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If you could go back in time....

I want to go back….

In English, there is a saying that “hindsight is 20:20.”

Sometimes we get so frustrated or disillusioned or hurt or grief-stricken or angry that we think that God obviously didn’t know what He was doing when He allowed certain things to happen in our life.  Pretend that you could change your past.  Pretend you could do things differently, but the rules are that whatever you change means it changes everything.  If someone has hurt you so badly that you wish you had never met that person, ask yourself these questions:   How would my life have been different?  Where would I have lived?  What would I have done?  What in my life now would I not have if I had never met that person?

Bible Reading

Genesis 37:1-36, 39:1 – 45:11   Summary of these verses > > > click here

In the Bible a real person named Joseph lived a life that at times did not make sense and often seemed unfair. However, because of his trials, he led an extraordinary life.  Imagine when Joseph was reunited with his brothers in Genesis 45.  The Bible says,

Joseph was no longer able to control himself in front of his servants, so he ordered them to leave the room. No one else was with him when Joseph told his brothers who he was. He cried with such loud sobs that the Egyptians heard it, and the news was taken to the palace.  Joseph said to his brothers, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives.”

Eventually, all Joseph’s family moved from the land of Canaan to Egypt where they escaped the famine and Joseph was reunited with his father Jacob.

About Joseph

From memory of the summary or from the Bible reference, answer these questions about the life of Joseph:

  • What did Joseph’s father ask him to do?  Genesis 37:14
  • Because his older brothers were so jealous and hated him, what did they do to Joseph?  Genesis 37:28
  • As a slave in Potiphar’s house, what were Joseph’s duties?  What impressed Potiphar about Joseph?   Genesis 39:2-4
  • Because of the lies of Potiphar’s wife against Joseph, what did Joseph’s master do?  Genesis 39:20
  • When Joseph was a prisoner in Egypt, how did God bless him?  Genesis 39:21-23
  • While in prison for two years, whom did Joseph meet?  Genesis 40:2-4
  • When the cup bearer returned to serve Pharaoh, what did he remember about Joseph?  Genesis 41:12
  • Because Joseph was able to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh regarding seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, what did Pharaoh do?  Genesis 41:40
  • Who came to Egypt in search of grain for food during the famine?  Genesis 42:1-2
  • Did the brothers recognize Joseph?  Genesis 42:8

Discussion

  1. Asked by his father, would Joseph still leave the tent to check on his brothers in the field if he had known he would be taken by them and sold into slavery?
  2. What are some of your blessings?  Think about how your life would have been different if you had not made certain decisions or met certain people or if you had not experienced certain disappointments.
  3. Take time to be thankful. What are you thankful for?

Word List
hindsight – to look behind you or to look back in time
20:20 – perfect vision or to see things clearly
eventually – something that happens over a period of time
Canaan – an area that is current day Israel
famine – a severe food shortage usually caused by a drought (no rain)

Good verse to remember:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever.
I Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1 and 136:1

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