October Week 1, 2022 Learning Together
Welcome once more to Learning Together! This is October’s first lesson, and it is about the story “The Forgiving Prince” found in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones on pages 76-83. You and your family are invited to listen and read and create and pray around this story.
Children: Listen to the story read aloud for you. You and your family may wish to follow along in your own book, making sure to carefully look at the pictures.
As you discovered, Joseph had 11 brothers, most of them older. Do you have any brothers or sisters (called siblings)? If your answer is yes, do you always get along with them? How do you solve the problems that happen with them? What do you think about the Joseph solution that his 11 brothers came up with?! (No, you may NOT sell your brother(s) or sister(s) into slavery.)
As you listen and read and think about Joseph, you may have questions to ask or thoughts to share. Please post these on this blog, and Pastor Mary will be happy to respond.
Adults: Joseph’s story is recorded in the first book of the Old Testament – Genesis. The account begins in Genesis 37, takes a break, then picks up in Genesis 39 and continues to the end of the Book of Genesis. The following is a summary of this interesting story:
Joseph’s father Jacob, through his two wives and his two concubines, had 12 biological sons. These twelve sons formed the basis for the twelve tribes of Israel and are listed here in the order from oldest to youngest: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. He also had at least one daughter, Dinah. Jacob was a twin brother to Esau.
Joseph, grandson of Abraham and Sarah, was the eleventh child born to Jacob and Rachel. His father favored him very much because Rachel was the wife he really loved. Moreover, Joseph’s birth came in Jacob’s old age.
Joseph was a spoiled child. If you are familiar with the story of Joseph’s coat of many colors, this coat was a sign of Jacob’s favoritism. It earned the anger and wrath of his brothers. To make matters worse, Joseph had two dreams that made not only his brothers mad but his parents uncomfortable. The conclusion of these dreams was that he would rule over his parents and siblings.
It was these dreams that really pushed his brothers over the edge. One day when his father sent Joseph to go check on his brothers in the fields, they tossed him in a hole and later sold him as a slave to some passing Ishmaelite traders. Joseph was only 17 years old at the time. The eleven brothers covered their tracks by ripping off Joseph’s coat of many colors, killing an animal, and plastering its blood all over the coat. Jacob was heartbroken, and we learn later in the story that he never recovered from ‘losing’ his favorite son.
Meanwhile, Joseph ended up as a slave in Egypt. He did so well that he was put in charge of Potiphar’s house. Potiphar was an official for the Pharaoh. Unfortunately, Joseph’s excellent work but more so his handsome, attractive appearance earned the attention of Potiphar’s wife. She tried to seduce him but he refused. His commitment to God was very strong. She wickedly cried rape, and that was the end of Joseph’s career in Potiphar’s house.
His next stint was in an Egyptian prison. There he distinguished himself with excellent work and was made leader. While doing his work, he met two of the Pharaoh’s officials who had dreams they could not understand. Joseph interpreted the dreams for them. His interpretations were spot on and the events of their lives unfolded just as Joseph has explained.
Years later, the Pharaoh had a dream he found confusing and troubling. Joseph was remembered by the cupbearer who had been in prison and had had his dream interpreted. Joseph was summoned by the Pharaoh and sure enough, by God’s power, Joseph was able to interpret the dream. The dream meant that a famine was coming. Not only did Joseph have the interpretation of the dream, but he also had a solution. Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt.
When the famine started, his brothers had to travel to Egypt to buy food. At first, they did not recognize Joseph. Through a series of schemes and plots, Joseph tested them to see if they had changed. He eventually revealed his identity, forgave his brothers, and his entire family moved to Egypt.
~This week’s prayer: I pray God will give me a heart of forgiveness for family and friends who hurt me deeply.
October Week 2, 2022 Learning Together
Hello, Everyone! I hope you are ready for October’s second lesson, because here it is! We are continuing to discuss the story “The Forgiving Prince” found on pages 76-83 of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Children: Please re-read the story aloud to an adult, older brother or sister, or to yourself. The illustrations offer much information.
Think about the many bad things that happened to Joseph in this bible story. He was sold into slavery, beaten, and several times thrown into jail, but he never stopped believing that God would come to his rescue, which He did of course! When things are not going well, we need to trust God to help us through our troubles, which He will of course! God has our backs, always.
Adults: Many spiritual lessons are to be learned from the life of Joseph.
Spiritual Lesson 1 – God’s dreams for you can make others uncomfortable. God often has plans for us that we ourselves do not desire, and it can produce some unfavorable backlash. As far as we know, Joseph did not have a hankering for leadership. When he had his dreams, there is no evidence that he knew what they meant. In fact, it was his father who rebuked him for what it might mean – that at some point in the future, Joseph would rule over his father and brothers.
Joseph did not have this dream for himself. Yet, his brothers were angry and jealous. When they called him “Joseph the dreamer,” it was by no means a compliment. It did not help that Joseph was the favorite child, and there was a good chance that his father was going to give him a significant share of the inheritance although he was not the eldest son.
You can’t help what God has in store for you.
Spiritual Lesson 2 – Nothing stops God’s plans. Although Joseph’s brothers tried to destroy God’s plan for his life by selling him into slavery, their actions only served to cause God’s plans to fall right into place. People’s jealousy or actual attempts to stand in your way will never ever make a difference to what God has in store. In fact, those things can only delay God’s plan, but not deny them.
God has your back.
Spiritual Lesson 3 – Sometimes generational curses are at work in your life. The third lesson from the life of Joseph has to do with forces that had nothing to do with Joseph himself. Joseph’s brothers tried to get rid of him because they felt that they would secure their share of the inheritance.
Their schemes and lies are quite like what their father, Jacob, did. Back when Jacob was a young man, he and his mother schemed so that he would get the blessing which belonged to his brother Esau.
And just like that, the same behavior presented itself in his sons. Joseph fell victim to a generational curse of deception.
It’s a good thing that God is merciful. Joseph’s story turned out to glorify Him.
~This week’s prayer: I can trust that nothing stops God’s plans.
Enjoy your week!