Author: Michael Bogart

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 42-44: Jacob’s Sons Are Tested

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 42-44: Jacob’s Sons Are Tested While Joseph’s faith was matured in chapters 39-41, in 42-44, Jacob’s sons are tested by God. God’s ultimate goal in Jacob’s family is complete reconciliation, which we will see accomplished in chapter 50. Early in this chapter, the famine that affects Egypt and all the surrounding lands reveals that Jacob continues to favor the sons of Rachel. With Joseph gone, Jacob has turned his special attention to Joseph’s younger full brother, Benjamin. When it becomes urgent to buy grain from Egypt, Jacob sends his other 10 sons on the dangerous...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapters 39-41: Joseph’s Maturing Faith

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 39-41: Joseph’s Maturing Faith In chapters 39-41, we can catch a glimpse of Joseph’s maturing faith. Throughout the rest of Genesis, God’s blessing on the life of Joseph will become clear. God blesses Joseph even when he sold as a slave by his jealous brothers. The blessing continues even when he is framed for attempted rape and thrown in prison. He is blessed even when a fellow prisoner whom he helps and is released forgets his promise to plead Joseph’s case. Consider these issues as you read these pivotal chapters: How did Joseph respond to...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapter 38: Judah’s Trial of Faith

Genesis Challenge | Chapter 38: Judah’s Trial of Faith Judah’s trial of faith was a spectacular failure. His actions over a period of years as recorded in Genesis 38, show his faithlessness on many levels. We will see Judah change for the better in future chapters, but at this point he and his brothers seem to be far from any deep personal walk with God. Here are some important points to look for in this “soap opera” of Judah’s life: In verse 1, Judah separates from his brothers. Although the Bible does not give any specific reason why he...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapter 37: Joseph’s Immature Faith

Genesis Challenge | Chapter 37: Joseph’s Immature Faith In Genesis 37, we get a glimpse of Joseph’s immature faith.  Search as much as you like in these chapters — about the only negatives you will find in the life of Joseph are a basic immaturity and a fair amount of youthful arrogance. What kind of person would share dreams with their siblings that clearly predict their future rule over them? To call Joseph self-confident about his amazing giftedness would be an understatement. Yet, when a person like that decides to follow God wholeheartedly, great things can happen. Rest assured...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapter 36: Esau’s Lack of Faith

Genesis Challenge | Chapter 36: Esau’s Lack of Faith Genesis 36 provides a contrast between the descendants of Israel (Jacob) and the descendants of Esau. On the surface, Genesis seems to show Jacob’s faith and Esau’s lack of faith.  It would be easy to say that Jacob’s descendants were people of faith and Esau’s were ungodly, but this contrast is too simple. Jacob’s own sons were often far from being godly (remember chapter 34) and there may have been some God-fearers among Esau’s descendants, who were after all, of the line of Abraham and Isaac as well. For instance,...

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