He showed God’s Love
“Look who’s coming over there! It’s that bragging brother of ours. Carrying tales to our father to get us in trouble again no doubt. Let’s kill him. No one will see us out here in the pastures. We’ll tear that fancy shirt off his back. Everyone will think he was attacked by a wild animal.”
As Joseph came near, ten strong and angry men were plotting his destruction. It would seem no one would be able to escape such strength and wickedness. One man would be small and helpless in this situation. Evil would overpower him.
But no power of evil is strong enough to interfere with the will of God. God had a purpose for the life of Joseph. God cared for him as a person and wanted to use him in a magnificent plan to save His people from disaster. God wanted to show us that He provides for mankind in the midst of a wicked world. He wanted to teach us to trust God and follow His ways in love and submission.
We will see now how God preserved Joseph and made his life a lesson for us.
In this lesson you will study:
- A Son Is Preserved by God
- A Slave Obeys God’s Will
- A Brother Shows God’s Love
This lesson will help you:
- Give examples of God’s care and provision
- Explain how daily actions demonstrate faith and devotion to God
- Have personal faith in God, and accept His provision for you
A Son is Preserved by God
Jacob was a man blessed by God in many ways. He prospered, with flocks and herds of great size. Also, he had twelve sons to increase his household and help him in the management of his property. The ten older sons guided the livestock to food and water throughout wide expanses of territory in Palestine.
Joseph, one of the younger sons, was given a favored position by his father. His duties included taking messages between his father and his brothers. At times he would report to his father the actions of the older sons. Of course they strongly objected to this and began to dislike him very much. Then, when he told them of some strange dreams, their dislike turned to hate.
It may be that God had given Joseph a special ability in connection with dreams. Later it would be evident that his own dreams did have meaning and that God would open to him the meaning of other dreams as well.
Joseph dreamed that he was with his brothers, setting up sheaves in the harvest field. The sheaf of Joseph stood up tall and straight. The sheaves of his brothers fell over, as in obeisance, bowing to the sheaf of Joseph. Then he dreamed that the sun, moon, and eleven stars made obeisance to him. He told his dreams to his family.
“What is this?” cried his brothers. “He means that we should bow down to him? Joseph thinks he is greater than we and our father thinks he is dearer than we.” They envied and hated him. Finally they planned to kill him.
We can see in this account a great weakness of mankind which originally brought sin into the world. Joseph repeated his dreams in a way that revealed pride. His brothers had pride in their hearts, too. They could not bear the idea of bowing to a younger brother. Their pride turned to envy and hate and led them to thoughts of murder.
Joseph and his brothers were all human beings, as we are. Their actions show that the condition of sin is in the human heart. When people act on their own, without guidance from God, they find themselves in trouble.
For You To Do
Complete the following sentences using one or a few words for each.
- The human weakness shown by Joseph was
- Human weaknesses shown by Joseph’s brothers were
- All human weakness comes from the condition of
- Troubles and problems always follow when men