NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passages: Genesis 41:15-21, Genesis 41:33-40
— What lessons have you learned through experience that impact how you view life today?
— How does God use a person’s past to prepare them for fulfilling His purposes in the present?
Food for thought:
“I cannot do it!” Such a declaration can open the door for a challenge from a coach or a friend. This same declaration can cause others to be moved to compassion and empathy. Some see this declaration as a sign of weakness while others see it as an honest assessment of one’s limits.
Either way, it requires humility to declare our limits in doing something, especially if we have tried to do a specific activity in the past. In that situation, our declaration points to our experience.
In Genesis 41, we find Joseph being asked to interpret a dream for Pharaoh. He had interpreted dreams correctly in the past for two government officials. He relied on God to reveal to him the meaning of those two dreams and would be calling on God in this situation as well.
When approached by Pharaoh, Joseph began by explaining that he was unable to interpret the dream by himself. This sure doesn’t sound like the eager and brash teenager we see in Genesis 37. Lots of things have happened since those days. Joseph was about to be called upon to draw from all those lessons after he interprets Pharaoh’s dream and proposes a plan for addressing a coming famine.
God used Joseph’s past to prepare him for this role in His redemptive plan. He also uses our pasts to prepare us for our roles in His redemptive plan. We might not be called upon to oversee the collection of food for our nation, but our roles are not less important. When we trust God to do what only He can do in and through us, we will find our most fulfilling experiences.
Facing life with an “I cannot do it, but my God can” attitude puts us in position to be used by God. Developing that attitude takes time and experience, both of which God is willing to give us if we allow Him to do so.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.