Sermon Guides_May 10_Joseph, part 4

Kid City Notes

Lesson overview:
Bible passage: Genesis 50
Story point: We can trust that God will bring out good for us and others from hard times.
Key passage: Genesis 50:20 … You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good that many people should be kept alive…

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: paper, pen/pencil
Read the key passage: Genesis 50:20, and have the kids repeat it after you. Then read it using silly voices for them to repeat using silly voices as well.
Say: Joseph’s brother hurt him and did mean things to him, but God turned what was bad and hurtful into good. Because of the evil things they had done, Joseph was able to help save his brothers and the people in Egypt. Joseph knew he could trust that God was going to take care of him through it all.

Bible Story Questions:
1. Who did Jacob bless before he died? (He blessed his son’s and Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.)
2. Where Joseph’s brothers worried Joseph was still mad? (Yes, they were worried Joseph was still upset about how they sold him into slavery. They were worried that now that Jacob was dead Joseph would punish them.)
3. How did Joseph respond? (Help them kids remember that Joseph was not mad, he loved his brothers and had already forgiven them. Help the kids remember that Joseph saw that God had redeemed the bad and that Joseph forgave his brothers.)

Activity:
Supplies: paper, pen/pencil
Play a couple rounds of Pictionary together.
Say: In the game the artist had a plan for what to draw and God had a plan for Joseph’s life. Joseph and his brothers might not have always understood God’s plan, but God was faithful and took care of them.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: paper, pen/pencil
Write the verse: Genesis 5:20, on a piece of paper and read it together. Then hold the paper up for them to see. Take a step back each time they read the passage seeing how far they can get from the paper while still reading it.
Say: God was faithful to take care of Joseph and used him to help people in need. Joseph went through a lot of difficult things but God used all of that to put Joseph in charge of Egypt. He had to be sent far away from his family to end up in Egypt but God was with him and took care of him through everything.

Bible Story Questions:
1. Why did Joseph’s brothers lie to him and why were they scared of him? (Help the kids remember what Joseph’s brother had done. They were worried he would take revenge now that their father wasn’t there to protect them. His brothers knew what they had done was wrong.)
2. How did Joseph respond and why did he respond this way? (Help the kids remember that Joseph pointed them back to God. Joseph trusted God, and had seen that what his brothers had done to hurt him, was something that God had redeemed and made good. If Joseph hadn’t been sold into slavery he wouldn’t have been able to save his family or many other familes.)
3. Discuss a time where things were hard, but looking back you can see how God was planning something good for you through those times. (Discuss how God has been faithful in your own personal life.Even in hard times we can trust Him and his plan because we know that he cares for us.)

Activity:
Supplies: paper, coloring supplies
Play a couple rounds of Pictionary together.
Say: In the game the artist had a plan for what to draw and God had a plan for Joseph’s life. Joseph and his brothers might not have always understood God’s plan, but God was faithful and took care of them.

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Click here to see our Video Lesson! 

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Gospel Student Ministry Notes

Scripture: Genesis 46-50
The Good Hand of God: The Story of Joseph

Intro/Overview
As human beings we are constantly consumed with the busyness of life. This is especially true for 21st century society. Our calendars are full of meetings, appointments, and other obligations, and if that weren’t enough we try to fit our family and personal lives somewhere in our hectic schedules as well. With the invention of technology, we carry around an enormous digital distraction in our pockets. We are constantly having to respond to notifications, texts, emails, phone calls, etc.

As a result, we are always on the go, moving from one thing to another. We rarely slow down. We don’t take the time to enjoy little things like the beauty of creation, the incredible life that we’ve been given, and the evidence of God’s grace. We miss so much. This is true even in the way that we approach God.

The story of Joseph is written in such great detail, much greater detail than any other story we find in the Scriptures. Joseph’s story covers nearly 13 chapters in the book of Genesis. As we have studied this story over the last several weeks, we’ve found that Joseph has had to endure some pretty unfavorable circumstances. He comes from a family of 12 brothers, and it’s no secret that he is the favorite son of his father Jacob. This of course leads to turmoil and Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers.

Joseph ends up being imprisoned for something that he didn’t do, and while he’s there, he interprets the dreams of two prisoners. This eventually leads to him being released from jail so that he can then interpret a dream for Pharaoh. Because of this, Pharaoh places Joseph in a position of authority which allows him to provide for his family during the time of a great famine.

Of course all of this happens not by coincidence or happenstance, but at the divine hand of God. In order for Joseph, his brothers, and his father to see this reality, they had to really slow down, reflect, and look at what was happening around them. When reflecting on the circumstances of Joseph’s story, we’re able to see God’s provision and His redemptive power at work in the life of Joseph (and his brothers/father). What we also learn is that Joseph was a suffering servant, who through God’s grace, even in his difficulty and trials, was able to redeem his family. The reality for us is this: Jesus is the true and better Joseph. When we read this story and really focus on the details and see God at work, we are pointed to the suffering servant Christ Jesus, and all that we have in and through Him.

Even in the midst of this pandemic, God is working, and Christ is King. Hopefully, this time of isolation has compromised our schedules and our busy lives in such a way, that we are forced to slow down and really see how God is at work. During this time, let’s intentionally look deeper to see Jesus and how the grace of God is evidenced in our lives.

Discussion Questions
Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 46 – 50
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
1. There’s no doubt this has been a tough time for all of us. Being confined to our homes and cut off from our friends, family, and community hasn’t been ideal. It’s been difficult to find purpose in the COVID-19 crisis. Initially, I’m sure Joseph struggled to make sense of his circumstances, but God worked through Joseph’s situation for good. How has God worked in your life through this pandemic?
2. In Genesis 47, Jacob (Joseph’s father) tells Pharaoh that “few and evil have been the days of his life (47:9).” However, as Jacob is nearing the end of his life, he has the opportunity to slow down and as he reflects on his life, he says “God has been my Shepherd all my life long…and has redeemed me from all evil (48:15-16).” Are there things that you have overlooked, that you now can see because this pandemic has forced you to slow down?
3. Joseph makes one of the most powerful statements, that really summarizes this entire story in chapter 50 as the book of Genesis ends. As he is speaking to his brothers, he says “what you meant for evil against me, God meant it for good (50:20).” How can God use our current situation for your good and the good of others?

Joseph’s story is filled with turmoil, betrayal, and difficulty, yet God’s power of redemption and deliverance is consistently on display. What have you learned from the story of Joseph? How has God spoken to you through this story?

As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.
End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.

Parents:
Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? How can you care for those that have been impacted by this pandemic? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.

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Adult Sermon Notes

“Now Jacob had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to prepare for his arrival at Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen, Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel. Joseph presented himself to him, threw his arms around him, and wept for a long time. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘I’m ready to die now because I have seen your face and you are still alive!’”
Genesis 46:28-30

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, ‘If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.’ So they sent this message to Joseph, ‘Before he died your father gave a command: ‘Say this to Joseph: Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin—the suffering they caused you.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when their message came to him. His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, ‘We are your slaves!’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.’ And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
Genesis 50:15-21

The good news of the gospel, seen in God’s redemptive providence in the death and resurrection of Jesus, is that we can know for sure that come joy or pain, happiness or suffering, God’s activity toward us in Christ is never punitive—it’s only grace now.

The redemptive providence of God is seen when we can slow down, look into the details of our lives and hear the voice of God and see the presence of God.

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