Joseph Study | Day Fifteen
By: Brittany Green | Numb
Click here to type in the answers to today's study.
Is it week three already?? I’m so proud of you for hanging in there! I hope you’ve let God teach you throughout this study. He’s taught me so much in writing this!
The theme of God’s bigger plan keeps coming up over and over throughout the past few weeks. God’s taught me to release things I’ve been worried about and showed me a different plan. It is so good when God directs our paths. I’m learning over again to walk with God, palms open, so that His will takes first place in my life. I pray that for you too.
We ended last week in Joseph’s story with forgiveness. We talked about his heart and the heart’s of his brothers. We looked at how we personally deal with forgiveness. But what we didn’t look at was his father’s heart. How do you think Jacob is doing during all of this?
I think the last part of Genesis 45 gives us a little understanding. So even though we’ve already read chapter 45, read again Genesis 45:21-28.
I’m not sure which version you’re reading out of, but look here to see how the ESV describes Jacob’s reaction.
How does verse 26 describe Jacob’s heart? It became ___________________.
Other versions talk about his shock, but it’s interesting that a few versions describe his heart as “numb.”’
Jacob had been through so much in his life. He was passionate about his rivalry with his brother, about his love for Rachel, about his favoritism toward Joseph. He wrestled with God, encountering God in a big way. He didn’t always make the wisest decisions, but his life was full of emotion throughout it all.
Then on top of everything, he lost his favored son and encountered famine in his old age. Life could have begun to seem bleak. However, the consequences of Jacob + his son’s sins made him callous and numb. He didn’t want to hear the truth.
That’s what sin does. It dulls our senses and ability to recognize when we’re not walking with God. For something or someone to be numb, it means they have no emotional capabilities or are unable to move, stagnant.
Sometimes in life we get numb. We get numb to God pursuing us. We get numb to pursuing God back. Sometimes we find ourselves numb to living life how God wants us to. We’re numb in our friendships or our relationships with our parents. Perhaps you’re numb in your schoolwork or building a bridge to point the kid who sits next to you in Algebra to Jesus. Have you ever found yourself numb?
Check out what 1 Timothy 6:11-12 says about numbness:
Many times we see Joseph fleeing evil. We never see him become numb, and yet his father had. Timothy tells his audience to pursue God. He’s telling them to flee from sin. The wording in 1 Timothy is full of action words. “Pursue,” “fight,” “take hold of...” These words are anything but numb. They’re a huge reaction. I feel like they should have exclamation marks included.
God doesn’t want our numbness. Apathy is a dangerous road. It’s a lie of the Enemy that it’s okay to be stagnant. It’s not!
Ever had your leg fall asleep? It’s the worst! So many times when my leg or foot falls asleep, I don’t even notice it. I can be sitting in one position for a while and not know that my nerves have gone numb. Until I move my foot, the tingly sensation creeps in—making it uncomfortable. However, it eventually goes back to normal. But in order for our numb limb to be useful, it’s got to go through all of that.
What do you think about your spiritual life? Does it sometimes become numb or fall asleep?
What do we do when we become numb?
I know for me, it takes a close friend or my brother to point out that I’m numb and not doing anything. And that hurts. Those are the tingly feelings that creep in. I want to remain still like it didn’t happen. But that’s not how God works, at least in my life. Once He’s shown me that I’m numb, I can’t stay numb.
Let’s see what Jacob did with his numbness. Look at Genesis 45:27-28.
To fight his numbness, Jacob looked to the truth—which included gifts sent from Joseph and the aid he afforded his brothers. What did this do to Jacob’s spirit?
Isn’t that what we long for? What do you need to do today so that you’re not letting your heart become numb?
List one area of your life you’ve let yourself be numb? Is it a relationship, spending time with God, wasting too much time on Netflix or twitter, praying, talking to your friends about their relationship with Jesus, etc.?
What’s one thing you can do to seek out the truth? What can you do to start that tingly process of waking your heart up?
Spend some time in prayer, letting God point out the numb areas in your life.
Take comfort in the fact that God wants you to be actively living your life. He has so much planned for your life. Don’t waste it being numb to the culture. Put into action the things that God’s pointing out to you. We can intend to do so much but never actually act on it. It’s the action that counts.
Wake up and walk out of numbness today!