Joseph: How Faith and Character are formed - Week 9 - Blessed Reunion
Reading: Genesis 46 - 47:12
Sermon date: 29 July  


What is a tradition that has been passed down either in your family or among your friends?
Of all of the places you have been, what has the most significance for you?
What promise has someone made to you that you weren’t sure how they would go about keeping?


What’s In A Name:
As chapter 45 ends, Joseph’s father is referred to as “Jacob.” Yet as chapter 46 begins, he is referred to as Israel.   Why do you think this is?    Why does God call his name twice?  Where else in the Bible  do we see this calling of a name twice?  Why is God referred to as “the God of His father Isaac”?   
Jacob is one of the many that had his name changed by God, but with Jacob the new name doesn’t always stick. More times than not when Jacob is walking in his old nature God refers to him as Jacob; but when he is walking in his new nature it is Israel.  Repetition in Scripture can mean urgency.  Often in the Old Testament we see we see people primarily came to know God through their family members telling them.  Time and time again God tells His people to pass along forms of worship, covenants, and the stories that have come to define Israel’s relationship to God.

Please read Genesis 46-47:12 together
Are we leading people in our family to the Lord? What traditions of faith are we passing along to our families?
Each name in 46:8-27 is in God’s word for a good reason. Why do you think these names and numbers of people are listed here?
 Think on the significance of Rachel’s two sons (from the story of Joseph so far)?  Why might the sons of Levi be significant?  (For further study, Genesis 29 and 30 tell the stories of Jacob’s relationships and children.  Rachael and Leah were sisters (what do we remember of their stories)?  Rachel was the daughter of Jacob’s mother’s brother. Zilpah was Leah’s maid.  Bilhah was Rachel’s maid. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and God heard Leah’s sorrow, and so on….)
What does it mean to you that God knows your name?  
What’s in A Place
What happens, physically and spiritually, at Beersheba, in each of these passages:  
 Genesis 21:14, 31,33, 26:2, 23,33?
Joshua 15:20?
1 Samuel 8:2?
I Kings 19:5,7?
Amos 5:5?
Do you have set places of thankfulness and communion with God?  What can
you “bank” on as you enter new territory?  How does seeing the history of
Beersheba help you where you are today?
Note that just as God had closed the door to Egypt before, here He is with Jacob as
he goes into Egypt.  And just has God brings His people to Egypt, He will someday deliver them from Egypt.  Then, someday He will tell Joseph and Mary to go to Egypt.   What do make of all this?  
What’s in a Promise
In Genesis 46:2-4, what does God command? What are God’s promises?
But what about Genesis 49:33?   How does this affect one of those promises?
What is significant about naming Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Matthew 8:11?
How is “do not fear” both a firm commandment and a comforting promise?  
What is something you are going through that requires both your being obedient to this commandment and comforted by this assurance?  How can/will you go about this?


What’s In A Plan:
Across chapter 46 and this first bit of chapter 47,
What are the ways in which Joseph exemplifies Christ?  
Thinking back across the story of Joseph so far, up to and through these verses, and how he has exemplified Christ, and how God has used him in His overall plan of redemption, for the nation of Israel then, and for us now. 
What practical implications could God’s foreknowledge have on our prayer life?

John Heine, 24/07/2018