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Facing Life's Challenges in Times of Struggle
A Reimaging of the Jacob-Joseph Saga in Genesis 27-46
byThe Rev. Debra Moody Bass Ph.D
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In Genesis 27-50 we find the Jacob-Joseph story. It is one of the more familiar stories in the Old Testament. The family dynamics and drama are classic and timeless for every new generation.
Throughout these chapters we encounter sibling rivalry, in-law deception, jealousy, revenge, fertility issues, forgiveness, cultural disputes, reconciliation and finally family reunion. Many of life’s challenges are included in these chapters and somewhat addressed through theological interpretation, which gives everything meaning.
The moral of the story is that life is full of challenges, but with God on our side we can be victorious. The end usually justifies the means in Genesis. For even when life comes at us with ill intent, God can use it for our good. We only need to focus on our spiritual gifts to empower us and give us the victory over the things that will try to defeat us.
This book takes the Jacob-Joseph saga into the 21st century. The narrative is similar but the content has taken on a more modern and relevant flavor. Jacob leaves home and drives to his Uncle Laban’s home. Jacob meets Rachel at a convenience store, instead of a well to water sheep. Jacob is adopted not Laban’s biological child. A Pharaoh replaces a governor. Joseph is falsely arrested instead of sold into slavery by his brothers to a Midian caravan. The “dream” component of the Jacob-Joseph saga continues to serve as the central motif and the gift that eventually saved Joseph’s life and reunited the family.
So there are twists and turns and substitutes throughout the saga but biblical readers will recognize the classical thread that runs through both stories. Enjoy the ride and be blessed!
The book is a fun and updated look about the saga around the life and experiences of the patriarch Jacob and his son Joseph. There are many twists and turns, fun encounters, and modern insights and lessons that relate to family relationships today.
About the Author
Dr. Bass has taught at Miles College in Fairfield, AL, Samford University in Homewood, AL and currently is the Associate professor of Religion and Theology at Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL.