VERSES: Genesis 43, 44, 45, and 46. TIP: Long story tonight! Extra practice may be needed rehearsing the story. It is a happy story that can be told with much emotion, capturing the happiness of the entire family! Also, Genesis 49, 50 concerns Jacob and Joseph's deaths and is included under the "Older Student" Tips at the end of Lesson Points. This is the last of the lessons in Genesis on this blog.
MEMORY VERSE: Genesis 44:5 "...for God did send me before you to preserve life."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Ecclesiastes Write "Ecclesiastes" on slips of paper to give to each student as they leave the classroom.
PRAYER: Pray that we should love God and our families. Let us always be kind to everyone. Let us be like Joseph, patient and forgiving and kind.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Patient And Kind (see April - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him), The Sons of Jacob (April - Lesson - The Twelve Sons of Jacob
VISUAL AID: TV Box (See February - Visual Aid #1 on this blog)
- The famine was still very serious in the land of Canaan where Jacob and his sons lived. They had no food. Finally, Jacob told his sons to go again and buy food in Egypt since Egypt was the only place there was any food at all. But Judah said to his father, "We cannot go to Egypt to buy food, Father, unless Benjamin goes with us. The man who sold us food the last time told us not to come back unless we had out youngest brother with us." Who was the man who said to bring Benjamin with them the next time? That's right! It was Joseph, the brother they had put into a pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt! Joseph wanted to see his younger brother, Benjamin, but he didn't tell his brothers that he was Joseph. Jacob complained to his sons, "Why did you even tell him you had a younger brother?" The brothers said that the man had asked them directly, "Is your father alive? Do you have another brother? We didn't know he was going to tell us to bring Benjamin with us the next time!" Judah said to Judah, "Send Benjamin with us, Father. We need food or we will all die even our little ones." Eventually, Jacob told them to go with Benjamin and to take a few presents with him, a little balm, a few almonds, and spices...thing like that. Jacob also tells them to take Benjamin and double the amount of money just in case it was a mistake the last time.
- All of the brothers except Simeon traveled to Egypt to buy food. Why didn't Simeon go with them? That's right! Simeon was already in Egypt because Joseph said he had to stay there in prison until Benjamin came to Egypt. When Joseph sees his brothers and that Benjamin is with them, he tells the ruler of the house to bring all the brothers home and to make ready the noon meal. The brothers were afraid because they had to go to Joseph's house. They said to each other that it was because of the money that was found in their sacks the first time they had gone to buy corn. They felt that they were in trouble. When they arrived at Joseph's house, they tried to explain to the steward of the house about the money they had found in their sacks on that first trip, but all the steward said was don't be afraid. Then Simeon was brought out to the brothers. They must have been as happy to see Simeon as he was to see them! Then the man of the house gave them water to wash their feet and food for their donkeys. T
- When Joseph came home, the brothers gave them their presents and showed Joseph respect by bowing to the ground before him. Joseph asked about the health of their father and the brothers said that he was still alive. When Joseph looked up and saw Benjamin, he hurried out of the room and went to his bedroom and cried because he had greatly missed his younger brother. After he had washed his face, he told the servant that it was time to eat. Because Egyptians did not eat with the Hebrews, Joseph ate by himself, but all of the brothers were amazed when they went to sit down at the dinner table to eat and found that the order in which each brother sat was in the order of their birth. Do we remember the order of the Sons of Jacob? Let's sing our song again! (Sing The Sons Of Jacob) That's the order in which they were sitting around the table! How did Joseph know? He was their brother!
- Now, when the brothers were ready to go home to Canaan, Joseph instructed his servants to fill the brothers' sacks with food and to put their money back in their sacks. Joseph had done that before, hadn't he? But, this time, he put something special in Benjamin's sack--Joseph's silver cup! Then the brothers left. When the brothers had traveled out of the city, Joseph said to his steward, "Go follow the men! Say to them, 'Why have you rewarded good with evil?' Then search for my silver cup. Joseph was playing a trick on them, wasn't he? Where was the cup? In Benjamin's sack, but Benjamin and his brothers didn't know it.
- When the steward caught up with the brothers, the brothers knew that they hadn't taken the cup, so they told the steward to go ahead and search for the cup that they had not taken it. Imagine their surprise and fear when the cup was found in Benjamin's cup!! Remember a few weeks ago, we learned that when someone was grieved or extremely sad, what did they do to their clothes? That's right! They tor their clothes...and that is what the brothers do. They know there's trouble ahead for Benjamin!
- All of the brothers traveled back with the steward to Joseph's house. Joseph was still there and the brothers fell on the ground before Joseph. Very sad indeed! Joseph asked them, "Why have you done this?" Judah said to Joseph, " What can we say to you? We have no clue as to how your cup got into Benjamin's sack." Joseph said that whoever had the cup in his sack would be his servant! Oh, no! That meant that Benjamin would not be able to go back to Canaan to see his father, and he would have to stay with Joseph! That is what Joseph wanted. He wanted Benjamin to stay with him.
- Then Judah went up close to Joseph and told Joseph the whole story about their life in Canaan, how much his father loved and protected Benjamin, and how that his father would die if Benjamin did not return with them to Canaan. Judah begged Joseph to let him stay and let Benjamin go back to Canaan.
- Finally, Joseph couldn't stand it anymore. He cried, "Let all the servants go out of the room!!" Everyone went out until it was only Joseph and his brothers left in the room and they were alone. Joseph cried so loud that even the Egyptians outside of the room could hear Joseph cry. "I AM JOSEPH!!" was what Joseph told all of his brothers, but his brothers didn't say a word because they were really afraid of what was going to happen to them since they knew it was JOSEPH that was standing beside them. They knew what they had done to him. But, Joseph told them, "Don't be afraid. God sent me to Egypt to save all of our lives." And that is exactly what had happened. By Joseph being in Egypt, God provided a way to save their family from the famine.
- Joseph told his brothers to hurry back to Canaan and bring Jacob to Egypt where Joseph would make sure that they have a comfortable life with lots of food, flocks, and herds. Joseph told them to tell his father of all the good things that had happened to him and of all the good things they had seen in Egypt. Then Joseph fell on Benjamin's neck and cried and Benjamin cried, too. Then there was a lot of hugging and tears of joy for all of the brothers!! A happy ending!!
- Pharaoh heard about Joseph and his family's happiness. He told Joseph to hurry, take a lot of wagons full of gifts to Jacob, and bring him and all his huge family back to Egypt. Pharaoh said he would give them a home in the land of Goshen, which was the best land.
- When the brothers arrived home and told their father the good news that Joseph was alive! Jacob didn't believe it at first, but God spoke to Jacob through a dream and that was all it took for Jacob to load up all his children and grandchildren which was about 66 people (Gen. 46:26) and all of his belongings on the wagon and head for Egypt to live with Joseph! The Bible says that when Joseph heard that Jacob was coming in the wagons, he got in his chariot and met his father in Goshen! He fell on his father's neck and the Bible says he cried a good while (Gen 46:28, 29). So, it was a VERY happy ending for Joseph, his father, all of his brothers, and all of their families. God had protected their family. God was in control and God knew the future...just like He is today! God is good!
- Why would the man of the house give the brothers water to wash their feet when they arrived at Joseph's house? Everywhere they traveled, everyone walked and their feet got very dirty, so it was the custom to let travelers wash their feet and refresh themselves.
- Dwell a little while on how God provided for Joseph, Jacob, and his brothers in a hard time.
- As mentioned in past lessons on this blog, address the subject of how God talks to people today (Heb. 1:1, 2). In Bible times, God talked to people through dreams and visions. They didn't have a Bible back then, but now we do. God will not tell anyone to do anything that is not in the Bible. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
- Discuss how it was the blessing and privilege of the patriarch to bless his children. At the end of Jacob's life, he called all of his children together and blessed them one by one. After only 17 years in Egypt (Gen 47:28), Jacob died (Gen. 49:33) and was buried in Canaan through Joseph's promise to carry out his final wish (Gen. 50:5). To help the students realize what a tremendous effort this was, read the few verses in Genesis 50 about who went to the funeral. (Gen. 50:4-13).
- Joseph and his brothers returned to Egypt and, after reassurance from Joseph that he sincerely had forgiven his brothers, they were treated kindly by Joseph (Gen. 50:21). Joseph had his final wishes as well at 110 years old. By faith, Joseph's final wish was that his bones would be carried to the land of Canaan and be buried there. (Gen. 50:25; Heb. 11:22)
Materials needed: 4" x 6" piece of brown construction paper, four 2" brown circles, four 1/2" tan circles, one 1/2" x 3" brown strip of construction paper, tape, glue, black crayon or marker.
- Hand out 4" x 6" piece of brown construction paper to each student.
- Fold 1/2" around each edge of brown paper. (See picture below.)
- Cut two 1/2" snips on only two opposite sides of brown paper. (See picture below.)
- Fold like a box, tape four corners. (See picture below.)
- Glue one 1/2" tan circle in each of four 2" brown circles.
- Glue 'wheels' on 'wagon'.
- Fold long brown strip at edge of paper.
- Tape strip to bottom of wagon.
- Write "Wagons For Jacob" and "Gen. 45:17-28" inside of wagon.
- "Older Student" Activity Tip: It is nice to use gold fasteners to attach the wheels to the wagon. Using fasteners, the wheels will turn.