Random thoughts on Chapter 3

This isn’t my “official” post on chapter 3. That will be coming up on Monday morning. Rather, this is a few random thoughts that came to me this morning during worship and Sunday school. Feel free to comment on any of this, or other thoughts you might have on this chapter.

  1. Does the feast and famine sequence in the Joseph story relate in any way to the parable told by Jesus in Luke 12:16-21? In that parable, a wealthy landowner finds he has a bumper crop, and is so pleased with himself, he decides to build new barns to store all that bounty. Jesus chastises that landowner for not focusing on what’s important. On the other hand, Joseph is rewarded for planning for the future. He even gets the Egyptians to sell themselves to Pharaoh. Seems to be directly opposed to the message of the parable. Thoughts?
  2. A popular topic among some Christians today is the idea of spiritual warfare – the idea that “the enemy” is actively placing obstacles in their way to attempt to prevent them from doing God’s will. Was Joseph the victim of spiritual warfare? There were certainly obstacles placed in the way of Joseph fulfilling his destiny as he saw it. But God needed him to be in Egypt. So were all those obstacles from the enemy, or from God? And how does that relate to what’s called spiritual warfare today?
  3. In my prior readings of this story, I’ve felt that the “character” of Joseph was lacking, from a purely literary perspective. Not because he has flaws – in fact, just the opposite. Joseph never seemed to “grow” as a character, and I found it hard to identify with him because of that. I tended to identify more with the brothers. But I saw something reading it this morning that I hadn’t seen before. When Joseph described his dream abut the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to him, Jacob rebukes him. I always just glossed over that in the past, but, today, I saw it as a sign that Joseph, as a young man, was a little full of himself, and his father had to reign him in. It was only later that Joseph learned to attribute everything to God, and not himself.

I’d love to hear your comments on these random thoughts, or anything else you’d like to talk about

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