OT Fire Starters – Day 17: Genesis 40-41
READ: Genesis 40-41
THINK: Think of your favorite sport, hobby or extracurricular activity. Do you ever dream of what it would be like to make it to the top-to be considered the best? We all like to be recognized for our accomplishments, and most of us, at one time or another, envision the acclaim that comes from reaching the highest level in some arena of life. But it’s easy to become so success-driven that we take credit any time people are willing to give it to us. Joseph, however, knew where his abilities and success came from. Even when powerful people looked to him for help, Joseph made it clear that God would be the One who provided the answers. Though he became known for his wisdom and leadership skills, Joseph didn’t trust in his intellect or reasoning abilities. His hope and trust were in God alone. Because Joseph was quick to give glory to God, even Pharaoh recognized and acknowledged God’s hand upon Joseph’s life when he asked, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” (41:38).
RESPOND: In light of his prison term, why was Joseph’s attitude and faithfulness to God so remarkable? (See 40:1 note.) Do you think that you would have remained positive and loyal to God over that period of time? Why or why not? What view does the Bible take concerning “magic arts,” which involve trying to control people and circumstances with the aid of supernatural powers or relying on sources other than God to discern the future? (See 41:8 note.) How did Joseph’s reply to Pharaoh show tremendous boldness? (See 41:16 note.) How did Joseph’s response show integrity and dependence on God? Why is it important to credit God for our abilities and successes? What do you think it was like for Joseph to become a wealthy, influential leader after years of servanthood and imprisonment? (See 41:46 note.) How would such a promotion tend to affect someone who lacked integrity or reliance on God? If Joseph had not given credit to God, would God have been able to use Joseph as He did? Why or why not?
PRAY: Express gratitude to God for the abilities, opportunities and successes He has given you. Ask God to help you stay patient and faithful through a tough situation-particularly one that has lasted a long time.
ACT: Take advantage of every opportunity to humbly give credit to God. When someone thanks or commends you for something, don’t hesitate to acknowledge God’s goodness and help, so as to draw people’s attention to Him.