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Monday | The Beloved
The picture that Moses is painting in these few words is one of delight, absolutely love and affection, and favor, which was a huge deal in this time. Joseph was the beloved of his father, Jacob, the one on whom Jacob rested his favor. This incident of the coat was likely a small anecdote of a pattern of gifts that Jacob would have poured out on Joseph unashamedly in the midst of his family.
1. Read Genesis 37:1–4. Think about a time when you loved someone so much that it overflowed in gifts and affirmation to them.
2. This is what we see of Jacob in his love for Joseph. It’s this unashamed pouring out of favor and love that is obvious to everyone around. Have you ever experienced this from someone? If so, what was it like?
In the same way that all of the delight, love and favor of Jacob rested on Joseph, all of God’s favor rested on Jesus. He delighted the Father and was his Beloved Son.
3. Read Matthew 4:17. Spend a moment thinking about Jesus’ life and how the Father’s favor rested on him and the delight God took in Christ his Son.
When Christ died on the cross, he switched places with us. He took on our wrath and we received his reward, the favor of God on us. We are now the Beloved of God, and he loves us with the same love he has for Christ.
- Read Romans 9:25-26. Paul is saying that we who don’t deserve it are called God’s Beloved Children. It’s something that we have heard a lot and have grown numb to but is an amazing truth. Spend a moment to think about all the favor and delight of Jacob on Joseph and God the Father on Jesus; that all of this type of delight and love and favor is now the way God sees you. How does this change the way you look at your relationship with God?
- How might you approach God differently this week as you think about this truth?
Tuesday | Authority
It wasn’t just his father who highlighted Joseph as special, but God himself did. God spoke to Joseph in two prophetic dreams that both pointed to Joseph being in a position of authority to his brothers. He walked in the authority of Jacob because he was the chosen one of his father, but he also had prophecies of his authority over his family.
1. Read Genesis 37:5–11. What would have been your reaction if one of your siblings or friends told you about a dream like this?
2. Think about the concept of God choosing certain people on whom to place his authority. How does this make you rethink who God is?
In the same way as Jacob was given authority by his father Jacob, Jesus was given authority during his ministry by God his Father. It was an authority that should have inspired worship and glory like the dreams of Joseph, but also that carried with it power to heal and power over spiritual bondage.
3. Read John 17:1–2. Think about Jesus having authority given to him by the Father. What do most people do when they are given authority and power?4. What does this passage say that Jesus does with this authority? What does this tell us about the character of Jesus?
As God’s children and as those who stand in Christ, we stand in his authority. This was what Jesus spoke to his apostles before he ascended into heaven to empower and embolden them to the task ahead – the task of advancing the gospel to the world.
5. Read Matthew 28:18–20. It doesn’t make sense at first glance: that all authority has been given to Jesus, and therefore his disciples can go and do this impossible task. He says this because they stand in the authority of Jesus in the same way that we stand in Jesus’ authority. How does this change the way you view your call to make disciples of your family, friends, neighbors, and the world?
6. What might it look like for you to trust in the authority of Jesus to bring eternal life and be emboldened to share the Gospel with others?
Wednesday | Humbled
Jacob sends Joseph on a task to check up on his brothers to see how they are doing and come back to bring a report. This was no doubt a similar task on which he had brought back a bad report before, and as his brothers saw him coming, they were filled with rage. They mocked him, they plotted his death, they stripped him of his robe, and they left him exposed in a pit.
1. Read Genesis 37:18–24. Have you ever been extremely embarrassed or humiliated before? How did you respond?
2. Think about the strange path to exalting Joseph that God was taking. He was sitting naked in a pit about to be sold into slavery. How do you respond when God doesn’t fulfill his promises in the way that you think he will?
Just as Joseph’s brothers plotted his death, mocked him, stripped him, and left him exposed in a pit, Jesus’ brothers, his fellow Jews, plotted his death, mocked him, stripped him of his clothes, and left him exposed on a cross. Except this wasn’t merely the favored son of a rich man, but the Only Son of the Living God.
3. Read Philippians 2:6–8. Paul writes here of the humility of Jesus. Thinking of both Jesus’ absolute authority from yesterday and abject humiliation from today, what does this say about the character of God?
4. Think back to Monday and the depth in which God loved his Son, Jesus. Think that he sent him to endure this type of humiliation out of love and desire for you. Spend a moment thanking God for his vast love for you.
Paul tells us that in his humility, Jesus was setting for us an example. Not of someone who takes full advantage of his position and authority, but as one who joyfully lays it down for the sake of others.
5. Read Philippians 2:1–5. We are called to imitate the humility of Christ. As we look at how he humbled himself for us, we can humble ourselves for others. Ask God to convict you of people in your life that you should humble yourself for their advantage rather than exalt yourself for your own. Write them down.
6. What might it look like this week for you to begin considering these people more significant than yourself, and laying down things you are entitled to in order to love and serve them?
Thursday | Tempted
Joseph didn’t stay in the pit but was sold into slavery for the price of a servant by his brothers. The beloved son of the rich man was now in the lowest class of society. Not only this, but he was fiercely tempted by the wife of his master in Egypt. But rather than doubting God’s goodness through this horrible circumstance, he remained firm through temptation, trusting in his God.
1. Read Genesis 37:25–28. Have you found in your life that it’s hard to resist temptation in the midst of hardship? Why do you think this is?
2. Read Genesis 39:6–10. What does Joseph’s reason for resisting temptation say about his faith in God?
Jesus was also sold into the hands of his captors for the price of a slave by one of his closest friends. The Beloved Son of God was now being tried on death row before an angry mob as a common criminal. But, through this terrible trial, he kept his trust in God, resisting temptation to disobey or distrust God’s good plan, praying, “not as I will but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
3. Read Hebrews 4:14–16. Though Jesus was fully God, he was fully man and susceptible to temptation just as we are, yet he, unlike us, was without sin. What does this tell you about the character of God that he would submit to being tempted that he could sympathize with us in our temptations?
4. Spend some time thanking God that Jesus is our sympathetic High Priest who understands our temptation.
There is more to Jesus’ temptation than proving his holiness, or allowing him to sympathize with us. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “because he himself was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” What a glorious truth!
5. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. What might it look like for you to run to Jesus for help in the midst of temptation this week? Pray and ask God for help to do this.
Friday | Risen to Reconcile
The rest of the story of Joseph reveals even more about the coming Christ. Though Joseph resisted temptation with Potiphar’s wife and had done nothing wrong, he was wrongly accused, convicted and thrown in prison in Egypt. But, miraculously, he was brought out of prison and elevated to sit at the right hand of Pharaoh. Not only this, but he was in a position to save, forgive and reconcile to himself the very brothers who had wronged him.
1. Read Genesis 45:1–5, 15. Joseph’s brothers were ashamed in his presence because they had wronged him and created separation. Have you ever wronged someone and created an obvious separation in the relationship? What was it like seeing that person?
2. Look at the difference between verse 3 and verse 15. The brothers changed from not speaking to Joseph in shame to speaking to Joseph in the freedom of relationship. The difference was forgiveness and reconciliation. Think about how difficult it must have been to forgive this kind of sin that the brothers sinned against Joseph.
Just like Joseph, Jesus was wrongly accused and convicted. But instead of being thrown into prison, he was nailed to a cross. Instead of being locked in a cell, he was locked in a tomb. And even more miraculously than being released from prison to sit at the right hand of Pharaoh, he was risen from the dead to sit at the right hand of God! And instead of reconciling 10 brothers to himself, he has “reconciled the world to himself, not counting their sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
3. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17–21. If forgiving and reconciling 10 brothers for selling him into slavery was amazing, think about the free offer of forgiveness and reconciliation to a world steeped in evil and rebellion. Spend some time thanking God for this.
What this means for us is that we don’t have to hang our head in unspeaking shame in the presence of God. We can weep and rejoice and talk with God in reconciled relationship because God has taken away our separation and shame.
4. If you fully grasped this truth that Christ has moved towards you in forgiveness and reconciliation like Joseph and his brothers, how might this change the way you approach God?
5. Are there sins from your past or present that are hard for you to believe God could really forgive and move past? If so, then write them down and spend some time this week asking God to give you faith to trust him as your Reconciler and Redeemer.