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Bible Study: Following God in uncertain times

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 Bible Studies For Life curriculum.

Bible Passages: Genesis 41:28-32, 47-54

Discussion Questions:

  • How did people deal with the COVID-19 pandemic initially?
  • When have you heard about God providing for someone in a season of financial difficulty?
  • When is it most challenging for you to follow God’s plan?

Food for Thought:

In today’s study, we’ll see Joseph travel from the prison to the palace in a single day. His many years of suffering were finally repaid with a huge personal reward.

Pay attention to the way Joseph kept his eyes on God through the good times and the bad. While success can cause some to grow self-reliant and self-absorbed, Joseph modeled for us what it means to remain faithful no matter how high or low life takes us.

After Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, without missing a beat, Joseph offered an unsolicited but brilliant “business plan” to get through the rough years ahead (Genesis 41:33-36). We have to admire Joseph’s initiative and boldness. Pharaoh recognized Joseph’s unique talent behind his plans, so he promoted Joseph to second in command. The pressure was on for Joseph. The plan he had recommended to Pharaoh was now his to own and execute. He went to work immediately.

For seven years, the economy boomed. Through those wealthy years, Joseph took full advantage of the season of surplus and “put the food in every city from the fields around it” to prepare for the years of starvation. Food from crops was “in such abundance – like the sand of the sea – that he stopped measuring it because it was beyond measure.”

Sudden reversals can happen to all of us, creating a test of our faith and character. For many of us, the arrival of the pandemic in 2020 caused just such a sudden reversal. During a soaring economy, a small news story began to leak out, telling of a strange virus spreading. Within weeks, a global pandemic shut down church services, restaurants, sporting events and concerts. Social distancing, mask wearing and video calling became normal everyday practices. How quickly life can change!

As we read the story of Joseph, we encounter a man who was prepared to deal with plenty and with poverty. He did not allow seasons of wealth to lull him to sleep. He followed the plans of God, storing away for the future and expecting the unexpected.

Bible Studies for Life

Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the internet at biblestudiesforlife.com.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources