This week we come to the end of Genesis! Next week is an opportunity for you to catch up on anything you missed, or maybe re-watch the Bible Project videos on Genesis now that the content is more familiar. Our next 12 week reading plan is the Gospel of Mark and it starts March 29th.
Readings this week:
Genesis 48 – 50
□ 48:1-9 Joseph’s Sons
□ 48: 10-22 Blessing Joseph’s Sons
□ 49:1-28 Blessing Jacob’s Sons
□ 49:29 – 50:14 Death of Jacob
□ 50:15-26 Death of Joseph
Main Topic – Death and Blessing
The book of Genesis begins with God’s blessing on Adam and the command to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). This command and the covenant promise of offspring, land, and being a blessing to the nations (Gen 15, 17) are passed from Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob, and are fulfilled in many ways at the end of Genesis. In this final section, Jacob blesses his children before his death, thus preparing the reader for the story of the growth of the family into the nation of Israel as they sojourn in Egypt.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
1. Joseph’s Sons (Gen 48) – How is the blessing of “make you fruitful and multiply you…” passed on from Jacob to Ephraim and Manasseh? How is the blessing of land passed on?
2. Blessing of Jacob’s Sons (Gen 49) – Jacob gathers his sons and speaks prophetically over them. What consequences do Reuben, Simeon, and Levi bear for their offenses?
3. Blessing of Judah (Gen 49) – Although Judah was recently shown in an unfavorable light during the episode with Tamar (Gen 38), how has his character and way of life changed? (Gen 43, 46:28) Jacob gives an unexpected blessing to Judah (Gen 49:8-12). What is it? How does this show the grace of God?
4. Burial of Jacob (Gen 49-50) – Amid the mourning for Jacob, where is the primary focus for his burial? How does this relate back to the promise of the land and the prophecy of Gen 15:12-16? How does it foreshadow what is to come?
5. Death of Joseph (Gen 50) – How does an understanding of God’s providence help Joseph deal with his brothers? What lessons can we draw from Joseph’s life for dealing with seasons of challenges and blessings?