Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lesson - How Joseph Gets Out Of Prison

VERSES:   Genesis 41:1-57

MEMORY VERSE:   Genesis 41:41   "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Psalms  Write "Psalms" on slips of paper to give to each child at the end of class.

PRAYER:   Remember to thank God for delivering us from our trials.

SPECIAL SONG:   The Books of the Old Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3

VISUAL AID:   TV Box (see February - Visual Aid #1 on this blog) and a map of Egypt for the older students.

  • Last week, we left Joseph in prison after the butler for about Joseph interpreting His and the bakers' dreams and it all coming true just like Joseph said. After Joseph had been in prison for two years, Pharaoh dreamed two dreams. He first dreamed that there were seven fat, healthy cows coming out of the river and they went to eat in the meadow. Then seven thin, skinny cows came up out of the river and ate up the seven fat, healthy cows. Pharaoh woke up out of his sleep and then, when he fell asleep again, he dreamed a second dream. In his second dream, Pharaoh dreamed that grew seven good, plump ears of corn on a cornstalk.Then seven thin, withered ears of corn that had been blasted with the east wind grew after the good ears.The thin ears of corn ate up the seven good, plump ears of corn. When Pharaoh woke up out of his dream, he had no idea what the dreams meant. He called for all his magicians and wise men in all of Egypt, but they, too, had no idea what his dreams meant.
  • Then the chief butler (remember him?) spoke up and said to Pharaoh, "I am so sorry I didn't think of this sooner, but when I was in prison, there was a young Hebrew who had been the servant of the captain of the guard (who was that? Potiphar!) who was in prison with me and the chief baker. The baker and I each had a dream and this young Hebrew told us the meaning of our dreams...and the what he said came true!"
  • Pharaoh hurriedly calls for Joseph in the prison. Joseph shaves and puts on some clean clothes and goes to see what Pharaoh wants. Pharaoh tells Joseph all about the seven fat, healthy cows and the skinny cows and the seven plump ears of corn and the thin ears of corn. Joseph tells Pharaoh that God will tell Pharaoh what his dreams mean. Joseph says that God will show Pharaoh what is going to happen in the future.There will be seven years with lots and lots of food though out all the land of Egypt, but after those seven good years, there will be seven years of famine! What does famine mean? That's right! No food! There was going to be seven years when there would be no food at all! Joseph said that, because Pharaoh dreamed two dreams with the same meaning, it meant that the dream was from God and that all of these things would happen very soon.
  • When Joseph suggests that Pharaoh choose a man who was honest and wise and to set him over the land to prepare for the famine, guess who Pharaoh chooses? That's right! Joseph! Pharaoh said that because God had showed Joseph what his dreams meant, then Pharaoh would choose Joseph also and Joseph would be responsible for all that was in Pharaoh's house and only he would be greater than Joseph. Pharaoh took off his ring and put it on Joseph's hand, he gave him new, clean, fancy clothes, and a chain to go around his neck. He made Joseph ride in the second chariot behind Pharaoh and people bowed before him. Joseph was now a very important person in Egypt
  • How old was Joseph when he stood before Pharaoh the king of Egypt?  Let's turn out Bibles to Genesis 41:46 and see how old he was. (Read verse.) How old was Joseph when all this happened?  30 years old!  That's not really very old and, yet, God trusted Joseph to be mature enough and smart enough to obey God and do all the things God told him to do.  The Bible says all these things happened just like the dreams said they would.  There were seven years that Joseph prepared and gathered a great amount of food, getting ready for the famine.  And the famine came and it came hard! The famine hit everywhere, so that it came to be that the ONLY place to buy food was in Egypt, People from many different countries were coming to Egypt to buy their food from Joseph. There was a special reason why God chose Joseph and not anyone else to take care of Egypt's food and we will find out next time!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • We should always obey God.  When we are young and when we are old, we should listen to God. How can we listen to God today?  Through the Bible! God will not talk to us like he talked to Joseph (Heb. 1:1, 2), but He talks to us through His Word and we must read it! Joseph was young, but still God trusted Joseph. God knew Joseph's heart. He knew Joseph had a good, honest, and pure heart. That's how our hearts should be. Good. Honest. Pure.
  • Take a look on a Bible map to see how large of an are Egypt was and realize what a great responsibility Joseph at age 30 had! Look at the different countries that probably came to Egypt to buy food.
  • There many times in our lives when we cannot see God's plan in our lives. Think about Joseph and how he could have been in total despair sitting there in prison, but he knew God would take care of him and chose to trust Him. God did provide for Joseph, as He will provide for us in our trials. We only need to be faithful and obedient...and patient. How long was Joseph in prison waiting for God to answer his prayer? At least two years in prison!

ACTIVITY:   Pharaoh's Dream Wheel
Materials needed:  Two sheets of different colored index or card stock (thick) paper for each child, an thinner paper if making the Odd Shape Pattern, one fastener, scissors, crayons.

  1. Before class, the Bible teacher draws two 8" circles on each index paper. BOTTOM WHEEL: On one paper the teacher draws two intersecting lines through the center of one of the circles, sectioning off the circle into four equal parts. (See the picture above). TOP WHEEL: For the second paper, it is easier to make a pattern for the odd shape that the students are to cut out of the second circle. (See picture below for odd shape.) How to make this shape as a stencil: draw an extra 8" circle on a separate piece of paper. Cut a quarter out of the extra 8" circle and generously round the tip off of the quartered paper. This is used as a pattern to draw the odd shape on the second circle. DRAWING LINES: Either the Bible teacher can draw all lines on the circles, including this odd shape, before class, or take the time so that the students can draw them. It is easier and faster if the Bible teacher draws the lines.
  2. The student cuts out the two different colored circles, if able.  If not, the Bible teacher cuts out the circles.
  3. If desired, have the students cut out the odd shape out of the second circle.
  4. Place fastener in the middle of both circles and push easily.  (Tip: I have found it is easier if the bible teacher uses an ice pick to make the hole before the students put the fastener in.)
  5. Turn the entire two circles with fastener on its back and spread the fastener apart to secure.
  6. The student draws each picture in the opening on the bottom wheel. (See picture below.)
  7. Write "How Joseph Gets Out Of Prison" and "Genesis 41:1-57" on the top wheel.
  8. The student turns the wheel to tell the story.