Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – November 29, 2015
Theme: Heroes of Faith
Topic: Joseph – Prophecy by Faith
Main Texts: Genesis 50:1-26
Key Verse: Hebrews 11:22 –“By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus
of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.” (NIV)
Last Sunday, we discussed the right way to administer a Spirit-Inspired Blessing. We saw that pronouncement of a blessing upon another should not be frivolous. Our learnings from the study include the following:
If we expect our pronouncement of blessing to be effective, it must be thought through, truly inspired by God and consistent with God’s revealed word.
The recipient of the pronouncement of a blessing has responsibility for co-operating with God for actualisation of the blessing
This Sunday, we will continue our studies of Heroes of Faith as we consider Joseph, prophesying the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. A key point to note is that Joseph made this pronouncement at a time when the Israelites were quite comfortable in Egypt. But Joseph had his eyes on God’s revealed ultimate plan for the nation of Israel. Our key learning from the study should include:
We must be careful not to allow our current comfortable situation to blur God’s perfect plan and purpose which may require a total change of direction from our current comfortable position.
It requires unflinching faith to remain focused on God’s purpose where it means abandonment of our current comfortable position: There would usually be pressures from those around us and other stakeholders.
When we list the names of Old Testament prophets, Joseph’s name does not readily come to mind. He was actually never explicitly referred to as a prophet. However, from his childhood, he exhibited some traits of a prophet. Recall his many dreams which eventually landed him in trouble with his brothers and he got sold to slavery? Then his interpretation of the cupbearer’s and baker’s dreams in prison? (Genesis 40). Eventually, in our main text for today, as he was about to die, we see him speak authoritatively of the Israelites’ future exodus from Egypt.
1) What is the scriptural view of those whose dreams come to pass and who say things that seem to always happen, when such people are (a) Christians, and (b) Non-Christians? See Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10 and Joel 2:28.
When Jacob died, Joseph obtained Pharaoh’s permission and support to go and bury him in Canaan as Jacob had earlier requested. So Joseph and his brothers all went to Canaan for the burial and returned to Egypt. At the time Joseph was making the pronouncement about the Israelites’ exodus, things were actually going well for the Israelites in Egypt – they had prospered and had the respect of the Egyptians – thanks to Joseph’s legacy. But his eyes were fixed on God’s promise to his father and grandfather – that they and their descendants would inherit Canaan (Gen. 50:24).
2) Discuss possible scenarios where prosperity could be an obstacle to our realisation of God’s master plan for our lives, and how we may guard against such. Imagine if Joseph had encouraged the Israelites to make Egypt their permanent home, perhaps even purchasing a tomb for his own burial there. The entire subsequent mission of Moses in
leading the exodus would perhaps not have taken place as the vision of inheriting Canaan would have been lost. The Israelites would have accepted their fate as being forever slaves in Egypt.
3) What role do we play in the realisation of God’s promise for our lives? Managing change is one of the greatest challenges human beings face. We have to manage the impact on ourselves and on others. Psychologists reckon that next to divorce, physical relocation of one’s place of abode is the most stressful undertaking we could engage in. Such relocation could be forced as a result of war or upheaval, but we would think hard and long to come to a decision to voluntarily relocate.
4) What conversations would have been taking place among the Israelites immediately following Joseph’s instructions regarding his death and the exodus?
5) Why was Joseph’s instruction as regards the exodus reckoned as an act of faith?
Father, teach and help me