Summary: Using a multicolored bag to illustrate the major events of the life of Joseph adults and children alike can see how God was at work in the life of Joseph and can be at work in your life as well.

The Joseph Bag

Genesis 37-41

Today I would like to tell you a story about a man named Joseph. By a show of hands how many of you have heard of Joseph? Joseph’s story is found in the book of Genesis. Joseph’s life teaches us many things. One important thing about Joseph is that even though hard times came into his life God was always with him and gave him the strength he needed to make it through each situation. Now let us listen to his story.

Joseph was born the eleventh of twelve sons to his father Jacob. He was the favored son of the favored and beloved wife Rachel. Joseph was a son of his father’s old age. His very name leads to the belief

That he was a child of blessing, “may he (the Lord) add.” (Gen. 30:24). Scripture tells that they mention Joseph twice when his father is on his way to meet his uncle Esau after having fled from his

Grandfather and great-uncle Laban. (Gen. 33:2,7). We again pick up

the story of Joseph when he is seventeen. He is out watching his

father’s sheep, with his brothers. Upon his return he gives his father an unfavorable report about the conduct of his brothers (Gen. 37:2). Jacob gave Joseph, a brightly colored coat. This present told everyone that Joseph was very special and greatly loved by his father (Gen. 37:3). This caused Joseph’s brothers to become jealous and to hate him. On top of that Joseph had a dream that he would be the one to be in charge and that his family would bow down to him (Gen. 3 7:8-9). As you can imagine, Joseph’s brothers became very angry when they heard this story. When they got together to talk about what Joseph, had said they became angrier and began to find ways to get rid of their brother. They thought that if they got rid of him that their father would have to turn to them and that he would share his love with them. One day while his brothers were out taking care of the animals his father asked him to go out and check on them and take them some food (Gen. 37:12-13).

Joseph put together the food and other things he thought his brothers might need and went off to look for them. As he was coming across the field, his brothers saw him and became upset. They began to quickly put a plan together to get rid of him. They threw him into a well that was really deep, then a group of people came by and they thought that they might as well make some money off him so they sold him into slavery. His brothers took his finely colored coat and dipped it in goats’ blood and took it back to their father. When Jacob saw it, he began to cry because he thought Joseph his favored son was dead (Gen. 37: 19-34).

In Genesis 39 we see that Joseph is about to change his families way of doing things. Deception will not be Joseph’s legacy. The first six verses of Genesis 39 tell us how Joseph came to Potipher’s house and how the “Lord was with Joseph and he prospered” V. 2. Potipher was a very important man in Egypt. He owned a big house and lots of servants. It wasn’t long before Potipher put Joseph in charge of everything. He had the run of Potipher’s house except with his wife. Joseph was a very handsome young man and Potipher’s wife wanted him to sleep with her. Joseph refused because he knew it was wrong and told her so. “With me in charge, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God” (vs. 8-10). She kept trying and he kept avoiding her. She finally became fed up with Joseph’s behavior so she set him up. He would be with her or she would make it look like he attacked her. Joseph wouldn’t give into Potipher’s wife and sin so she had him sent to prison. Joseph could have told the truth and defended himself against the allegations of his master’s wife but he didn’t. We can only guess that Joseph loved his master so much that he did not want to bring him any dishonor by revealing the true actions of his wife. He instead chose to remain silent and accept his punishment. It isn’t clear how long Joseph was in prison but it was at least two years. Two years is a long time but even in prison Joseph kept trusting God and again Joseph was placed in charge of the other prisoners helping the warden. He had the freedom to move about the prison. The Lord was the key to Joseph’s success. It didn’t matter what happened to Joseph God was there (Wiersbe Exp.).

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