Jacob's Family-Dysfunctional Relationships and the Grace of God - Joseph and Judah-Trust Rebuilt, Reconciliation Achieved

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Sunday, 22 November 2009


Now (at last) for the good news…

1. Changes in Joseph

  • Joseph’s attitude to what he has suffered (40:15; 41:50–52)
  • Joseph’s strange accusations (Gen. 42)
  • Joseph’s desire to know what is in his brothers’ heart

2. Changes in Joseph’s Brothers

  • The burden of guilt (42:21)
  • Simeon: another brother goes missing! (42:36)

3. Joseph’s Tests

  • Simeon (42:24–25)
  • (Was Joseph right to test his brothers like this?)
  • Benjamin (44:1–17)

4.  Intercession and Reconciliation

  • Judah’s plea (44:18–34)
  • Judah’s acceptance of his father’s favouritism; his love and understanding
  • Joseph’s response: his realisation that God has been at work


  • How to generalise from this unusual narrative?
  • Gen. 44–45: a picture of forgiveness
  • Reconciliation and the restoration of trust are difficult things (cf. Gen. 50:15–21)
  • A key question in forgiveness: how far do we trust and know God?
  • Why do we forgive?

Questions for Discussion

  • Did you agree with preacher’s understanding of Gen. 42–45?
  • Is it right to trace God’s hand at work in Joseph and in his brothers?
  • Can it ever be legitimate to ‘test’ someone else?
  • Consider Joseph and Judah in Gen. 44–45: is there something in the way they are described that speaks to you in some way?
  • How will you apply these chapters?
  • What will you take away from this sermon series?