Dreaming Big

Dreaming Big

Scripture: Genesis 37:1-11 (NRSVue)

Our journey through Genesis reaches a new stage: The Joseph Stories.
I’d like to extensively quote from a beautiful description of these unforgettable stories:

“The stories of Genesis, and especially the story of Joseph, have at all times called forth the admiration of mankind. Dealing with the profoundest of thoughts in terms of everyday life, yet a child is thrilled by this story, and at the same time the greatest of thinkers are continually finding in it fresh depths of unexpected meaning. Like summer and the starry skies, like joy in childhood, these stories touch and enthrall the human soul with their sublime simplicity, high seriousness and marvelous beauty…The uniqueness of these stories consists in the fact that there is in them a sense of overruling Divine Providence realizing its purpose through the complex interaction of human motives…Not by means of abstract formulae does it bring God and duty to the soul of man, but by the lives of human beings who feel and fail, who stumble and sin as we do; yet who, in their darkest groping remain conscious of the one true way—and rise again.”  Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1936


August 13, 2023 — Worship Service Bulletin (click)


BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS for Genesis 37:1-11 (NRSVue)

“Dreaming Big”

  1. The Old Testament Bible heroes are nearly always flawed heroes. What are some flaws that we see early on with Joseph? Would you describe him as a “spoiled brat” in this passage?
  2. Jacob is older and wiser now, but he too still has shortcomings. How are they revealed in this story?
  3. One of the themes in the Joseph Stories of Genesis is God’s unseen hand guiding history and his people’s lives, even in the midst of hardship and misfortune. How do you see this at play in Joseph’s life?
  4. How can showing favoritism cause problems in families? Work settings? Church?
  5. Do you think Joseph should have shared about his dreams or kept them to himself? Put yourself in his robe and sandals—what would you have done? How do we discern when to keep silent and when to speak up?
  6. Joseph’s brothers hated him and “could not speak peaceably to him.” When we are struggling with a brother or sister, how can we work on improving our attitude toward them and relationship with them in healthy ways?
  7. How were the brothers’ responses to Joseph different from Jacob’s response? (v.11) What do you think it means that Jacob “kept the matter in mind”?





Other Sermons In This Series

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *