Archive for June, 2015

Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Behind the plans of men stands the plans of God

Key Verse:
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 45:1 – 46:4) Joseph really loved his brothers and it showed by his tears and kindness to them. When he revealed himself he told them that it was God and not their sin that sent him to Egypt. He could have thrown them into prison, but instead he embraced them and forgave them. Joseph understood that God had a plan for his life, and no matter what man did to him they could not change God’s plan.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Matthew 26:47–56; Luke 23:33–43.
Joseph was betrayed, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery by his own brothers. But Joseph was ready to forgive them completely for what they had done to him. Joseph had grace from God to forgive his brothers, and this gives us a glance forward to Jesus. Jesus was betrayed by his friend, Judas, deserted by all his disciples, and crucified by his own people. He too extends forgiveness to the very ones who hurt him and to anyone else who repents of their sin.

God Provides for the Israelites in Famine

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s promise is preserved in drought and sin

Key Verse:
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me, will never be thirsty”
John 6:35

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 42) Joseph is now a high ranking official in all of Egypt. His God given ability to interpret dreams helped him prepare Egypt for seven years of famine. Because of these events all of the people in the land had to go to Egypt to buy food. One day his brothers showed up to buy food. Joseph recognized them but they did not recognize him. So Joseph set it up so they would spend three days in jail. He eventually tells them to bring his younger brother Benjamin as well. During all this time the brothers felt the guilt of selling Joseph to slavery. They had an opportunity to come clean several times but do not. However, in all of this Gods promise still remains true.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Acts 7:9–10.

The story of Joseph’s kidnapping, slavery, and imprisonment is tragic. But in it all, God was at work saving his people. Because of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph knew Egypt needed to store grain for the coming famine. This is the grain that Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to purchase, so that Abraham’s descendants would not die off. That way, one day Jesus could be born as one of Abraham’s far-off great-grandchildren. Story after story points to God as a God who saves. Through Jesus, God would ultimately save his people from spiritual hunger and death. Jesus offered himself as the “bread of life” (John 6:35) to all who are spiritually hungry.

Joseph Interprets the Dreams

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God works all things together for our good

Key Verse:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 41:1-43) God had given Joseph the ability to interpret dreams. This came in handy when he was in prison, where a baker and a cupbearer shared a cell with him. They both had dreams which Joseph correctly interpreted for them. Years later after his release the cupbearer told Pharaoh about Joseph when Pharaoh had two dreams which no one could interpret. The Pharaoh called for Joseph who interpreted the dreams for him. The dreams warned Pharaoh about an upcoming famine, so he was extremely grateful to Joseph, and rewarded him by making him a ruler of Egypt.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Genesis 41:1–14.

Can you imagine staying in prison for two whole years for something you didn’t do? That’s what happened to Joseph. But God had a plan to get Joseph out of prison because God had something very important for Joseph to do. He planned to use Joseph to save Israel from a terrible famine. Saving Israel was important because Jesus would one day be born into the family of Israel.
To get Joseph out of prison, God gave Pharaoh a dream that only Joseph could interpret. In a flash Joseph was out of prison, told Pharaoh the meaning of the dream, and before you know it, Joseph was freed from prison and put in charge of Egypt. Through Joseph, God saved Israel from the terrible famine. This allowed Jesus to be born so that one day we too could be saved.

Joseph is Attacked by His Brothers

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God saved Joseph so that he might one day save us

Key Verse: The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?
Psalms 118:6

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 37: 12-36) Joseph made the mistake of telling his older brothers about his dreams. Constantly the dreams would reveal that the older ones would bow down to Joseph, who was younger. This made the older brothers jealous, so the brothers planned to kill him. If it wasn’t for Rueben this would have happened. Eventually they settled on selling him as a slave. This wasn’t the end of Joseph because God had a plan for him.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?

Read Matthew 27:17–23.
Joseph was treated unfairly by his brothers because of the brothers’ resentment and jealousy. This is one of many Old Testament stories that look forward to the life of Jesus. Joseph was betrayed, bound, and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. But later God would use Joseph to save his brothers. Like Joseph, Jesus was unjustly turned over to Pilate out of envy, which is very similar to jealousy. And later, Jesus would make a way of salvation. When we look at the life of Joseph, we see a picture of Jesus who was betrayed, bound, and crucified by his own people because they were jealous of him and resented him.