God Meant It For Good

Scroll Down For Discussion Questions

Scripture

Genesis 50: 1-26

 Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him and kissed him. 2 Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Now forty days were [a]required for [b]it, for [c]such is the period required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.

4 When the days of [d]mourning for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your sight, please speak [e]to Pharaoh, saying, 5 ‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am about to die; in my grave which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’” 6 Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”

7 So Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 and all the household of Joseph and his brothers and his father’s household; they left only their little ones and their flocks and their herds in the land of Goshen. 9 There also went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company. 10 When they came to the [f]threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and [g]sorrowful lamentation; and he [h]observed seven days mourning for his father. 11 Now when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at [i]the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a [j]grievous [k]mourning for the Egyptians.” Therefore it was named [l]Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.

Burial at Machpelah

12 Thus his sons did for him as he had charged them; 13 for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field for a [m]burial site from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!” 16 So they [n]sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about [o]this present result, to preserve many people alive. 21 So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke [p]kindly to them.

Death of Joseph

22 Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father’s household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph’s knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely [q]take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He [r]promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely [s]take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.” 26 So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and [t]he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.


Discussion Questions

April 8th ,2018

 

1. How can we balance Joseph’s going to Canaan (with a very large entourage) to bury his father Jacob, recorded in verses 1-14, with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 8:20-21 and Luke 9:59-60 about letting “the dead to bury their own dead?” How do we resolve this apparent conflict in the Bible’s teaching?

2. Good and evil (seen since the Garden of Eden) are played out in Joseph’s life as he responds to his brothers’ repentance and request for forgiveness with the word in verse 20 “...you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” What had Joseph’s brothers done to him (Genesis 37: 1-36)? How have you seen God turn evil into good through someone’s life? Your own life?

3. In verses 24-25 Joseph refers to his family’s future return “to the land which He [God] promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob” and made them promise to carry his bones to that promised land. What significance does this have for the nation Israel (see Genesis 12:1; 13:15,17; 15:7, 18; 28:4; 35:12)? What significance does this have for us today. (see Micah 5:2 and Luke 2:1-7)?