Summary: Joseph (son of Jacob) was truly a faithful man who convictingly went to his death awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promise of Canaan. It is his trust in God’s promise and His providential care that makes him a great example for our faith.
Theme: A man of great faith, especially at his death.
A. Joseph (in Genesis) is one of the better if not most well known of Bible characters.
1. Children learn about Joseph and his “coat of many colors.”
2. Stories are told of his sold into slavery, placed in prison, or his raise to power.
3. Most fail to remember or learn that one of his greatest acts of faith is that which took place in his
dying days. Heb. 11:22
B. In this lesson we walk through the life of Joseph.
1. We see his trust in God from his young age up until his death.
2. More importantly for us, we see our need to trust in God and to live faithfully before Him until our
I. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH
A. Jacob’s love for Joseph. Gen. 37:1-4
1. It was more than all his sons because Joseph was born in his old age.
2. The manifestation of this favoritism was a special coat made for him.
3. Jacob’s favor towards Joseph, however, lead to his older brother hating him.
B. Joseph’s dreams. Gen. 37:5-11
1. Whether right or wrong, he mentioned two dreams where symbolizing their bowing down before
2. His brothers (who already despised him) had even more hatred against him.
3. His father however, having rebuked Joseph, kept the saying of the dream in his mind.
4. Ultimately, this dream was of God and would bring about God’s increase to/for Jacob and his
C. Hated Joseph is sold into slavery. Gen. 37:12-36
1. Joseph goes to look for his brothers as Jacob was concerned about their well being. Vs. 12-17
2. When they saw Joseph coming to them from afar they plotted against his life and end up selling
him to Midianites.
3. In turn, Joseph is sold by the Midianites to Potiphar. Gen. 39:1
4. In the meantime, Joseph’s brothers imply to Jacob of Joseph’s death. Vs. 31-34
D. Joseph put into prison by Potiphar, the Egyptian (officer of Pharaoh). Gen. 39
1. Because God is with Joseph and Potiphar knows this, he ends up as overseer over Potiphar’s house
and possessions. Vs. 3-6
2. Because he was handsome in form and appearance Potiphar’s wife made unsuccessful advances at
Joseph and has him sent to prison. Vs. 7-20
3. Even in prison, however, God continues to be with Joseph. Vs. 21-23
E. Joseph interprets more dreams. Gen. 40-41
1. For Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker who offended Pharaoh and were placed in prison. Ch. 40
2. For Pharaoh.Ch. 41:1-37
F. Joseph greatest next to Pharaoh. Gen. 41:38-57
1. Joseph is now 30 years old when he rules as 2nd in command to Pharaoh. V. 46
2. There are seven years of plenty (and two sons born to Joseph) before the seven years of famine
G. Joseph brings his family to Egypt. Gen. 42-47
1. True to Joseph’s interpretation of God’s dream, the famine was so severe the nations come to
Egypt for food.
2. Thus, Joseph’s brothers come and bow before Joseph in need of food, thus fulfilling the dream he
had twenty plus years earlier.
3. After testing their integr ity Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and sends for his father to live in
the land under Pharaoh’s favor.
H. Joseph’s great faith verbalized before his death. Gen. 50:22-26
1. He understood God’s providence behind his dreams and welfare for his father’s family. Gen.
2. Joseph has now lived in Egypt 93 years and has seen some of his great-great-grandchildren. Vs.
3. He reiterates God’s promise given to his forefathers will come to pass for his children. Gen. 50:25;
a. Joseph died firmly trusting in God’s promise and that his children would carry out his dying
will to be buried in the land of Canaan.
b. True to their word, Moses carries his bones out of Egypt (Ex. 13:19) and Joshua buried them
in Shechem where the other patriarchs were buried. Cp. Acts 7:15-16
II. THE LESSONS TO LEARN FROM JOSEPH’S LIFE
A. Joseph is a great pattern of faithfulness from his youth till his death. Heb. 11:6, 22
B. He was found faithful, even when tested by God. Cp. Psa. 105:16-19
C. He saw – over the course of many years – how God’s divine providence worked for good through his
life and the life of his Hebrew family. Cp. Rom. 8:28
D. He also knew ultimately, that God keeps all His promises. Cp. 2 Pet. 3:4-13
A. The life and death of Joseph is a truly amazing example of faith for Christians today.
B. May all – those who need the blood of Jesus, and those who have received the Promise through His
blood – follow in his footsteps.