Jon & Mitsy Mahar
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I.D.E.A. Bible Studies
Studies on the will of God
WHAT IS A GOOD IDEA?
(Learning from Joseph)
This series of studies on good and bad ideas found in the Bible answers this question. The foundational study which sets forth the four aspects of a good idea is on Joseph's interpreting Pharaoh's dreams in Genesis chapter 41.
- (I.) INSIGHT from God to Joseph
- Joseph had two key insights. The first and most basic one was that only God could provide the interpretation. (Later Daniel said the same thing.) The second key insight was that Pharoah's two dreams had the same meaning. God-honoring insights are usually correct; worldly insights often are not.
- (D.) DETAILS in Pharaoh's Dreams
- Joseph explained the various details of both dreams to the king of Egypt. The graphic details of the dreams had impacted Pharaoh greatly, and the explanations added to the impact. It is often said that the devil is in the details, but in this case it was divine details which stood out.
- (E.) ENTHUSIASM as an Administrator
- Joseph did not stop with the interpretation. He had the energy and enthusiasm to continue to speak about what needed to be done. His God-given experience as an administrator in the Egyptian prison system undoubtedly helped him to enthusiastically give his good and urgent advice.
- (A.) ASSURANCE through Multiple Means
- Joseph assured Pharaoh that the famine would surely come by pointing to the fact that God had given two dreams instead of just one. Later, as the years went by the people would have become even more sure that Joseph was correct.
I.D.E.A. in Counseling
The four steps in the I.D.E.A. Bible study method are ideal for use in counseling.
- (I.) Insight:
- Helping people develop good ideas and avoid bad ones is a key aspect of biblical counseling. The insights or presuppositions which underlie plans must be checked. There are practical insights, but God must be included and honored from the beginning. Jethro's advice to Moses was both practical and godly.
- (D.) Details:
- Financial details often play a major role in decision making, but Jesus taught his disciples to put the kingdom of God first. God can use various factors to give direction, but the cheapest or the most profitable way is not always God's way. Building many storehouses as Joseph suggested and did must have cost a fortune.
- (E.) Enthusiasm:
- A good plan may not be good for you. Measuring your level of enthusiasm is one way of determine if a plan is good for you or not. On the other, Jonah shows that the lack of enthusiasm may be because of rebellion. This area needs to be checked.
- (A.) Assurance:
- God gave Pharaoh two dreams, and Gideon received two signs, but assurance can come in various ways. Some assurance is required from the beginning, and additional assurance often comes later. This area needs to be carefully checked.
© 2019 Jon F. Mahar, Hakusan City, Japan, Alexander, Maine, U.S.A.