Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 36

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.

2  For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

3  The words of his mouth are mischief and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good.

4  He plots mischief while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he spurns not evil.

5  Your mercy, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

6  Your righteousness is like the mountains of God, your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord.

7  How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8  They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9  For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

10  O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

11  Let no the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12  There the evildoers lie prostrate, they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Joseph Profits Israel

Genesis 42

1.       Joseph’s dream is fulfilled, but his brothers do not realize it.  How does Joseph make use of their ignorance?  What does Joseph learn from his brothers during the course of his accusation of them as spies?

2.       Joseph initially imprisons all of the brothers; ultimately, however, he only retains one in prison.  How does Joseph appear when he releases nine out of ten brothers?  Have you ever been punished “less severely” than was possible?  How might Joseph’s example inform your own methods of consequences and punishments?

3.       What evidence is there that the crimes against Joseph still haunt the brothers?  How does Joseph respond to their regret?  How long do family wounds remain in the heart?  How can long-term wounds be addressed and healed?

4.       How does Joseph use his power in Egypt to profit the children of Israel?  Is Joseph’s assistance public or hidden?  Who do the sons credit for the extra money?  Is Joseph’s favor “just”?  How might Joseph’s example inform your use of influence on behalf of your family?  On behalf of your religion?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.