JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS
As second in command of Egypt, Joseph established storehouses to keep all the extra food being stored up for the famine that was coming. And sure enough, the sky stopped raining, and the land dried up and stopped producing food - and not just in Egypt, for miles around there was no food! Joseph had set up a system for people to come and get enough food to last them all seven years! Without Joseph all the people in Egypt would have died without food. But one day, Josephs brothers showed up. Yep, the ones that sold him into slavery, lied to their dad by telling them Joseph had died. But it had been so long that they didn’t recognize their brother Joseph! But Joseph recognized them and when they stood before him to get food for the famine, Joseph definitely had a chance to get even, but instead he decided to test them to see if they had changed and it was safe to reveal to them that he was their brother. He wanted to know if they were the same old jerks or not.
Joseph questioned his brothers about all different kinds of stuff like where they were from, about their father, what they were doing, and if they had any other brothers. They even told Joseph about when they betrayed him and how sorry they were about sending him off as a slave without knowing that they were talking right to Joseph himself! After a while he told them who he really was - he was Joseph! The brother they got rid of so long ago! The brothers were shocked and so happy to see that Joseph was doing so well! But their shock soon turned into fear since they knew Joseph could get even with them now. But Joseph forgave them!!! Seriously! Joseph knew that holding a grudge would just hurt his family even more, and God gave him the power to forgive them! Even though his brothers totally hurt him, they were sorry and Joseph chose to let all the wrong they had done be forgiven. And not only that, he brought the rest of his family to Egypt including his father Jacob who was a very old man. It was like the ultimate family reunion!
The story of Joseph shows us that even in the hard times God is still with us, and maybe most importantly of all, that being able to forgive, even when its not easy, can make all the difference.
Questions (for parents to ask kids, and kids to ask parents!)
1. What is a time when it was really difficult, but you were able to forgive someone?
2. If you were Joseph what would you have done when you saw your brothers?
3. God was able to use all the horrible things that happened to Joseph to help save his entire family. His plan was so amazing and He thought so far ahead! What does this tell us about God?