25 October 2017

Joseph, the faithful man who saw tomorrow



Theme: Integrity in temptation

Scriptures:
  • Genesis 39:1-23
  • Genesis 45:1-28
  • Genesis 50:22-26

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Joseph made difficult but wise decisions that led to God’s future blessings.
Think: I consider my integrity to be more important than my feelings and desires.
Do: Choose what is good and right and refuse every temptation that would call me away from God.

Notes and questions:
B1 What is temptation?
C1 Our life before believing in Jesus: Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  (21)  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
C2 Our life after believing in Jesus: Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  (24)  And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
C3 Are there different desires, yet different struggles?
C4 Is temptation the same as sin? See Hebrews 4:15 NKJV  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
C5 Can a non-christian resist sin? How about a Christian, or an atheist?
B2 What to do in temptation
C1 Pray to be delivered from temptation: Mark 14:38 GNB  And he said to them, "Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
C2 God limits the strength of the temptation: 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
C3 Resist: Genesis 39:7-12 NRSV  And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me."  (8)  But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand.  (9)  He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"  (10)  And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her.  (11)  One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house,  (12)  she caught hold of his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
C4 How did the Lord Jesus resist temptation?
D1 Hebrews 4:15 GW  We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn't sin.
D2 Luke 4:1-4 NKJV  Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,  (2)  being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.  (3)  And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."  (4)  But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
D3 Hebrews 4:15-16 GW  We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn't sin.  (16)  So we can go confidently to the throne of God's kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.
D4 The dog resists temptation?
E1 How?
E2 Why?

B3 Genesis 39:1-23,
C1 How can we avoid temptation?
C2 What does this verse say about Joseph and Potiphar? Genesis 39:3 GW  Joseph's master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made everything he did successful.
C3 How would you handle the lies and false accusations? Genesis 39:13-19 NRSV  When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside,  (14)  she called out to the members of her household and said to them, "See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice;  (15)  and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside."  (16)  Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home,  (17)  and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me;  (18)  but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside."  (19)  When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, "This is the way your servant treated me," he became enraged.
C4 Why didn’t Potiphar ask Joseph for his side of the story?
C5 What is most significant about this verse? Genesis 39:21 NRSV  But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.
C6 Genesis 39:23 NRSV  The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph's care, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper. What character trait is God approved in this verse?
C7 What did Potiphar think when Joseph was promoted to his position by Pharaoh?
B4 Genesis 45:1-28,
C1 Genesis 45:5-8 NRSV  And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.  (6)  For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.  (7)  God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.  (8)  So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Calvinists use this verse to teach that God exhaustively decrees all things.
Does this verse teach that or does it teach that this situation with Joseph was sovereignly guided? Is every event in life exhaustively decreed? Is this passage descriptive or prescriptive?
C2 What is the importance of having Dad (Jacob) there?
C3 Genesis 45:21-22 NRSV  The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey.  (22)  To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments. Why did Joseph give more to Benjamin? Was that the right thing to do?
C4 How does this verse apply? Proverbs 11:8 NKJV  The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead.
C5 Jude 1:24-25 NKJV  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,  (25)  To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
D1 We all stumble, but this would be a permanent stumbling.
D2 Why does God keep us?
D3 How does God do this? Hebrews 7:25 NKJV  Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Also read: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 GNB  Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us.  (8)  We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;  (9)  there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
C6 How do we know how to do and what is the right choice in our everyday situations?
D1 The Bible
D2 Some things we must do, as Hebrews 11:6 NKJV  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
D3 Some things we must NOT do, as Colossians 3:21 NKJV  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
D4 We have principles we can apply to the situation, as 2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
D5 We have examples of those who made choice
E1 Bad choice: Luke 22:3-6 NKJV  Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.  (4)  So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.  (5)  And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.  (6)  So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.
E2 Good choice: Luke 18:13 NKJV  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!
E3 What other examples can you think of?
B5 Genesis 50:22-26,
C1 Timeline
D1 Joseph goes to Egypt– 17 years old
D2 Joseph in Potiphar’s service– until he was ~27-28 years old
D3 Joseph in prison– ~30-31 years old
D4 Joseph promoted by Pharaoh– ~30-31 years old
D5 Joseph asks for His father, Jacob to come to Egypt– Joseph ~39-40 years old and Jacob ~ 130 years old
D6 Joseph dies– 110 years old
C2 Genesis 50:24-25 NKJV  And Joseph said to his brethren, "I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."  (25)  Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.
D1 What character traits do we see in Joseph?
D2 Why was Joseph so confident that the children of Israel would go back to the promised land?
D3 How can we be confident to go to our promised land?
C3 How did integrity affect Joseph’s life?
B7 Next week:
C1 Undivided
C2 Theme: Unity in Christ

C3 Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-31

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