Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 122

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

1  I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

2  Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3  Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together,

4  to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

5  There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.

6  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  “May they prosper who love you!

7  Peace be with your walls, and security within your towers!”

8  For my brethren and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!”

9  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

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 Shows Favor

Genesis 43

1.       Reviewing stories of siblings in the Old Testament reveals a common theme (Ishmael & Isaac, Esau & Jacob, Joseph & his brothers, Moses & Aaron, David & his brothers).  In all of these cases the younger son is blessed more. Did the younger sibling deserve to blessed more in these stories? Why might God so often seem to favor the younger child? 

2. Does the favoring of the “younger sibling” mirror your experiences of favor in your family?  When might it be necessary for a Patriarch to favor a “younger child”?  How can a Patriarch avoid the potential conflicts associated with showing favor to a “younger child”?

3. Israel relents in letting Benjamin go.  What else does he send to win the favor of the ruler of Egypt?  How does a Patriarch win the favor of a ruler?  Of God?

4. This is the second occasion of Joseph weeping.  How do you regard Joseph’s weeping?  How has he hidden it?  How do you regard another man’s weeping?  How do you regard your own?

5. In some translations, the last verse reads, “So they drank and were merry with him.”  How are drinking and merriment represented in the Bible?  When does your family experience you “merry”?  How can you make drinking and merriment a part of your faith?

Prayer Partners

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