Opening Prayer Led by Group Leader

Psalm 115

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

1  Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your mercy and your faithfulness!

2  Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

3  Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.

4  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

5  They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.

6  They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.

7  They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.

8  Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.

9  O Israel, trust in the Lord!  He is their help and their shield.

10  O house of Aaron, put your trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.

11  You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!  He is their help and their shield.

12  The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.

13  He will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great.

14  May the Lord give you increase, you and your children!

15  May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

16  The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.

17  The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence.

18  But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord!

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 Pharaoh

Genesis 47:13-31

1.       Joseph has effectively cornered the market on grain during a time of famine.  Over the course of the years, what does he acquire for Pharaoh?  How does Joseph treat Pharaoh’s subjects?  How do the Egyptians treat Joseph?  How might a Patriarch imitate Joseph in business?

2.       How does the Lord’s portion compare with Pharaoh’s?  What percentage of profit do Abraham and Jacob offer the Lord?  How much of their yield does Joseph demand on behalf of Pharaoh?  How does your tithe portion compare with your tax portion?

3.       What is the irony of Joseph reducing the Egyptians to slavery?  What examples are you aware of where “subjects” who attain power become like the “oppressors” who had formerly subjected them?  How have you been affected by “authorities” in your life in the way you exercise authority and power?

4.       How does Genesis say the Israelites fared during this famine?  What connections or networks might profit you during economic “famines” 

Prayer Partners

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