Friday, June 24, 2005

Great People Of the Bible- Week #4- Joseph

I decided to post next weeks study a bit early just in case I don't make it to a computer while I am in Alaska. I hope this study is useful to you. Please feel free to use the comment section to post questions or other items.

JOSEPH (the guy with the coat)

Integrity amid impossible circumstances, that is that's the life of Joseph. Why not give up, when nothing works out? This character makes clear that nothing is left to chance.

As a youngster, Joseph was overconfident. His natural self-assurance, increased by being Jacobs favorite son and by knowing of God's designs on his life was unbearable by his ten older brothers, who eventually conspired against him. But this self-assurance, molded by pain and combined with a personal knowledge of God, allowed him to survive and prosper where most would have failed. He added quiet wisdom to his confidence and won the hearts of everyone he met, Potiphar, the warden, other prisoners, the king, and after many years, even those ten brothers.

Perhaps you can identify with one or more of these hardships Joseph experienced: he was betrayed and deserted by his family, exposed to sexual temptation, and punished for doing the right thing; he endured long imprisonment and was forgotten by those he helped. As you go through his story note Joseph's positive response that transformed each setback into a step forward. He didn't spend much time asking "Why?" His approach was, "What shall I do now?" Those who met Joseph were aware that wherever he went and whatever he did, God was with him.

Read Genesis Chapters 37 & 39

-How did Joseph come to be in Potiphar's house?
-What was Joseph's reputation in this Egyptian household?
-How did his responsibilities grow?
-Who was behind his success?
-Why would the temptation to please Potiphar's wife be very strong?
-What words would you use to describe the qualities that mark Joseph's character? His physical appearance?
-Against whom did Joseph refuse to sin? How was this a safeguard?
-When trapped, how did Joseph handle sexual temptation

Read 1 Corinthians 6:18 & James 4:7

-Why are we urged to "flee" in the one instance and "resist" in the other?
-What is the difference?

-What sacrifice did Joseph make to preserve his personal integrity?
-Imagine Joseph's feelings in prison. What new temptations would be found there?
-What made all the difference in Joseph's circumstances? (see verse 21)

Joseph is a great example of faithfulness in extreme circumstances. Remember that God will give you the strength to resist all temptation and turn them into blessings in your life.

Have a great week.

Next week = MOSES


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