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For Kids: Joseph and Forgiveness

Children’s Lesson for May 17, 2020

Genesis 37-43

Joseph was the 11th son of his father Jacob, and the Bible says that Joseph was his father’s favorite son. Joseph was so loved by his father, that his father gave him a coat of many colors. Having a colorful coat back in Bible times was rare.

Colors to dye materials cost a lot of money, so for a person to have a coat with many, many colors, shows how important and loved that person was! Joseph was one of 12 sons of Jacob mentioned in the Bible. Joseph’s mother, Rachel, was a beloved wife of Jacob. She gave Jacob his two youngest sons, while her sister, Leah gave Jacob his 10 oldest sons.

With God’s help, Joseph was able to interpret dreams, and Joseph often told his brothers about his dreams. He dreamt about grains of wheat bowing down to him, and then later about the moon and stars bowing to him. This made his older brothers jealous. To bow down to someone showed them that this person was greater than them, and the brothers didn’t like to think this. After all, they were older than Joseph! Joseph’s dreams were foretelling the fact that Joseph would be a great leader in Egypt, but his brothers did not know this at the time. God had a plan! One day, Joseph’s brothers became so jealous of Joseph, that they put him in a pit, put blood on his coat of many colors, and then sold Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar as a slave. Can you imagine your brothers being so jealous of you that they decided to sell you? The brothers even showed the bloody coat of many colors to their father, saying that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal!

Joseph lived in Egypt for many years, and with his ability to interpret dreams, was well liked by Pharaoh. Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of his food warehouses, which was very important. Joseph had told Pharaoh that Pharaoh's dream meant there would be a famine, or food shortage in the land. He advised Pharoah to start storing food to feed all the people, and Pharaoh did! Pharaoh stored A LOT of food. When the famine hit, People came from all around to buy food from Pharoah.

Because of the food shortage, Jacob sent his remaining sons to Egypt to buy food. When the sons met up with Joseph they did not recognize him as the brother they had sold to slavery, but Joseph remembered them! Joseph worked to let his brothers know who he was and was able to find out about the welfare of his father and youngest brother Benjamin. In the end, Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery. He had his brothers and father and family move to Egypt with him so that they would have enough food. God used Joseph to save Joseph’s family and the whole nation of Egypt from starvation.

It’s often very hard to forgive someone who has done something to hurt us or make us sad. The Bible says we are to forgive others. Joseph showed that he even forgave his brothers for selling him and allowing him to be taken to an entirely different country! Forgiveness means to forget about a wrong that was done to you. You forget about it and you don’t talk about it again.

God forgives us from our sins, and we need to forgive others who hurt us.

You are loved, Ms. Shantelle

Ask a parent to help you print off the activity sheets for this lesson. You can find them here.

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