VERSES: Genesis 37:1-36
MEMORY VERSE: Genesis 37:3 "...and he made him a coat of many colors."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Nehemiah. Write "Nehemiah" on slips of paper to hand out to the students at the end of class.
PRAYER: Pray that all families might love each other and take care of each other, living in harmony, not strife. Let's treat everyone the way we would want to be treated.
JOSEPH HAD A COAT OF MANY COLORS
Joseph had a coat of many colors,
Yes, Joseph had a coat of many colors,
Yes, Joseph had a coat of many colors,
And his father, Jacob, gave it to him.
VISUAL AID: TV Box. All of Joseph's stories are told well using the TV Box. See February - Visual Aid #1 on this blog.
- Do we remember how many sons Jacob had? That's right! Twelve! Who the the baby? Baby Benjamin! Do you remember who the next to the last boy? That's right! Joseph! Joseph is the one we will learn about today. Joseph's mother was named Rachel and Joseph's father, Jacob, loved her very, very much and they finally had a son. Rachel named him Joseph. As time went by, all the boys grew up. They lived in the land of Canaan. One of their jobs was taking care of all the flocks of sheep Jacob owned.
- Joseph was his father's favorite child because Joseph was a child of Jacob's old age. Should Jacob have had a favorite child? NO! He should have loved all of his children the same, but because Jacob did not do that, there were lots of problems in his family. When Joseph was 17 years old, his father, Jacob, made him a coat of many colors to show that he loved Joseph.
- A beautiful coat must have made Joseph happy, but what trouble it caused! Because of the favoritism of giving only Joseph a special coat, the other brothers--all except baby Benjamin--hated him and could not speak a kind word to him!
- To make things worse, Joseph had two dreams and, when he told them to his brothers, they hated him even more! Here were the dreams: In the first dream, they were binding sheaves in the field, and all of the sheaves 'bowed down' to Joseph's sheave. In the second dream, the sun and moon and eleven stars 'bowed down' to him. When he told his father the dreams, Jacob scolded him and said, "Do you think your father and mother and brothers will bow to you??" While his brothers envied him, his father thought about the dreams.
- One day Joseph's brothers went to another town to feed the flocks of sheep. It was a little ways away, and, after a while, Jacob told Joseph to go there to check on his brothers to see if everything was OK. Joseph went and, after finally finding them, the brothers saw Joseph coming. They began to make fun of Joseph and said, "Look, here comes the dreamer! Let's kill him and throw him into a pit and see what becomes of his dreams!" Was that a nice thing to say? Of course, not! The oldest brother's name was what? That's right! Reuben. Reuben heard his brothers talking about killing Joseph and thought that was a bad idea, so he told them, "Let's not kill him. Let's just throw him into this pit out here in the wilderness." Reuben planned to come back and rescue him and take him back to his father. But something happened instead.
- The brothers took Joseph's beautiful coat of many colors off of him and put him in a pit where there was no water. A pit is a huge hole in the ground. The brothers sat down and ate their lunch while poor Joseph was in the pit. After a bit, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming towards them. There was a whole bunch of camels coming from Gilead who were bearing spices and balm were coming towards them on the way down to Egypt. Judah suggested, "You know, what good is it if we kill Joseph and hide his blood? Let's not hurt him; he is our brother. Let's sell him to the Ishmaelites!" And that's what they are content to do.
- The Ishmaelites drew and lifted out Joseph from the pit, and the brothers sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver and the Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt. Evidently, Reuben had left for a little while and when he came back, he saw that Joseph was gone. When people back in the Old Testament were sad or grieved, they sometimes tore their clothes. That is what Reuben did. He was very grieved and tore his clothes and said, "The boy is gone; now what shall I do?"
- Do you know what they did? They lied. Is it ever good to lie? Never, ever, ever. But they lied. They killed a baby goat, dipped Joseph's coat of many colors in the blood, and gave it to their father. They asked him, "We found this. Do you know if it is your son's coat?" Did they know who's coat it was? YES! But they told a lie to their father and said they did not know. Jacob says, "Yes, it is Joseph's coat. A wild animal must have eaten him up!" Jacob was grieved and tore his clothes and was very, very, very sad about Joseph for many days. All of his family tried to comfort him, but no one could. The Bible says that Jacob cried for Joseph.
- But WE know that Joseph didn't die or was eaten by a wild animal, don't we?? Where was Joseph? Let's turn our Bibles to Genesis 37:36 and find out where he went! (Read verse.) Let's put our bookmarks right there until next time. Where was Joseph? He was sold him in Egypt to a man named Potiphar, an officer in Pharoah or the king's court. It says that Potiphar was a captain in the king's guard, a very important person. So we will leave Joseph this week in Egypt. Come back next week to see what happens!!
"Older Student" Tips:
- Discuss how children should all be loved the same amount and parents should not have favorites because it does ham to the family. Talk about this happened in Joseph's family. Had this happened before? To whom did it happen? Jacob's family! Surely, Jacob should have known how it felt NOT to be the Father's favorite!
- Discuss how it is never right to do wrong. A lie is never good. Think how much sorrow and sadness that Jacob went through. How sad!
- Find Canaan, Gilead, Dothan, and Egypt on a Bible map. Gilead is where Jacob thought his sons had gone to feed the flocks, but Dothan is where Joseph actually found them.
ACTIVITY: Joseph's Coat Of Many Colors
Materials needed: 2 ft. x 3 ft. piece of light-colored butcher or art paper for each child, scissors, tape, crayons, black marker or crayon.
- Take edges of paper to meet in the middle and fold. (see pictures below
- In front, cut one triangle on each edge of paper (edges in the middle, not on the outside) like a neckline. (see picture below)
- Tape top where 'shoulders' meet. (see picture below)
- Fold edge of tape to the back of paper. (see picture below)
- Cut one armhole on each side.
- Have students color their coat of many colors.
- Write "Joseph's Coat Of Many Colors" and "Genesis 37:3" at bottom on front.
- If students' have time, they may color the back of their coat.
- Let the students wear their 'coats' out of the classroom. They will be SO proud!
- TIP: Because all children are not the same size, it is beneficial if you make a couple of 'generous' and 'slender' versions of this 'coat.' It is nice when the 'coats' fit relatively well and will last at least until the children arrive home.
- TIP: Not all of us have the same talents.Some Bible teachers are able to sew. If you are one of those blessed ones, you may want to try this out of old sheets. Old sheets are available in thrift stores, yard sales, or from your neighbors' closets! (Crayons still color on white sheets well.)