Summary: To lead the people to understand how Joseph’s enslavement is allowed to happen by God’s sovereign wisdom for the saving of many lives.
Joseph Becomes a Slave – Gen. 37;39:1-20
Preparation for The Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how Joseph’s enslavement is allowed to happen by God’s sovereign wisdom for the saving of many lives.
2. Explanation of the Aim: There are times when we go through hardships for reasons that are not apparent until God’s greater will is fulfilled. Joseph had to pass through many tribulations before the will of God was revealed through his life. Many Christians have to pass through adversity before they are able to understand how God uses trials to complete His purposes in our lives.
3. The Bible Story: Joseph graciously endured the malice, jealousy and deceit of his brothers who sold him as a slave
When Joseph’s Father heard of the terrible news he refused to be comforted because he greatly loved his son. Joseph’s brother’s blamed him for having a dream where he envisioned himself ruling over them. Jealousy often spoils many wonderful relationships needlessly. Since God was with Joseph, he found favor in the eyes of Potiphar, an important Egyptian official.
When we are pleasing God, He promises to bless us in many ways. Joseph also endured a false charge from Potiphar’s wife of having illicit relations with her. Immediately Joseph was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. Twice, Joseph had to endure imprisonment, shame and rejection just as Jesus Christ who offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Joseph’s life foreshadows some of the suffering that we see in Christ. Let us trust the Lord to enrich our understanding of how to let God use unjust treatment, abuse and adversity for His greater purposes in our lives.
Ask the people to describe their natural reaction to people who would try to falsely accuse them of a crime and have them thrown into prison?
Find out what the people would do if they found themselves unjustly languishing in a dark dungeon cell with no one around to help them? What do you think Joseph must have thought when his brothers hatefully sold him into slavery? What do you do when your brother or sisters abuse you?
The BIBLE STORY tells of a malicious plot of Joseph’s brothers to eliminate him from their family. When people sin against a righteous person they must remember that the Lord protects his own. Evil men fail to realize that they will reap exactly what they have sown. Joseph remains obedient and faithful to God believing that He will work all things together for good even though it took thirteen years before he discovered God’s providential purpose for allowing him to go to Egypt.
THE MEANING FOR OUR LIVES helps the people make application to the way Joseph never lost faith in God’s ability to turn a tragedy into a triumph. Ask the people to explain how the Lord is able to use adversity for His greater purposes in our life?
Heighten the people’s interest in Joseph and Christ by describing them as men who were reviled (Criticized abusively) but did not revile in return. Ask the people to describe their natural reaction to people who would try to falsely accuse them of a crime and have them thrown into prison?
Find out what the people would do if they found themselves unjustly languishing in a dark dungeon cell with no one around to help them? What do you think Joseph must have thought when his brothers hatefully sold him into slavery? What do you do when your brother or sisters abuse you? How should we follow Joseph’s and Christ’s example in not retaliating against those who do us evil?
The Bible Story
Our lesson about Joseph teaches us many parallels to his life and the unjust sufferings endured by the Lord Jesus. All Christians who want to be used of God should be willing to pass through much tribulation before they enter the kingdom of God. Jacob made several mistakes in treating Joseph better than his brother by dressing him in finer clothing. It is wrong for parents to give preferential treatment for one child over another.
1. Parents should love their people equally since the Lord made each of them with their unique gifts and abilities. The special treatment of Joseph led to bitter quarreling between the brothers. However, the brothers of Joseph allowed their jealousy and envy to overcome their God directed conscience when they sold him as slave to the caravan of traders. Other people may make mistakes but we are still responsible to remain honest, loving and forgiving just as Christ treats us. The golden rule says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It does not say, Do to others as they do to you.