment. Yet, God used even the seemingly un-ending years in prison when he had been unjustly abandoned, forgotten by those who promised to remember him (Genesis 40:23), to slowly teach Joseph to trust the Lord and wait for His timing. This lesson of waiting for the Lord is one King David learned as he too waited many years for God to fulfill His divine purposes through him. (Psalm 27:13-14, Psalm 138:8) Joseph must have learned what the Lord God wanted him to learn about trusting Him, because when Joseph was finally released from prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph acknowledged God as the one who interpreted the dreams, not himself. (Genesis 40:8, Genesis 41:15-16) While Joseph waited, God opened the eyes of his heart (Ephesians 1:18), enlightening Joseph to His providence and teaching him to trust. Because Joseph had experienced God’s tenderness and care, he was then able to genuinely forgive and care for his brothers. Joseph came to recognize that his suffering was more about his own heart attitude toward God, and learning to submit to God’s purposes, than it was about his comfort.

Everyday Application

1) After Jacob’s death and burial, Joseph’s brothers were concerned Joseph still held a grudge and would attempt to even the score. After all the kindness Joseph showed them, why would they think this? (verses 15-18)
After Joseph divulged himself to his brothers, as he was unrecognizable to them in Egyptian garb, he mobilized his family to Egypt and cared for them. He explained how God used cruel actions as part of His providential plan to save lives. Still, his brothers feared Joseph’s retaliation despite his reassurance and comfort. The brothers’ timid reactions to Joseph are no different to many Christians today in how we view God and His gracious, kind, goodness toward us. In my own life, after giving in to temptation and sinning against God, I’ve felt guilty and believed God, in anger, has abandoned me. Except it was I, not God, who did the abandoning. The Bible is filled with promises of God’s enduring love, forgiveness, and grace toward us. (Psalm 136, 1 John 1:9, Titus 3:4-5) Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Observe also verses 38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God exhorts us again to hold onto truth through the words of the disciple John, “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) Friend, take heart. If you have surrendered yourself to the Lord God, trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice to cover your sin, and have repented (turned away) from sin to follow Christ, you are forgiven and guaranteed eternal life. Why fear?! God’s “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18)

2) Joseph spoke kindly to his brothers and told them God used their evil for good. What does this say about God? (verses 19-20)
Egypt faced a devastating seven-year famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint a wise, intelligent man to collect and store food for this imminent crisis. Pharaoh recognized Joseph as the best person for the job, and Joseph didn’t disappoint. Joseph’s adept food-management allowed many people to survive, including his family. (Genesis 41) Romans 8:28 states, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”  We live in a broken world. It is inevitable we will face hardships, injustices, and disappointments. A few years ago, I lost two babies. They died right after birth, and I suffered tremendous grief. After the death of the second baby, I decided never to have children, but this wasn’t God’s plan for me. Today, I am blessed with two beautiful children. Looking back, I have a different perspective on losing my other babies. At the time, I was quite young and inexperienced. God guarded my babies, taking them to live with Him, while saving me from the pressures of raising children as a single mother. Despite my pain and grief, I thank Him today for His divine intervention. With the Lord, no pain or suffering is experienced in vain. He will faithfully redeem our broken and grieving places for His glory when we surrender to His plan for our lives. (Joel 2:25-27)

3) Joseph promised to care for his brothers and their families. What does this say about Joseph? (verse 21)
Could you imagine how Joseph felt after his brothers threw him in a cistern, then sold him to Ishmaelite traders, who then sold him to Pharaoh’s captain of the guards in Egypt? I am almost certain at one point, Joseph felt bitter hatred toward his brothers. In his book, “You’ll Get Through This,” Max Lucado made this observation, “Initially, Joseph chose not to face his past. By the time he saw his brothers again, Joseph had been prime minister for nearly a decade. The kid from Canaan had come a long way. Joseph could travel anywhere he wanted, yet he chose not to return to Canaan. He knew where to find his family, but he chose not to contact them. He kept family secrets a secret. Untouched and untreated. Joseph was content to leave his past in the past. But God was not.” Joseph preferred to forget about his past and move on. In the interim, he grew and matured, not only emotionally but spiritually. Recognizing God allowed the events of his life to be used for His purposes, Joseph forgave his brothers. The same opportunity to trust God and His faithful plan is available to us as well. When faced with adversity, injustice, and disappointment, we must remember God is in control. Only the Sovereign God is able to use struggle and pain for good purposes not only for us, but also for His kingdom work. We must not hold on to bitterness or seek revenge, those belong to Lord and His justice. Something else is in the works for those who trust Him, something beautiful and glorious. We may not understand it now, but Joseph’s story is proof that God is good and His love endures forever. (Psalm 100:5)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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