For me this part of the story is always the big payoff of the last 20-30 chapters, I include Jacob’s life as part of the payoff. We get to see Joseph turn to his brothers and say, “It’s okay, what you intended for evil, God intended for good.” (rough translation of Genesis 50:20).
There have been many times that I have relied on that verse in my life. I haven’t had brothers trying to kill me, but there have been times where people made decisions that were deliberately hurtful, and I can look back and say God has used it for good, even if it was painful at the time. This is an important lesson to teach both my kids and my Sunday School class.
Joseph forgives his brothers activities
After reading the story, one thing I wanted to bring out is praying for our leaders and helping them even if we don’t agree with them. In this particular story Joseph agrees with Pharaoh, but there are plenty of stories throughout the Bible where they do not. To help this I printed off several paper buildings and we built them (actually the kids colored and cut out while I blinked at my computer and drank my breakfast shake). They can be found at this site (many thanks to my fellow American Heritage Girls leader for showing me these buildings at our meeting, I have many plans for them).
We would pick up each building and talk about specific things to pray for each area, some were spur of the moment, “That the books at the library wouldn’t be torn.” But, when it got to bigger issues we had to do some serious talking. What do we pray when we disagree with the person in charge? I don’t agree with our president on many issues, but disagreement does not mean we call names or insult. I take real issue with people calling names because they disagree with them, to my mind that insults the person calling names, it means they can only get their point across by insulting the person, not in an intelligent manner. So, we talked about how we can pray the president has wisdom in a specific decision, endurance in tough times (because being president has to be tough), and protection for our soldiers and the police.
Do I think the kids suddenly got this and will pray amazing prayers? No, but this type of lesson is best done in gentle layers, you can’t pound it into someone’s head to treat others with respect and pray for those you disagree with. It doesn’t work, I may or may not have tried that in my younger days, and all it did was get my blood pressure up.
I had several other activities I want to do this week with the lesson, but we’ve had horrid allergies and I spent several days recently trying to cough my lung out, so we finished off Joseph with a fun card game I found on Pinterest.
I accidentally printed it in black and white, but the game worked just fine that way (find the Joseph in Egypt Playing Cards on Etsy, they used to be free, but are now for sale). They had a lot of fun trying to read the words and get their matches, it also forced Batman to look beyond the initial letter, which he likes to do and then guess.
Click on the picture above to download the free storybook with activities and discussion questions Joseph Forgives his brothers activities (or that link).
To see how the story starts head-on over to Joseph’s coat.
And with this, I am finally done with Genesis. Now we’re on to Job, praising God during pain.
Or if you just want to proceed to Exodus and the story of Moses…. starting with Baby Moses.
For more ideas on Genesis I invite you to: read Genesis posts visit my Genesis pinterest board OR check out the curriculum page
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
I love this post. I liked the way you tied the story of Joseph to their current daily lives. The card game is cute, too.
I know, it was adorable, wish I’d printed it out in color, oh well.
That’s one of the issues I want the kids to get, it doesn’t matter what we think of a leader or anyone we are still called to pray for them. If Peter can tell early Christians to pray for the leaders who are killing them, than I think we can pray for the leaders who are at worst being annoying right now.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
This was my favorite Bible story as a kid!
It’s one of my favorites too. Actually Jeff teases me because almost every time we bring up a new person in the Bible, I say, “So this is one of my favorite guys in the Bible.” Then he rolls his eyes (or maybe I just imagine that).
laura turos says
could not access game cards for joseph lesson , can you help?
It looks like the site I got them from no longer exists, and at the time I only printed them, not saved them to my computer. A similar type of thing you might try is printing off 2 copies of the 12 sons of Joseph from “Jacob Finds a wife” lesson.
The cards are on Etsy. I think they are $2.00. Search using Joseph in Egypt
Thank you! I’ll do that search and add it into my post later.