Genesis 42:1-21

Talks for Growing Christians

Joseph’s Brothers Come to Egypt During the Famine

Genesis 42:1-21

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Lesson Number 92

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God awakens the guilty conscience by arranging circumstances.
  2. God awakens the guilty conscience during times of solitude.
  3. God awakens the guilty conscience with acts of kindness.

Practical Application

  1. Spend some time alone with God.


  1. Why was it that Joseph recognized his brothers after twenty years apart, but they did not recognize him?
  2. How did Joseph treat the brothers who had betrayed him? What were his reasons for such treatment?
  3. How does God awaken the guilty conscience?
  4. How does God awaken the guilty conscience during times of solitude?
  5. What will it be like in hell for the unbeliever?


  1. Joseph had become Egyptianized in appearance, and even spoke to them through an interpreter, but he knew that these were his brothers.
  2. At first he treated them roughly to test them, to see if there had been a moral change in their character. Then he treated them kindly, because he loved them.
  3. Both by arranging circumstances to test people, and also by acts of kindness.
  4. Without distractions there is more time for thinking and remembering.
  5. The unbeliever will continually be in solitude, solitary confinement, with a guilty conscience for having rejected the Savior. See Mark 9:42-48.


  1. Are you guilty of some unconfessed sin? If so, confess it and get right with God and the person you have wronged.
  2. Has God shown you some particular act of kindness that is drawing you back to Him? Are you responding to Him?


  1. Spend some time alone with God after reading Psalm 139:23-24.

Key Verses

  • “Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him.” Genesis 42:6
  • “You shall be tested....” Genesis 42:15
  • “Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I fear God.’“ Genesis 42:18
  • “We are truly guilty....” Genesis 42:21

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