Genesis 42: The Proper Use of Power

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 42 at
  • Look at how Joseph used his power for the betterment not revenge of his brothers
  • Events of 42 are occasion for fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham
  • Jacob’s partiality toward Rachel’s children is still obvious by keeping Benjamin (20) home and safe while sending the others
  • Joseph’s brothers completed the prophecy of his two dreams from years before in bowing
  • Joseph realizes the purpose of his power – providing for and delivering the family
  • Simeon picked to remain in prison
    • Reuben (oldent) absent when Joseph sold to Egypt, made Simeon the responsible leader
  • Different responses to adversity
    • Joseph – suffering from loving God who was present in the time
    • Brothers – adversity = punishment from angry God who was getting even for their sin
    • Jacob – hand of fate/son’s stupidity that made life hard
  • Jacob seems to have forgotten faith and still be favoring, as he is willing to sacrifice Simeon
  • Like Abraham, being asked to give up Isaac for his salvation Jacob had to give up Benjamin
  • Biblical Principles of Power
    • Power, like money, is not evil but a stewardship
      • Power is given by God
      • 1st step toward pride and misuse of power is to forget the source from which it came
    • Power is not to be sought for self-gain but used to serve others
      • Jesus used power to serve others while Saducees and Pharisees used it to serve their own needs
    • Power is obtained and exercised in various ways
  • Types of Power
    • Positional – able to be used wickedly or righteously
    • Situational – coming to Joseph as subjects out of desperation
    • Expert – based on performance, can be abused by assumptions of correction
      • ex. using pulpit to force prejudice
    • Psychological – idea of a spanking/aggressive personalities
    • Reward and Punishment – ignoring boyfriend
    • spiritual – inconsistent with human devices and manipulative techniques
  • Spiritual results are the product of spiritual not political power
    • what power do you employ and how do you execute it?

*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis








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