Joseph—Born Unto Heartache (Genesis 30:22-24; 50:15-21; John 12:27-36)

Birth in the Bible is a story of joy followed by pain that must ultimately give way to triumph.


I.       The Joy of an Opened Womb
         A.     A Fourteen Year Engagement (Genesis 29)
         B.     Eleven Other Births (Genesis 30)
         C.     Two Long Awaited Sons (Genesis 30, 35)

II.     Pain Follows Joy
         A.     Ten Jealous Brothers (Genesis 37)
         B.     Two Heartbreaking Betrayals (Genesis 37, 39)
         C.     One Sinless Life

III.    Pain Must Give Way to Triumph
         A.     What Man Meant for Evil (Genesis 45, 50)
         B.     For This Reason I Came into the World (John 12:27-36)
         C.     A Biblical View of Birth
         D.     Holding on Loosely

Discussion Starters

1.  Monday—What does it mean that birth has a story of its own or that it is a character in God’s story? Why do you think God records so many births in the Bible?

2.  Tuesday—What does it mean that Joseph’s story begins long before he was born? How is Jacob and Rachel’s story a foreshadowing of what Joesph will face in his life?

3.  Wednesday—How do you think Rachel felt all those years of waiting for a child, while watching Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah giving birth to children? What would you have said to her when Joseph was born if you knew all that lay ahead of him?

4.  Thursday—What did Joseph mean that what his brothers meant for evil, God meant for good? How is Joseph’s life a picture of the life of Jesus?

5.  Friday—What is the life of Joseph meant to teach you about your own life? How does his story comfort you in the midst of pain and heartache?