BIG PICTURE QUESTION: What can stop God’s plan? Nothing can stop God’s perfect plan.
MAIN POINT: God sent Joseph to Egypt to establish a remnant.
BIBLE VERSE: “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your offspring because of my servant Abraham.” Genesis 26:24
BIBLE STORY REVIEW AND BIBLE SKILLS:
Give each child a Bible and guide him/her to find Genesis 42. Encourage them to scan over the words, paying attention to headings and familiar names. Explain that today’s Bible story comes from several chapters in the Bible: from Genesis 42–46 and Genesis 50. Give kids two sticky notes each to mark Genesis 42 and Genesis 50.
Ask the following review questions. After each question, announce the chapter where kids can find the answer. When kids find the answer, they should hop up out of their seat. Call on the first child to read aloud the verse from his/her Bible. If kids struggle, provide the chapter and verse number.
1. Which of Jacob’s sons did not go to Egypt to find food? (Benjamin, Gen. 42:4)
2. What did Joseph accuse his brothers of being? (spies; Gen. 42:9,14)
3. Why did Jacob decide to send his sons back to Egypt? (They ran out of food, Gen. 43:2)
4. Did Joseph cry softly or loudly in front of his brothers? (loudly, Gen. 45:2)
5. How did God speak to Jacob (Israel)? (in a vision, Gen. 46:2)
6. What did God tell Jacob He would do? (God said, “I will make you into a great nation,” Gen. 46:3)
7. What were Joseph’s brothers afraid Joseph would do? (seek revenge, repay them for the suffering they caused him; Gen. 50:15)
8. What did Joseph say God planned for the evil acts of Joseph’s brothers? (God planned it for good to bring about the survival of many people, Gen. 50:20)
SAY •God sent Joseph to Egypt to establish a remnant, and that is exactly what happened. God was with Joseph, and He used the evil actions of Joseph’s brothers to bring about something good. A remnant of Jacob’s family—the Israelites—survived the famine. They lived in Egypt, and their families grew.
FURTHER FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
How did Joseph’s dreams come true?
How did God use evil for good?
When someone wrongs you, do you choose to forgive or to seek revenge?
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY:
Use permanent markers to write the words of the key passage on adhesive labels or strips of tape. Write a few words on each label, and then stick the labels on the outside of 10 paper cups. If your family is large, make multiple sets. Mix up the cups and challenge kids to arrange them in order. Guide kids to say the verse aloud together. Then mix up the cups and instruct kids to construct a tower—four cups on the bottom row, three on the next, two on the next, and one on top so the words are in order. When kids finish, ask one of your kids to check the group’s work.
SAY •Thanks for all your hard work! God promised to be with Jacob. We saw in these stories that God was with Joseph, too. God is with us today, too. We do not need to be afraid. He is so faithful.
FAMILY ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS:
Option 1: Elimination game (for larger families)
Give each kid a sticky note and a pencil. Instruct kids to write their names on the sticky notes. Arrange chairs in a circle, back to back. Put one sticky note on each chair. Tell kids to begin walking around the circle of chairs. When you call stop, each kid should find the chair labeled with his name. The last player to do so is out. Remove his/her chair from the circle for the round. Play multiple rounds until only two or three players remain.
SAY •Our game started with many players, but by the end only a few were left. We could call those few a remnant—a small part of a larger group. God sent Joseph to Egypt to establish a remnant. If Joseph had not stored up a bunch of food in Egypt, it is possible that his family would have died during the famine. But because of Joseph’s leadership, Joseph’s family survived. Many, many years later, Jesus was born into this family and God kept His promise to Abraham.
Option 2: Hunt and gather
Place a large bowl of candy, such as M&M’s, on a table at the front of the room. Position two plastic spoons next to the bowl. Form two or more teams. Guide teams to stand single file across the room. Give each player a small paper cup. Explain the game.
1. You will call out a number and a color. (For example,“two red” or “four yellow.”)
2. The first player on each team will run to the bowl, scoop the assigned number and color of candies into his cup and return to his team.
3. The first player to return with the correct number and color of candies earns a point for his team.
Play seven rounds to signify seven years of plenty. If time allows, play additional rounds. You may choose to provide extra candy for kids to enjoy.
SAY •Joseph suffered when his brothers sent him to Egypt. He was wrongfully imprisoned. But God had a plan for Joseph’s life. The Bible says that many nations came to buy food from Joseph. [See Gen. 41:57.] God used Joseph’s suffering to save people from many nations from starvation. God also planned for His Son, Jesus, to suffer and die on the cross so that people from all nations would be saved from sin.
JOURNAL AND PRAYER:
Give each kid a pencil and a notebook, piece of paper or journal. Ask them to think about who is in control of everything. Encourage kids to write about something they worry about.
ASK: Can God take care of that? Can God make good come of it? Remind kids that God does everything for His glory and our good. Spend a few minutes praying about any expressed worries. Suggest they pray for friends or family members who may feel worried, too.