Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Mary Englund Murphy
Publisher: AMG Publishers, Inc.
“Put aside your preconceived ideas and see Joseph’s life through his eyes – the lonely little boy ignored by his brothers, yet coddled by his parents …. Most of all, identify your own lives with his as we learn to live a life of grace and forgiveness,” Mary Englund Murphy writes in the preface of her book, Following God – Joseph: Beyond the Coat of Many Colors.
At two hundred and eight pages, this over-sized paperback book is part of the Following God Character Series by the author, targeted toward those interested in an in-depth eight-week Bible study on Joseph from the Old Testament. Referencing mainly the New American Standard Bible, the NKJV, NIV, and KJV are also used.
After the author’s biography, information regarding the series, and a preface, there are eight chapters surrounding the life of Joseph. Each chapter is in workbook format, beginning with Bible commentary that covers five days on the topic. As a hands-on study, there are reading assignments, fill-in the blank answers, charts, and “apply” icons for personal reflection along with a prayer at the end of the chapter. Red highlighted Bible verses, tidbits, and statements are side-lined on almost every page.
With the first chapter about Joseph’s lineage, starting with Abraham and Sarah, the reader is taken through the young boy’s life living with a blended family, being ignored, thrown into a pit, sold in to slavery, rising the ranks in Potiphar’s household, sent to prison for supposedly raping Potiphar’s wife, explaining dreams, and reconnecting with his brothers and father.
Discussing other Biblical characters such as Joseph’s prior family members lying about their spouses along with David sinning with Bathsheba, often the writer mentions her own upbringing, family issues, and personal struggles trying to correlate it to the day’s theme.
With an undertone about family and names throughout the study, the reader is reminded how Joseph rose above family conflicts, dynamics, and disappointments while trusting God for direction, guidance, and restoration.
For those who have never studied who this Old Testament character was and how God placed him exactly where He wanted to be throughout his life, this is a worthwhile study for group or individual application. Murphy’s personal insights show her devotion to God as she delves into the life of Joseph.
This book was furnished by The Book Club Network Inc. in lieu of an unbiased review.