Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 31

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,Β 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–

Read Genesis 40-41

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–


Questions to Consider

1. Reviewing previous lessons (links above) if necessary, briefly summarize Joseph’s life and experiences up to this point. What was happening to Joseph when last we left him?

2. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Joseph? His “coat of many colors” and his status as favorite son? That God enabled him to interpret dreams? His fame and success as Pharaoh’s right hand man during Egypt’s famine? Joseph was favored and successful at many points in his life, but he also suffered greatly. From previous lessons and from today’s passage, describe the various ways Joseph has suffered in his life. How do Joseph’s sufferings and successes point us ahead to Christ as both Suffering Servant and King of Kings? How does Joseph’s being lifted up out of “the heart of the earth” (the “pit” 40:15, 41:14) foreshadow Christ’s resurrection?

3. Since God is sovereign and in complete control of everything that happens, why didn’t He remind the cupbearer to speak up on Joseph’s behalf as soon as he got out of prison? (40:14-15, 23, 41:1, 9-13) Why didn’t He cause Pharaoh to have his dream sooner? (41:1) Why did God wait two whole years, allowing Joseph’s suffering to continue?

4. How did Joseph give glory to God for his abilities and witness to Pharaoh about the one true God? (41:15-16, 25,28,32,38-39). List some ways you can use your God-given talents and abilities to honor Him, to bring glory to Him, and to testify to others about Him. Why is it important for Christians, like Joseph, to have a good work ethic?

5. List the godly character traits exhibited by Joseph in this passage. Which Bible passages talk about these traits? Are any of these traits lacking in your life? Which of these traits do you think you are most spiritually mature in?

6. What can we learn about the nature and character of God from this passage? Which of His attributes are showcased? What can we learn about how God governs the affairs of men and works in the hearts of men?

7. Since this is aΒ descriptive passage (a narrative report of what happened) rather than aΒ prescriptive passage (instructions or commands), what can weΒ notΒ learn from this passage? For example: Does the fact that God spoke to three people through dreams in this passage mean that we should expect Him to speak to us through dreams today? Does the fact that Joseph became successful and powerful guarantee that God will make you successful and powerful? List several things we canΒ not learn from this passage along with the correctly handled Scriptures that would apply.


Homework

Have you ever been in a “two more years in prison” situation like Joseph was in which you went through prolonged suffering, injustice, or feeling abandoned? Why did God allow you to suffer? What does the Bible say about suffering? Looking back on your situation, what are some good things God brought out of it? How did He grow you spiritually during that time? Set aside some prayer time to thank God for bringing you through that suffering and for what He taught you and how He grew you during suffering. Ask God to give you the opportunity to comfort someone who’s suffering the way He comforted you.


Suggested Memory Verse

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, β€œSince God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are.”
Genesis 41:39

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 30- Potiphar’s Wife

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,Β 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–

Read Genesis 39

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–


Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review lesson 28 (link above) to refresh your memory on the storyline of Joseph, then read today’s passage. Why do you think Joseph’s story starts in chapter 37, is “interrupted” by the story about Judah, his sons, and Tamar in chapter 38, and then picks back up in chapter 39?

2. How did Potiphar (1) come to acquire Joseph?

3. Carefully examine the description of Potiphar in verses 1-2 and Potiphar’s house, status, and living conditions in verses 1-6. Make a list of the things we can infer about “Mrs. Potiphar” from this information- where and how she lived, her social status, socioeconomic level, etc. Was it likely that Mrs. Potiphar was a Believer in the one true God?

4. Read verses 6-19, closely examining Mrs. Potiphar’s words and actions.Β Write a character sketch of Mrs. Potiphar, adding in the information from your list from question 3. What adjectives would you use to describe Mrs. Potiphar?

5. Describe Mrs. Potiphar’s outward sins. Outward sin can always be traced back to an inward sinful thought or attitude of heart. What was Mrs. Potiphar’s inward sin? How is lust a form of coveting? When a person covets or lusts after something or someone that doesn’t belong to her, what does that tell us about her attitude toward what sheΒ already has and the God who blessed her with those things?

6. The New Testament equates coveting with idolatry. Why?

7. Imagine you are a biblical counselor, and a modern day, recently born again Mrs. Potiphar comes to you for help with her struggle against lust and coveting. Considering questions 5 and 6, what sinful heart attitude would you help her to identify as the cause of her lust and coveting?

In previous lessons, we have explored the biblical model of repentance: putting off the old self (stop doing the sin), renewing your mind (learn what the Bible says about this sin), and putting on the new self (replacing sinful actions with godly actions). How could you apply these passages, using the put off/renew/put on model, to Mrs. Potiphar’s root sin of discontentment? How could thankfulness to God and serving others be the godly opposite of coveting and lust?

8. In what ways was Joseph’s righteous behavior a testimony to the one true God? How could 2 Timothy 3:12-13 apply to his situation in this chapter? Does God guarantee us that things will always go smoothly if we’re obedient to Him? If not, why should we obey Him?

9. Consider this chapter in light of current events of apparently godly men being accused of sexual harassment, abuse, and misogyny. Apply Proverbs 18:17 to both situations: “The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.” Why is it important to carefully and biblically examine those making accusations as well as the accused, so that the guilty are punished and the innocent are not? What were the consequences of a false accusation for Joseph, and how did God care for him? (19-23)


Homework

Do you struggle against the sin of a discontent heart like Mrs. Potiphar did, causing you to lust for and covet things, people, or life circumstances that God has not chosen to give you? Examine and repent of your sin using the put off/renew/put on model. List one Bible verse to memorize that will help you with the “renew” stage. List three specific godly actions you can do (put on) to replace sinful actions (put off). This week, memorize your verse and carry your list with you to remind you of the godly action you can take when you’re tempted to sin. Pray daily, asking God to strengthen you to resist temptation and obey Him.


Suggested Memory Verse

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Genesis 39:21

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 29- Judah’s Wife and Tamar

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,Β 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–

Read Genesis 38

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–


Questions to Consider

1. Who was Judah? (1) What do we know about him thus far? What do we know about his connection to Jesus?

2. What nationality was Judah’s wife (Shua’s daughter)? (2) Review previous lessons (links above) dealing with Abraham’s offspring taking Canaanite wives. What were some of the reasons it was problematic and undesirable for those in the Abrahamic Covenant to intermarry with the Canaanites?

3. What was Judah’s wife’s name? (2,12) How many sons did she have, and what were their names?

4. Who was Tamar, and what was her relationship to Er and to Judah? (6) What happened to Tamar’s first husband? (7)Β What was Onan’s relationship to Tamar? What did Judah instruct Onan to do after Er died? (8)

5. Verse 8 is the first instance we see in the Bible of levirate marriage. God later codified this practice into Israel’s law. What was the purpose of levirate marriage? How did it protect both the widow and the posterity of the family line? Put yourself in the sandals of an Old Testament woman involved in a levirate marriage situation. Describe some of the circumstances you might face, and the thoughts and emotions you might experience.

6. What happened with Tamar’s second husband? Explain verses 9-10 in your own words. What was Onan’s sin? Was it sexual sin or something else? (9) What does Onan’s sin tell us about his character as a man and as a husband?

7. Describe Tamar’s husbands and her experience with marriage thus far as she might describe it. Think back over Rachel’s, Leah’s, and Sarah’s desperation to have children as a reflection of the pressure that culture put on women to prove their worth and value through bearing sons. Could Tamar have been feeling that same sort of desperation, especially since she had gone through the “right channels” (levirate marriage) and had been cheated out of her legal recourse?

8. Explain in your own words the situation with Tamar marrying Shelah, Judah’s third, and only living son. (11, 14b, 26) Had Tamar followed Judah’s instructions? Had Judah kept his word to her? Briefly explain how Tamar had been let down by Er, Onan, and now Judah.

9. Read verses 13-26. What was Tamar’s plan? Was it premeditated? In what way(s) did Tamar sin in this situation? Did Tamar’s desperation and hopelessness over her situation and her mistreatment by Judah and his sons justify her sin?

10. Make a list of Judah’s sins against Tamar and against God, including any Scripture references you can recall of biblical principles he violated. Consider how Judah’s hypocrisy and judgment of Tamar in verses 24-26 is an example of the unbiblical judgment and hypocrisyΒ Matthew 7:1-5Β talks about. Describe how Judah could have treated Tamar in a godly way.

11. Did Judah’s sins against Tamar justify her own sin? If someone sins against you, is it OK with God if you act sinfully in response? How did Jesus act when He was sinned against by the Pharisees, Judas, and others? How can we follow His example, and why is it important for Christians to respond in a godly way to ungodly people and situations?

12. Compare and contrast Tamar’s mistreatment at the hands of men, and her response to the situation, with the current clamor in evangelicalism to respond to misogyny (both real and perceived) in the church. How does Tamar’s story teach us the importance of responding to misogyny and abuse in a godly and biblical way rather than taking matters into our own hands and doing what seems right in our own eyes?


Homework

Tamar was let down by an evil first husband, a second husband who didn’t want the responsibility of her and only wanted to use her for sex, and a father in law who broke his promise to her. Desperate for offspring, Tamar took matters into her own hands rather than trusting and obeying God. Compare the way Tamar took matters into her own hands with the way Sarah took matters into her own hands when she couldn’t conceive. What were the outcomes? Describe a time when you were in a difficult situation and were tempted to handle things your own way rather than trusting and obeying God. Explain why the clichΓ© “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” would be better changed to “Desperate times call for prayer, obedience, and trusting God.”


Suggested Memory Verse

Then Judah identified them and said, β€œShe is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.
Genesis 38:26

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 28

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,Β 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–

Read Genesis 37

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–


Questions to Consider

1. Where was “the land of [Jacob’s] father’s sojournings”? (1) Review lesson 27 (link above) if necessary.

2. How many children (sons and daughtersΒ (35)) did Jacob have, and what were their names? Which of Jacob’s children does chapter 37 focus on? Why? (36, Exodus 1:1-6)

3. What are some principles we can learn from Jacob, Joseph, and the brothers about being godly parents, children, and siblings both in our biological families and our church families?

4. In what ways does Jacob’s unique love and honor for Joseph paint a picture of God’s unique love and honor for Christ, His Son, as well as for us, His sons and daughters through Christ?

5. What are some elements of Joseph’s life that point us ahead to the life and ministry of Christ?

(2)-

(2)-

(3)-

(3)-

(4-5)-

(7,9)-

(8,10)-

(12-16)-

(18)-

(20-22,24)-

(23)-

(26-28,36)-

(28)-

(28)-

(29-30)-

(31)-

(32-34)-

6. Compare and contrast verses 5-8 with the subsequent mistreatment Joseph received at the hands of his brothers. Might Joseph have been tempted to focus on his circumstances and allow them to cause him to doubt God’s Word to him in 5-8?

7. How did the brothers’ sin impact their family? How has your own sin impacted your family and/or your church family?


Homework

Have you ever been in a situation as dire as Joseph’s that caused you to doubt the truth of God’s written Word? How was God faithful to bring you through that situation? In what ways did He show Himself to be true to His Word? Find a passage of Scripture that proved true in your situation, and write it out.


Suggested Memory Verse

Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
Genesis 37:31

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 27- Deborah and Rachel

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,Β 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–

Read Genesis 35-36

πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“–


Questions to Consider

1. Study a map of Jacob’s travels, locating Haran, Shechem, and Bethel (35:1). What happened in Jacob’s life at each of these three places (review previous lessons if necessary)?

2. WhereΒ (city and nation) was Jacob living when God told him to move to Bethel? In what major way had living in the Shechemite area of Canaan influenced Jacob’s family? (35:2-4) In the book of Exodus, when we see Israel journeying through and into the Promised Land, what is the main offense against God that the Canaanites are guilty of? How did their idolatry impact God’s people?

3. Briefly review previous lessons (links above) in which we examined various reasons Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t want their children to intermarry with Canaanites. Even though the Ten CommandmentsΒ (prohibiting idolatry) and the Levitical lawΒ (prohibiting intermarriage with pagans) had not yet been given, how might Canaanite idolatry have played a role in this? And if idol worshiping pagans weren’t good enough for Jacob’s children to marry, why did his own family possess foreign gods? (35:2-4)

4. Regarding the sin of idolatry, what were the three steps (35:2-3) of repentance Jacob led his family in? How can these steps be a model of repentance for us today?

5. Compare Genesis 28:10-22Β with 35:1-15. Why did God tell Jacob to go back to Bethel (35:1)? What are the similarities and differences between the two passages with regard to God’s and Jacob’s words and actions? What promises did God make to Jacob in each passage? Describe the worship that took place in both passages.

6. Who was Deborah (35:8), and about how long had she been with the family? In what ways was Deborah’s death honored and memorialized (using your footnotes, what does Allon-bacuth mean)? Considering that we rarely ever hear the names of servants, much less the memorializing of their deaths, what might we surmise about Deborah, her character, and her relationship with Isaac and Rebekah’s family and Jacob’s family? How can you have an impact for Christ on others by serving them?

7. Refer again to the map in question 1. Where did Jacob travel in 35:16-27?

8. Examine 35:16-26 and review our previous lessons about Rachel. If you were writing Rachel’s obituary, how would you describe her? If Jacob were giving the eulogy at her funeral, what might he say about her? Why do we hear about Deborah’s, Rachel’s, and Isaac’s deaths, but we don’t hear about Leah’s or Rebekah’s deaths?

9. Compare Genesis 30:22-24Β with 35:16-26. How was Rachel’s prayer answered? Using your footnotes, what do Ben-oni and Benjamin mean, respectively? Why do you think Jacob changed the baby’s name?

10. Who wrote the book of Genesis? Who was the original audience of the book of Genesis? Why might God have considered the information in chapter 36 important for this audience to know? How is this chapter a fulfillment of prophecy?


Homework

Jacob’s family was influenced toward idol worship by the Canaanites they lived among (35:2-4). Think about the various environments you live in: your community or neighborhood, your church, family, friends, workplace, clubs or organizations, social media, etc. Do any of these environments influence you toward idolatry – putting something in God’s place in your affections, loyalties, priorities, and time? Idolatry is a sin that should be repented of and forsaken. Read my articleΒ The Christian Introvert: Putting Off Social Anxiety, Putting On Serving OthersΒ to learn about the process of putting off sin, renewing your mind, and putting on godly behavior. Thinking about your own idolatry, write down how you can “put away those foreign gods” (put off), “purify yourself and change your garments” (renew your mind) and “arise and go up to Bethel…and make an altar to God” (put on).


Suggested Memory Verse

Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.
Genesis 35:3