Israel Goes to Egypt

Study Guide

Genesis 46:1-47:12 answers the “How” of “How does God orchestrate and accomplish his purposes?” When we face difficult circumstances and ask, “How are we going to get through this?”, we can be reminded that Joseph probably asked the same question in the pit or in jail, only to one day stand next to Pharaoh as a leader of Egypt and, in turn, accomplish God’s purposes all along. Every moment of difficulty, confusion, and diversion—even through 400 years of waiting—leads perfectly to the fulfillment of God’s promise in Canaan.
  1. Joseph experiences tremendous highs and lows in his circumstances but remains faithful to God throughout. What can we learn from Joseph? How can we keep our faith from wavering when things are difficult? How can we not become self-reliant and independent when things are going well for us?

  2. Matt describes why the Israelites needed the 400 years in Egypt to grow and mature enough to take advantage of the blessing he had for them in Canaan. Describe a time in your life when you were frustrated with God’s timing, but it proved over time to be exactly what you needed. How can remembering these times help us in the future when we grow impatient in our circumstances?

  3. Read Ephesians 3:20-21 (if you are in a group, read together). When has God accomplished more in your life than you could have even imagined beforehand? How have you been made aware of God’s mighty power in the last few weeks?

Key Points
  • There are days in the Christian faith where you just follow and obey, trusting that God is working even in our confusing or difficult circumstances.

  • It is a precarious notion for us to evaluate God in any given moment and in any circumstance to see if he is being “good to us.” His evaluation of good is on a different scale.

  • Through the story of Joseph and his family, we see the sovereign hand of God twisting events to accomplish his purposes; they walk into Egypt just hoping not to starve and come away with restoration, jobs, protection, and Egypt’s best land where they will be able to grow and thrive.

  • Pharaoh is blind to his own weakness. Even though Jacob who has nothing appears to be the weakest one in the room, he blesses Pharaoh twice. The true king who sent him is infinitely more powerful than Pharaoh.

  • As believers, it only makes sense for us to put our hope and trust in a God whose timing is perfect and track record impeccable.

Scripture References

Scripture: Genesis 46:1-47:12

Topics: Comfort, Confusion, Faithfulness, God's Plan, Obedience, Sovereignty, Understand