Book ClubsGod Time

Joseph Confesses Hope {Abounding Hope :: Week 9}

By March 25, 2013 April 30th, 2018 12 Comments

bible study on hope

By Tereasa Mansfield

Ladies, you are going to love week nine! There is so much meat in these scriptures. In fact, I found a lot to chew on in one short sentence. I better set the stage so we can partake together.

Joseph Faces His Past

Joseph’s brothers knelt before him and it all came flooding back. They had come for grain during the famine and did not realize who he was. His dreams, like his homeland, had become a faded memory and now they were coming true. Hope abounded, yet overwhelmed him.  By the names of his sons, Manasseh (“making to forget”) and Ephraim (“making fruitful”), I assume Joseph had moved on. What would he do, now that ten of his eleven brothers bowed before him?

Throw them in prison for three days!

Do you ever take time to consult God before reacting? Some situations need more time. I think that is what Joseph was doing for three days. He needed to go to God before going with his gut reaction.

The Significance of a Name

After Joseph’s time out, he introduced his plan with, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God. . .”

The name he used for God is “Elohim” and it is the first name we come to know God by, “In the beginning, ‘Elohim’ created the heavens and the earth.” It describes a creative and covenant keeping God with unlimited power and strength. (Incidentally, “Elohim” is most used in Job.)


This name would hold great significance for Joseph’s brothers. It would have been like hearing, “I follow Jesus,” in a land where other gods are predominantly worshipped or like a Canadian saying to an American, “I am a Patriot.”

By stating his reverence towards Elohim, Joseph confessed the following to his brothers:

  • He identifies with their family history
  • He trusts the omnipotence of the Hebrew God
  • He reveres Him as the Creator of heaven and earth

He also confessed:

  • His faith in God’s promises
  • God is supreme and omnipotent
  • God is in control of his life

Joseph has yet to see his dreams completely fulfilled, but the time is near. Hope Abounds!

Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
-Psalm 25:12-14

Elohim, who made a covenant with Abraham, will bring it to completion through the offspring of Joseph and his brothers. The hope of Joseph, who feared God, will continue for generations.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in [Elohim]; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation.
-Psalm 42:5

Are you cast down, without hope? Have your dreams faded? Hope in Elohim, the All-Powerful, Covenant-Keeping, Creator of the Universe.

When do you most need a time-out? Have you let Elohim guide your reactions?

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a mis-print in this week’s study. Day 5’s passage should be Genesis 44:15-25. Thanks for your grace!


Abounding Hope ebookAnyone is welcome to join in this 13 week study of hope! Just grab your copy of Abounding Hope (available as a PDF download or on Kindle) and join us back here on the blog every Monday! View the rest of the Abounding Hope series here.


  • I was wondering why Joseph put them in prison, on the other hand he must have missed them so much. Because he couldn’t help himself to cry when he saw them. I got my answer.

    Crying out to our God, Elohim, is giving me the hope in this season of our preparation to go to mission field. No one can give such a hopeful hope (if I can say that way), it is one our Elohim!

    Thank you once again for digging deeper into God’s word and wisdom. Thank you for sharing your thought with us, Teresa.

    • Tereasa says:

      Helen, I am so excited to hear about your move to the mission field! So many names of God come to me as I think of your journey. I pray that Jehovah Jireh will go before you, preparing the way!

      • Dear Teresa, thank you so much! Amen to your prayer! God is the one whi has called us to go, he is also the one who will show us how to do the task, he is the one the provider and he is the one who is with us till the end. Our God is amazing!

  • Katie Johnson (@kj_clem) says:

    I love that Joseph used “Elohim”, and that by using it, he tells us so much about who he believed God to be. I think the different names of God can be so much more personal and descriptive than just “God”! From now on I’ll be on the lookout to see which name was used in the original language. Love the mystery of God’s word. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your discovery with us!

  • Outstanding notes you have given here! Thankyou! We can learn so much through reading of Joseph’s character!

  • Sara R says:

    After reading this passage it struck me the amount of time that passed between the dreams Joseph had about his brothers and when these dreams came to pass. I found a timeline that said that he was 17 when he was sold into slavery and 39 when his brothers came to Egypt. That’s 22 years and it was longer from when he had the dreams. That’s a long time to wait to see God fulfill what he said he would do. Knowing now his use of Elohim and it’s meaning makes that moment for him all the more powerful.
    It makes me wonder if he thought of these dreams of his brothers over the years. It seems at this moment of seeing his brothers what had been pushed to the back of his mind was brought to the forefront. Obviously Joseph had seen God working in his life in Egypt but I imagine this moment of fulfillment must have been overwhelming.

    • Tereasa says:

      Absolutely! I can just imagine what went on inside of Joseph at that moment. The way he handled himself in that moment has convicted me to be slower to react. I have become slower with maturity, but now I see that I can take as long as I need in order to hear from God. In overwhelming situations, especially!

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