BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

Summary of passage:  Joseph spent his entire life in Egypt and died at the age of 110. Before he died, he reassured his brothers that God will aid them and take them out of Egypt to the Promised Land and requested that his bones be brought out of Egypt.  He was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Questions:

11)  God will aid them and take them up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

12a)  To have his bones moved to the land God promised.  This encouraged the Israelites in their faith in God as they trusted in God’s plan to return them to the Promised Land.

b) Exodus 13:19:  “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him.”

Joshua 24:32:  “And Joseph’s bones which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a 100 pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.”

13) Personal Question.  My answer:  From this passage:  “God will surely come to your aid and take [your loved one] up out of this land to the land He promised (heaven).”

Other passages are better:  Genesis 50:19-21:  “Don’t be afraid…God intends it for good…He will provide for you and your children.”

Conclusions:  Disappointment reigns.  I think Lesson 30 & 31 should have been combined.

Did you catch the fact that Joseph was never buried?  (I didn’t until I read commentary on this passage.  I had assumed he was buried and then would be dug up for the trip to the Promised Land).  Scholars suggest his bones were left out as a visual reminder to the Israelites that one day Joseph would be buried in the Promised Land.

Joseph’s request was showing great faith in God’s promises.

And so ends the Book of Genesis with God’s chosen people looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 4: Genesis 50:15-21

Summary of passage:  With Jacob dead, Joseph’s brothers once again became afraid of retribution from Joseph for what they did to him.  They lied (again), saying Jacob told Joseph to forgive them before he died.  Joseph wept over this.  His brothers humbled themselves before Joseph, offering themselves as slaves.

Joseph told them to not be afraid for God intended good out of the evil they did–to save lives.

Questions:

8a)  They were afraid Joseph would enact revenge and justice upon them now that Jacob was dead.  So they lied that Jacob told him to forgive them.

b)  He spoke kindly to them, telling them God has worked good out of their evil.

c)  Personal Question:  That God has a plan that we cannot see.  Things happen for reasons we cannot know.  We must trust in Him always and learn and grow in our walk of faith no matter the hardships.  For good is right around the corner.  All things work together for my good.

We must also keep in mind that the evils that befall us are not from God; they are from man.  Man enacts evil upon us, not God.  But God will work it for good in our lives.  All for His glory.

9a) He forgives us; He loves us; He protects us; He provides for us; He showers us with grace when we are in no way worthy.

Psalm 103:  “The Lord forgives all your sins…redeems your life…compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities…for so great is his love for those who fear him.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal gratitude.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Could be better.  Need to be more God-like.

10a)  “To accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.  To save the seed of the Savior and God’s people.

b)  Matthew 28:18-20:  “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey”

1 Peter 2:9:  “You are a chosen people…that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Acts 1:8:  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the ends of the earth.”

Conclusions:  Was convicted with 9c.  I need to treat my family better than I do strangers.  I think a lot of struggle with that.  It’s so easy to take them for granted when we cannot.  For God didn’t take us for granted.  For He knows everything about us.

Why did Joseph weep upon hearing this concocted story of forgiveness?  Scholars think probably because his brothers doubted him, his forgiveness, and his character.  That the brothers thought so little of him.

Joseph trusted in who God is and trusted God in His promises.  We have a problem in doing the same.  Trust first in Him.  Then love, forgiveness, and comfort naturally flow outwards.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 3: Genesis 50:7-14

Summary of passage:  So Joseph, all of Pharaoh’s officials, all the members of Joseph’s family, chariots, and horsemen journeyed to Canaan to bury Jacob.  At Atad near the Jordan River, Joseph stopped and mourned 7 days for Jacob.  He was buried and all returned to Egypt.

Questions:

6)  High.  He sent practically all the nobles with Joseph to bury Jacob as well as chariots and horsemen to escort and protect them.

7a)  The mourning at the threshing floor of Atad.

b)  They mourned 7 days for him and buried him in the Promised Land.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not a lot.  Comfort is not the word.  Encouragement, yes.  Comfort, no.

Conclusions:  Overarching theme:  Jacob was greatly revered in Egypt.  7c was out of place.  Again, stretching this lesson.  One question would have been sufficient for this passage.

Fun Fact:  No other burial is recorded in Scripture with such pomp, detail, and honor.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 2: Genesis 49:29-50:6

Summary of passage:  Jacob gave each son the appropriate blessing.  He requests to be buried in the same tomb as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah.  Then he died.

Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept.  He was embalmed and mourned over for 70 days.  Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to bury his father in Canaan, which Pharaoh granted.

Questions:

3a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Hebrews of course says Jacob had faith.  No.  There is no indication in this passage of fear.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is the God of the living, not the dead.  So this infers Jacob knew he would live again with God.

4a)  Personal Question.  My answers, which I already knew and didn’t “learn” here:

Hebrews 9:27:  Man is destined to die and face judgement.

Romans 3:23; 6:23:  All have sinned and fell short of the glory of God.  Wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:24:  Whoever hears Jesus’ words and believes in God has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

John 8:24:  You will die in your sins if you do not believe in Jesus.

John 11:26:  Whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure what this has to do with Jacob’s death.  We have read about dozens of people dying in Genesis:  Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Sarah, Rebekah’s nurse, etc.  Why ask this now?

My answer:  I’m not because I firmly believe I have not accomplished God’s work for me yet here on earth so I enjoy living each and every day and not thinking or dwelling on death.  For in the end all we have is this day for we do not know.

And if I die, I’m as “prepared” as we all are.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  So why even worry about it?  That’s God’s job, not mine.

5)  He fulfilled Jacob’s last request by burying him in Canaan.

Conclusions:  I’m assuming the answer to my question of why BSF is asking the death question now is because they have run out of questions to ask.

Question 5 was just dumb.  This is a “duh”.  We all know Joseph is trustworthy from reading Genesis.  That is his character.  So why wouldn’t he be now?

I’m just getting frustrated here with the personal questions.  It’s an indication of stretching out the lesson.  In my opinion, we could have ended this study a few weeks ago instead of answering “filler” and “duh” questions.

This is the second time I’ve noticed recently of being given only one verse that even isn’t a complete sentence to go off of (It was last week DAY 5).  If BSF is going to give us reference passages to look up, let it be the whole passage so we can understand.  Reading a sentence fragment 1) goes against all of my writing background and irks me 2) never gives us the full story.  Please assign more than this.

In this instance, Hebrews 11:28 is so much more richer.  It says just as we are meant to die, “so Christ was..to bring salvation”…  Anytime I am like Christ, I rejoice.  Plus, salvation is near!  Hence, we should in death as well.  I believe this is the more important point.

Sorry to all who believe I have been critical of BSF lately (yes, I’ve noticed it myself) as I’m sure you’ll all comment on it. But I am frustrated and when I am, I will say so.  I cannot change my feelings over the matter.  I just feel like a bunch of this could have been cut out.  Either that or I’m missing the point entirely.

I try to keep in perspective that BSF is also for those who don’t know Jesus and are seeking him and so they write questions to that effect, which is great.  However, it is monotonous to us believers (or maybe just me) and I can’t help but say so.

End Note:  Jacob was mourned just 2 days less than a pharaoh would have been mourned.  This shows us just how revered he was in Egypt.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 31

Summary of passage:  Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth.  The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland.  Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.

Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once.  Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance.  Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan.  Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban.  They crossed the Euphrates.

Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled.  He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead.  God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.

Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols may they die.

Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him.  Laban found nothing.

Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing.  He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.

So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other.  They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.

Questions:

11a)  The Lord told him it was time to go.

b)  20 years (verse 38 & 41)

12a)  Verse 5 (the God of my father has been with me), Verse 7 (God has not allowed him  (Laban) to harm me, Verse 9 (God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me), Verse 12 (I–God–have seen all that Laban has been doing to you)

b)  With Laban and Abimelech, the un-Godly ones (yes, I’m calling Laban un-Godly since he’s throwing such a fit about his stupid idols missing) approached the patriarchs and set the terms of the treaty/covenant.  Both knew God was with Jacob and Isaac and decided to move preemptively to protect themselves.  Both treaties stated one was not to harm the other.  Then they feasted, swore, and went on their merry way.

In terms of Jacob and Jesus, both were being pursued and both submitted to God’s will for their lives.  Jacob was told it was time to move back to Canaan.  Jesus was told it was time to die for our sins.  Both were being falsely accused (Rachel was the perpetrator, not Jacob).  Both sought God in the process.

c)  Verses 5, 7, 9, 12, 42

13a)  Hebrews says to endure hardship as discipline, which Jacob did.  He endured sweltering days and freezing cold nights out in the elements as he cared for the flocks.  He absorbed all the animals’ losses as his own and endured Laban’s mistreatments.  Jacob worked hard and was blessed.  He put his faith in God to care for him and bless him and the Lord did.  He received all he had set out for (a wife basically) and much more (two wives and flocks).

Of course, Jacob failed miserably in the wife department.  But his faith grew in God, which I believe was God’s intent, through the hardships.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 42.  God has seen my hardship and rebukes the persecutors of such.  Verse 7.  God has not allowed them to harm me.  Verse 11.  God has seen all that has happened.

Conclusions:  It’s important to remember that God is with us in the difficult times and that He uses ALL things for our good (Romans 8:28).  We will be blessed for we are His. Jacob is not personally afraid.  He is afraid he’ll lose his family (as we all).  But Jacob has faith in God to protect him and do His will through him.  That is what we must remember.  God is working through us even if we can’t see it and don’t know why we have to go through something.  It will work for our good.

End Notes:  This is the last we will hear of Laban in the Bible.  As we see, he is a pompous bully who only half-believed in the Lord.  He used his idols for divination.  He is exceedingly jealous of God’s blessing upon Jacob.  It is all about him.

Why did Rachel steal the idols?  The Bible never tells us why.  Scholars give many different speculative reasons:  she didn’t want her father to have them in order to use them for divination to find them.  She was getting back at her father for the many years of mistreating them.  She wanted them for herself for she worshipped them.  And the Jews usually say she took them to keep her father from sinning into idolatry.

You can also glean a nugget here of a healthy separation from your in-laws who may unduly influence you.

Most fascinating to me was that nowhere in this passage of praising God does Jacob ever say “God is MY God.”