Category Archives: Joseph

Overwhelming Blessings (OBJ LESSON)


IMG_2673

Time

15 minutes

Description

This object lesson uses a tower of cups and a waterfall of liquid to demonstrate how God blessed everyone around Joseph because of Joseph’s faithfulness to God.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37:12-36; 39:1-6, 20-23; 41:53-57
  • 2 Corinthians 2:9 – The Voice translation: “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.”

Materials

  • Notecard (1)
  • Cup Tower
    • Clear, plastic cups (41)
    • Transparent tape (“Scotch” tape or another brand) (1 roll)
    • Double-sided foam tape (1 roll)
    • Pitcher
    • Water
    • Large spoon (for stirring)
    • Tray or clear basin (to catch any water that overflows the cups)
    • Food coloring (I recommend a darker color such as green, red or blue.)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write 2 Corinthians 2:9 from The Voice translation on a notecard.
  • Create a cup tower.
    • Stack the cups in five layers.
    • The bottom layer will have 18 cups.
    • The next layer will have 12 cups.
    • The next layer will have seven cups.
    • The next layer will have three cups.
    • The top layer will just have one cup.
    • It may be helpful to assemble each layer separately first and to tape the cups together at the rims with transparent tape.
    • Then, place a piece of double-sided foam tape wherever three cups will be supporting an upper layer cup.
    • Finally, place your layers on top of each other one-by-one, and press gently to get the double-sided tape to stick.
    • You don’t need your cup tower to last forever, but you don’t want it to fall apart during your lesson as you add the weight of the water to the upper layers.
    • See the photos below to help you assemble the cup tower.

Cup Tower

  • Place your cup tower into or onto the clear basin or tray.
  • Test your cup tower, but pouring water into the top cup, and ensuring that water cascades into the lower levels of cups.
  • Fill the pitcher with water, add food coloring, and stir.
  • Bookmark Genesis 39:20-23 in your Bible so that you can find it quickly when you need someone to read it out loud.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • Joseph was sold by his brothers and had to go to serve as a slave in Egypt.
  • He was sold to a man named Potiphar, who held a very high position in Pharaoh’s court.
  • Pharaoh was the king of Egypt, and Potiphar was the captain of his security team.
  • Potiphar was probably very wealthy and had a large household.
  • He put Joseph to work, and he was soon very pleased with how hard-working and responsible Joseph was.
  • The bible says that Joseph “succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” (Gen 39:2)
  • Potiphar was so happy that he made Joseph his personal attendant and put him in charge of his entire household.
  • Then, an amazing thing happened!
  • The bible says, “the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.” (Gen 39:5)
  • In other words, Potiphar’s life got better BECAUSE Joseph was there!
  • Potiphar wasn’t even a follower of God, but God blessed him, because he had Joseph living in his house.
  • Here’s what’s really cool!
  • This doesn’t just happen with Joseph; it happens with you, too!
  • When you are following God and doing what He says to do in your bible, God is so pleased with you that He blesses you.
  • But God loves to bless you with much more than you need. (Have volunteer read 2 Corinthians 2:9 from The Voice translation: “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.”)
  • That’s such a great Scripture!
  • Let me show you what that looks like. (Ask for a volunteer to come help you, and bring out your cup tower and your pitcher of colored water.)
  • In this stack of cups, you are this top cup, and the other cups are the people around you.
  • When you are pleasing God by doing what He wants you to do, He blesses you.
  • Let’s pretend that this liquid is God’s blessing in your life. (Show pitcher of colored liquid, and help your volunteer pour it into the top cup in the stack. Keep pouring after the cup is full, and the liquid will start to spill over into the other cups, which will then spill over into the other cups. Continue pouring until all the cups are full.)
  • God overwhelms you with his blessings!
  • It’s more than you could ever imagine!
  • You are taken care of in every way!
  • And you have more than enough to share!
  • See how all the people around you get blessed, because you are doing what God wants you to do!
  • You take God’s blessing with you everywhere you go. (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)
  • So Joseph is in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar is being blessed.
  • But through some unfair events, Joseph was thrown into prison.
  • You might think Joseph would have been angry with God for allowing this to happen, but he continued to trust God even in prison.
  • And you know what God did? He blessed the prison because of Joseph. (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:20-23.)
  • God overwhelmed Joseph with blessings, and they poured out onto the people in the prison. (Gesture toward the cup tower.)
  • You know what happened next?
  • Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had some dreams that troubled him.
  • He heard that Joseph knew how to interpret dreams, so he released Joseph from prison and had him interpret his dreams for him.
  • When he heard how wise Joseph was, he promoted him to the second highest position in the entire country.
  • He put Joseph in charge of all the food in Egypt, and Joseph managed it so well when there was plenty of food that there was enough for all the people during a terrible famine that lasted for seven years.
  • In fact, Joseph had saved so much food during the good times that there was enough to feed the people of other countries when they ran out of food.
  • The people of these nations bought food from Egypt and made Pharaoh very rich.
  • Again, God overwhelmed Joseph with blessings, and those blessings poured out onto the people of Egypt and the nations around Egypt.
  • God can do the same thing through you!
  • If you do what God wants you to do, God will bless you and everyone around you!
  • (You may want to have the kids say the following Rhyme Time a few times to reinforce the main teaching point.)

 

Rhyme Time

When we do what God wants us to do

God blesses us and those around us, too!

 

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Journey with Joseph (LESSONS)


Joseph

(Image credit – Phillip Martin – http://bible.phillipmartin.info/bible_joseph.htm)

 

I developed the following five lessons for a week-long summer camp that I pastored this year.  The lessons follow the themes of the Royal Family Kids Camp curriculum (http://royalfamilykids.org/) are intended to build on one another, but it is possible to teach them individually with some modifications.  I have also integrated a few other object lessons to help bring out the teaching points from Joseph’s life, and these can be found separately on the Lesson & Material Downloads page.

 

Monday – I Will Trust God Even When Life is the Pits

Time

50 minutes
Description

This lesson introduces Joseph and his family and describes the events leading up to Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery. 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37
  • Jeremiah 29:11

Materials

  • Name signs on string lanyards for Jacob and his children: Jacob, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah (the sister), Joseph and Benjamin.
  • Colorful coat, smock or robe for Joseph
  • Place that can act as a well or pit – You can use a cardboard box or some chairs with a blanket draped over them. It just needs to conceal Joseph when his brothers “throw him into the pit.”
  • Two pouches with play coins or something “jingly” in them
  • 3-4 feet of rope
  • OPTIONAL – An Egyptian headdress – This can be a piece of blue and gold or black and gold striped fabric or cardboard in the style of Tutankhamun. Examples can be found online.
  • OPTIONAL – Burlap fabric with a hole cut in the middle for you to put your head through
  • OPTIONAL – 10 slices of bread in 10 Ziplock bags for the brothers to eat while Joseph is in the well. You might also want a paper sack for them to carry these in and a marker to label the side of the bag.
  • SEE ALSO – Materials for the two object lessons at the end. They are listed in each individual file.
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Prepare the well/pit.
  • Assemble other supplies so that they will be accessible where and when you need them in the lesson.
  • OPTIONAL: Put the bread in the Ziplock bags, and put them in the paper bag. You might want to label the bag “LUNCH” in large letters.
  • SEE ALSO – Preparation steps for the two object lessons at the end. They are listed in each individual file.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • All this week, we are going to be talking about on of my favorite people in the Bible. (Ask for a volunteer to come up to play Joseph, and put the name sign on him.)
  • His name is Joseph, and he was the son of a man named Jacob (who was also named Israel, but that’s a different story). (Ask for 13 more volunteers to come up to play Joseph’s brothers and sister, and put the name signs on them.)
  • Joseph had 12 brothers and one sister. (Line up your volunteers in height order facing the audience, and put Dinah (the sister) third to last and Joseph second to last.)
  • There was Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah (the sister), and then Joseph and Benjamin. (Place your hand on the shoulder of each volunteer as you name them down the line.)
  • And I’ll be Jacob, the dad. (Put on your name sign.)
  • So, Joseph had 10 older brothers and an older sister!
  • I bet that was tough!
  • Do any of you have a lot of brothers and sisters? (Raise your hand to demonstrate you would like a show of hands.)
  • It can be fun sometimes, but sometimes it’s no fun at all being one of the youngest.
  • Well, that was sure true for Joseph, because his older brothers hated him.
  • You see, Jacob (their dad – that’s me!) had been married four times, and all the other brothers and even Joseph’s sister were all from three of the marriages.
  • But Joseph and Benjamin were the sons of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel. (Separate Joseph and Benjamin from the rest.)
  • Rachel had died when Benjamin was born, but Joseph remembered her, and his dad loved him for it.
  • In fact, Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children, and they all knew it!
  • They knew it, because their dad made a really special, colorful coat just for Joseph. (Put the colorful coat on Joseph.)
  • If you were Joseph’s brothers, wouldn’t that make you a little bit mad? (Listen for responses.)
  • So the brothers were jealous of Joseph, and they didn’t like being around him, but their dad would often send Joseph to check on his older brothers and see what they were doing. (Have the older brothers go off to one side. Then whisper to Joseph to go and see what they were doing and come back and tell you.)
  • This made them even madder at him, because Joseph would always get them in trouble with their dad. (Go up to the older brothers, and pretend to scold them.)
  • Nobody likes a tattletale.
  • And Joseph made it even worse!
  • He started having these dreams about how great he was compared to his brothers, and he bragged about it to them! (Have Joseph stand akimbo and look superior in the direction of his brothers.)
  • He told them that one day they would all bow down and worship him – even his dad! (Have Joseph pretend to tell about his dream, and have the brothers act furious.)
  • They waited to see if their dad would discipline Joseph, but when he didn’t, they all got mad and left “to go watch over the sheep.” (Have brothers take their sack lunch (optional) and go to another area of the room close to the makeshift well or pit.)
  • Joseph’s dad was suspicious, so a few days later, he told Joseph to go look for them and see what they were really doing. (Have Joseph look for his brothers in a few places and then finally find them.)
  • When his brothers saw him coming, they said to each other, “Look, here comes the dreamer. We should kill him and throw him into a pit. Then, we can tell our dad that a wild animal ate him.”
  • Reuben, the oldest brother, convinced the other brothers to just throw him into the pit and let him die in there. He was hoping to come back and rescue Joseph later.
  • So when Joseph arrived, the brothers grabbed him, ripped off his colorful coat and threw him into the pit. (Have volunteers act this out – carefully.)
  • Then, the brothers sat down and had lunch. (Have volunteers pull out bread in the Ziplocks and begin eating it.)
  • They cared more about lunch than their own brother!
  • As they were eating, they saw a caravan of camels coming in their direction. (Get a group of 4-6 volunteers to get up and play the role of the Ishmaelites marching toward the brothers. Give one of the volunteers the pouch of coins and another volunteer the piece of rope. Ask another volunteer to put on the Egyptian headdress if you procured one. Give him the second pouch of coins, and have him and wait in the opposite corner of the room.)
  • It was a group of Ishmaelites headed to Egypt, and it gave Judah an idea.
  • He said to his brothers, “What if we didn’t kill Joseph but sold him to these Ishmaelites instead? Then, we won’t have the guilt of his murder, but we will still be rid of the dreamer.”
  • All the other brothers agreed, so they pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver. (Have the brothers pull Joseph out of the pit. Then, have the Ishmaelites give the brothers the pouch of coins, tie the rope around Joseph’s hands and take him to the place where the volunteer in Egyptian headdress is waiting..)
  • The brothers knew they would need a good story for their father, so they ripped Joseph’s colorful coat, killed a goat and dipped the coat into the blood. (Have volunteers act this out.)
  • They sent the coat back home to their father and asked, “Isn’t this your son’s coat?” (Have one of the brothers bring you the coat.)
  • When Jacob got it, he wailed with grief, tore his clothes (which was how his people showed their sadness), and dressed in burlap, which is like a potato sack and very scratchy to wear. (Act this out if you got the burlap.)
  • It showed everyone that he was so sad that he didn’t want to be comfortable if he couldn’t have his son back.
  • When Jacob saw the torn and bloody coat, he assumed that Joseph had been eaten by a wild animal, and his sons never told him the truth.
  • Meanwhile, the Ishmaelites made it to Egypt, and they sold Joseph to a man named Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s palace guard. (Have volunteers act this out, and have Potiphar given the Ishmaelites the pouch of coins. Then, thank and dismiss all your volunteers.)
  • This story seems pretty terrible so far, doesn’t it?
  • Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery, and his father thinks he’s dead!
  • What a disaster!
  • But don’t worry. God knows what’s happening to Joseph, and God has been with Joseph every step of the way to Egypt.
  • God won’t abandon Joseph.
  • In Jeremiah 29:11, God says “I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for evil. Plans to give you hope for a good future.”
  • Let me show you what happens when bad stuff happens to you.
  • OBJECT LESSON – Good Seed – Bad Seed (Just do the first part of the lesson today – up to the point where you have “planted” the seeds. Over the next few days, you can show how things are growing in the soil.)
  • God doesn’t stop everything bad from happening to us, but He always turns bad things into good for us.
  • Let me show you what I mean.
  • OBJECT LESSON – Lemons into Lemonade (Modify the script as needed to blend with this lesson.)
  • Life isn’t always fair, but God will help you through the tough times, and He will use them to bless you in a big way. (Have the kids say the Rhyme Time with you a few times. Have a Prayer Warrior pray for everyone. Then, dismiss everyone.)

 

Rhyme Time

When life seems too hard to do,

God is there to help us through.

 

 

Tuesday – I Will Trust God to Help Me Do Right

 

Time

50 minutes
Description

This lesson covers the time period in Joseph’s life when he is working for Potiphar but then unfairly accused by Potiphar’s wife.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 39:1-20
  • 2 Corinthians 2:9 – The Voice translation: “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.”
  • Romans 8:28

Materials

  • Notecard (1)
  • Cup Tower
    • Clear, plastic cups (41)
    • Transparent tape (“Scotch” tape or another brand) (1 roll)
    • Double-sided foam tape (1 roll)
    • Pitcher
    • Water
    • Large spoon (for stirring)
    • Clear basin or a tray (to catch any water that overflows the cups)
    • Food coloring (I recommend a darker color such as green, red or blue.)
  • Small bag of fertilizer or a few dried cow patties if you can find them
  • Heart with soil and large packages of good and bad seeds from the Good Seed-Bad Seed lesson
  • Flower in a flower pot (real or fake)
  • Piece of fruit
  • Special coat for Joseph to wear as a trusted servant in Potiphar’s house
  • Costume for Potiphar if you are using one
  • A chisel and a hammer
  • OPTIONAL – Something that looks like prison bars
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write 2 Corinthians 2:9 from The Voice translation on a notecard.
  • Create a cup tower.
    • Stack the cups in five layers.
    • The bottom layer will have 18 cups.
    • The next layer will have 12 cups.
    • The next layer will have seven cups.
    • The next layer will have three cups.
    • The top layer will just have one cup.
    • It may be helpful to assemble each layer separately first and to tape the cups together at the rims with transparent tape.
    • Then, place a piece of double-sided foam tape wherever three cups will be supporting an upper layer cup.
    • Finally, place your layers on top of each other one-by-one, and press gently to get the double-sided tape to stick.
    • You don’t need your cup tower to last forever, but you don’t want it to fall apart during your lesson as you add the weight of the water to the upper layers.
  • Place your cup tower into or onto the clear basin or tray.
  • Test your cup tower, but pouring water into the top cup, and ensuring that water cascades into the lower levels of cups.
  • Fill the pitcher with water, add food coloring, and stir.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • You probably remember from yesterday that Joseph was sold as a slave in Egypt. (Invite your Joseph and Potiphar volunteers from yesterday up to the front. Help Potiphar put on his costume. Ask them to act out whatever you say about them.)
  • He was sold to a man named Potiphar, who held a very high position in Pharaoh’s court.
  • Pharaoh was the king of Egypt, and Potiphar was the captain of his security team.
  • Potiphar was probably very wealthy and had a large household.
  • He put Joseph to work, and he became very pleased with how hard-working and responsible Joseph was.
  • The bible says that Joseph “succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” (Gen 39:2)
  • Potiphar was so happy that he made Joseph his personal attendant and put him in charge of his entire household. (Put the special coat on Joseph.)
  • Then, an amazing thing happened!
  • The bible says, “the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.” (Gen 39:5)
  • In other words, Potiphar’s life got better BECAUSE Joseph was there! (Have Potiphar look very happy!)
  • Potiphar wasn’t even a follower of God, but God blessed him, because he had Joseph living in his house.
  • Here’s what’s really cool!
  • This doesn’t just happen with Joseph; it happens with you, too!
  • When you are following God and doing what He says to do in your bible, God is so pleased with you that He blesses you.
  • But God loves to bless you with much more than you need. (Have volunteer read 2 Corinthians 2:9 from The Voice translation: “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.”)
  • That’s such a great Scripture!
  • Let me show you what that looks like. (Ask for a volunteer to come help you, and bring out your cup tower and your pitcher of colored water.)
  • In this stack of cups, you are this top cup, and the other cups are the people around you.
  • When you are pleasing God by doing what He wants you to do, He blesses you.
  • Let’s pretend that this liquid is God’s blessing in your life. (Show pitcher of colored liquid, and help your volunteer pour it into the top cup in the stack. Keep pouring after the cup is full, and the liquid will start to spill over into the other cups, which will then spill over into the other cups. Continue pouring until all the cups are full.)
  • God overwhelms you with his blessings!
  • It’s more than you could ever imagine!
  • You are taken care of in every way!
  • And you have more than enough to share!
  • See how all the people around you get blessed, because you are doing what God wants you to do!
  • You take God’s blessing with you everywhere you go. (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)
  • So Joseph is in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar is being blessed.
  • But there was a problem…
  • Joseph was super good looking.
  • I know, it doesn’t seem like much of a problem, but it was, because Potiphar’s wife thought Joseph was cute. (You may or may not want to have a volunteer play Potiphar’s wife depending on your audience. If you don’t, you can act out her parts without making them inappropriate.)
  • She even tried to get Joseph to kiss her!!
  • She wouldn’t leave him alone.
  • Joseph was a good guy, though, and anytime she tried to kiss him, he would tell her, “No!”
  • He told her that he could never do something so mean to his master, Potiphar, and he could never sin against God.
  • But Potiphar’s wife wouldn’t take no for an answer.
  • One day when everyone was out of the house, she trapped Joseph and tried to make him kiss her.
  • She grabbed his coat and held on to it so that he couldn’t get away.
  • Joseph didn’t know what else to do, so he stripped out of his coat and ran away.
  • Potiphar’s wife was FURIOUS with him!
  • She decided she would get revenge, so she screamed as loudly as she could.
  • Servants came running from the yard, and she told them that Joseph had tried to kiss HER!
  • That’s the opposite of what happened, but everyone believed her!
  • When Potiphar got home, she showed him Joseph’s shirt and told him the story. (People area always using Joseph’s clothes to tell lies about him!)
  • And believe it or not, Potiphar was so angry with Joseph that he threw him into prison! (Have Potiphar point Joseph toward an area of the room that you are designating as a prison. Joseph should look very unhappy.)
  • Oh no!
  • If there is something worse than being a slave, it might be being a prisoner in a cold, dark cell.
  • Poor Joseph!
  • Why is God allowing all this bad stuff to happen to him? (Thank and dismiss your volunteers. Bring out your large heart container with soil in it from the Good Seed – Bad Seed lesson. Ask a new volunteer to come up to help you.)
  • Do you guys remember from yesterday how I told you about the wounds we get in our hearts when someone does something to hurt us?
  • I told you that wounds are like fertile soil where things can grow really quickly.
  • And I told you that both God and Satan are gardeners who plant seeds in your heart. (Show large packages of seeds.)
  • God plants beautiful things, but Satan plants weeds.
  • I bet Joseph has some pretty big wounds in his heart, but I trust that God is going to grow something beautiful there.
  • Let’s look at our hearts.
  • Well, so far, nothing has started to grow.
  • When a gardener goes into his garden and sees that nothing is growing, do you know what the gardener does? (Listen for responses.)
  • Right! He adds fertilizer to the soil.
  • I happen to have some here! (Pull out your bag of fertilizer or a dry cow patty if you were able to find one, and have your volunteer hold one or the other in his or her hands.)
  • Does anyone know what fertilizer is made of? (Listen for responses.)
  • Yes! Animal poop! That’s pretty gross, huh, (to volunteer) and you had it in your hands!
  • It doesn’t smell right now, but have you ever smelled it when it was fresh? Gross!
  • So you wouldn’t want to walk through a cow pasture and smell all their poop, would you?
  • But would you smell this? (Hold up flower in the pot, and let your volunteer smell it.)
  • Sure, because it smells good, right?
  • Did you know that this (hold up fertilizer) is what the gardener uses to make this (hold up flower in pot) smell so good?
  • How does that happen? (Listen for responses.)
  • Right, the fertilizer gives nutrients to the soil, and the flower takes the nutrients in the soil to help it grow.
  • So, would you ever eat this? (Hold out fertilizer to your volunteer.)
  • I didn’t think so!
  • But would you eat this? (Hold out piece of fruit.)
  • Well, believe it or not, there is some of this (Hold up fertilizer) in this (Hold up fruit).
  • You see, God doesn’t waste anything.
  • He even takes bad stuff like this fertilizer and turns it into good stuff, like this flower or this piece of fruit.
  • If God can do that with poop, I bet He can do it with all the bad stuff that happens in your life, too!
  • Some of what happens to us really stinks, but God will use it to do good stuff in our life, and we will come out smelling like a rose. (Have a volunteer read Romans 8:28.)
  • The Bible says that God will use EVERYTHING to bless you if you trust Him with it.
  • So when bad stuff happens in our lives, God uses it like fertilizer.
  • He mixes it into the soil in our hearts so that His seeds can grow there and produce beautiful things and good fruit. (Have your volunteer mix some of the fertilizer into the soil in the heart.)
  • Tomorrow, we will see if that helps God’s seed to grow in our heart. (Thank your volunteer and dismiss him or her.)
  • Our Rhyme Time for today says that what’s hard is a tool and a test.
  • Let me tell you what that means.
  • What do we use tools for? (Hold up the chisel and a hammer. Listen for responses.)
  • Right, we use them to build things or make things.
  • Well, that’s exactly how God uses the hard things in our lives.
  • Hard things are tools that God uses to shape us.
  • He carves away the parts that don’t look like Him.
  • Hard things are also tests in our lives.
  • They show us what’s hidden in our hearts.
  • If we go through a hard thing like Joseph did, and we hate the people who hurt us, it means that our hearts still need to grow.
  • God will keep giving us tests until we are like Jesus, who asked God the Father to forgive even the people who killed Him.
  • So, hard stuff is both a tool and a test in our lives.
  • (Have the kids say the Rhyme Time with you a few times. Have a Prayer Warrior pray for everyone. Then, dismiss everyone.)

 

Rhyme Time

Often what’s hard is a tool and a test.

God will help me to do what’s best.

 

 

Wednesday – I Will Trust God Because He Has Big Plans for Me

 

Time

50 minutes
Description

This lesson covers the time period in Joseph’s life when he was in prison until the time Pharaoh promotes him to the second-highest position in Egypt.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 39:21-41:57 

Materials

  • Special robe and a set of keys for Joseph as the manager of the prison
  • Ornate cup and three bunches of grapes for the chief cupbearer
  • Three baskets with bread in them for the chief baker
  • Printouts (7 copies in color) of the file “PROPS – Joseph’s Journey – Fat & Skinny Cows and Grain”
  • 2 sheets of posterboard
  • Glue
  • Special robe, gold costume jewelry necklace and ring for Joseph as second to Pharaoh
  • Two baby dolls (or something representative) wrapped in blankets
  • Heart with soil and package of good seeds from the Good Seed-Bad Seed lesson
  • Fake plants or flowers to plant in the heart soil
  • Two or more pouches with coins in them
  • OPTIONAL – Something that looks like prison bars
  • OPTIONAL – Curved piece of posterboard or cardboard (about waist high for a kid) to represent a chariot and ropes to represent reins for Joseph
  • OPTIONAL – Ritz crackers or another brand to hand out to the audience during “the famine”
  • OPTIONAL – OBJECT LESSON – Spotlight Effect (see materials listed in the lesson)
  • OPTIONAL – OBJECT LESSON – Do Clothes Really Make the Man? (see materials listed in the lesson)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Pharaoh’s Dream
    • Cut out the pictures in the file “PROPS – Joseph’s Journey – Fat & Skinny Cows and Grain”
    • Glue each set of seven pictures to a piece of posterboard so that you can show all seven of the same image at one time
  • Good Seed – Bad Seed
    • Plant the flowers or plants in your soil.
  • OPTIONAL – If you are using the chariot prop, shape your posterboard or cardboard, and decorate one side so that it looks like an official’s chariot.
  • OPTIONAL – If you choose to teach “OBJECT LESSON – Spotlight Effect,” you will need to follow the preparation steps in that lesson.
  • OPTIONAL – Decide if you want to teach “OBJECT LESSON – Do Clothes Really Make the Man?” If you do, you will need to prepare all the smocks that are listed in the object lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • So you probably remember that Joseph was thrown in jail in yesterday’s lesson. (Have Joseph volunteer come up and get in the jail cell if you are using one.)
  • He was punished for a crime he didn’t commit, and that’s not fair, but God let it happen.
  • I’m sure that Joseph sat in his jail cell and wondered why God would let Potiphar do this to him.
  • But here’s what I love about Joseph – he didn’t wonder about it very long.
  • Joseph must have made up his mind that if God allowed him to be thrown into prison unfairly that God had a reason for allowing it to happen.
  • That takes a lot of faith – to trust God when bad stuff happens to you, but that’s what Joseph did.
  • And then you know what he did?
  • He got to work. (Have Joseph pretend to be cleaning up in the prison.)
  • He decided that he was going to be the best prisoner in the whole prison.
  • He worked harder than anyone else, and he had a good attitude about it.
  • He didn’t feel sorry for himself.
  • He trusted God and waited for God to show him why he was in the prison.
  • Pretty soon, the prison warden (that’s the prison boss) noticed what a hard worker Joseph and what a great attitude he had. (Have a volunteer come play the prison warden and look impressed at Joseph’s hard work.)
  • The prison warden was so impressed that he put Joseph in charge of the entire prison. (Have prison warden give Joseph a special coat and a set of keys to represent his new authority.)
  • Do you see how God is blessing Joseph even in Joseph’s toughest times?
  • God never left Joseph all by himself in prison; He was there with Joseph the whole time.
  • So, one day, two of Pharaoh’s officials were put in prison. (Have two volunteers come act out these roles in your prison area.)
  • One was the chief cupbearer, who tasted all Pharaoh’s food to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. (Give this volunteer an ornate cup.)
  • The other was the chief baker, who made all Pharaoh’s bread. (Give this volunteer a basket with bread in it.)
  • The prison warden assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. (Tell your volunteers to act out the story as you tell it.)
  • One day, they looked really upset, and Joseph asked them what was wrong.
  • They told him that they had both had strange dreams the night before.
  • Do you remember that Joseph is good at interpreting dreams?
  • He had them tell him their dreams, and then he was able to tell them what they meant.
  • The chief cupbearer had a dream about a grapevine with three branches. (Hand this volunteer the three bunches of grapes.)
  • The vine grew grapes, and he squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup.
  • Then, he gave the cup to Pharaoh.
  • Joseph knew right away what the dream meant.
  • He said that the dream was a prophecy that the chief cupbearer would be released from jail in three days and would go back to serving Pharaoh. (Have this volunteer shout for joy and put a fist in the air.)
  • The chief cupbearer was very excited, and Joseph asked him to remember that Joseph was in jail unfairly.
  • The chief cupbearer promised that he would remember Joseph.
  • Then, the chief baker told his dream to Joseph.
  • He dreamt that he had three baskets of bread on his head, but birds came and ate the break out of the top basket. (Balance three baskets on his head, and make hand motions like birds eating out of his basket.)
  • He was excited to hear the meaning of his dream, but Joseph told him that it meant that in three days, he would be released from prison and then killed by Pharaoh. (Have this volunteer shout, “Oh no!” and drop his head and shoulders.)
  • Yikes! Not such a good dream, I guess.
  • Three days later, Joseph’s interpretations came true. (Release your two volunteers from prison.)
  • Both men were let out of prison, but one was allowed to return to Pharaoh’s court and the other was killed. (Have a volunteer come up and play Pharaoh, and have the chief cupbearer go to join him. Have the other volunteer do a dramatic death scene and then return to his seat.)
  • Unfortunately, the chief cupbearer forgot about Joseph and never told Pharaoh that he was in prison unfairly. (Have Joseph try to get the chief cupbearer’s attention from prison, but have the chief cupbearer ignore him.)
  • So, Joseph was in prison for TWO…MORE….YEARS! (Have Joseph get back to work.)
  • You would think he got discouraged, but he continued to trust in God.
  • And then something important happened!
  • Pharaoh had two terrible nightmares. (Have Pharoah pretend to toss and turn in his sleep and then act out the story as you tell it.)
  • He called all his wise men and magicians and asked them to tell him what the dreams meant.
  • No on knew what they meant, and Pharaoh was really worried about them.
  • Finally, the chief cupbearer remembered Joseph, and he told Pharaoh that he knew a person who could interpret dreams. (Have them act this and the following out.)
  • Pharaoh had Joseph released from prison immediately, and Joseph was brought before Pharaoh.
  • Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams. This is what happened.
  • In the first dream, Pharaoh was standing on the banks of the Nile river, and he saw seven fat, healthy cows come out of the river. (Ask your Pharaoh volunteer to hold up the posterboard with the seven fat cows.)
  • But right after them, seven six and skinny cows came out of the river and ate the fat cows. (Ask your Pharaoh to cover up the posterboard with the seven fat cows with the posterboard with the seven skinny cows.)
  • In the second dream, Pharaoh saw seven heads of grain. (Ask your Pharaoh to cover up the posterboard with the seven skinny cows with the posterboard with the seven healthy heads of grain.)
  • They were healthy and beautiful, but then seven more heads of grain came up and ate the seven healthy heads of grain. (Ask your Pharaoh to cover up the posterboard with the seven seven heads of health grain with the posterboard of Wheat Thins. Then, he can hand the posterboards to Joseph.)
  • Pharaoh didn’t know what the dreams meant, but Joseph did.
  • Joseph said that the seven cows and seven heads of grain represented seven years. (Have Joseph first show the posterboard with seven fat cows, then the posterboard with seven healthy heads of grain.)
  • And he said that the first cows and grain represented seven good years with plenty of food, but the second group of cows and grain represented seven bad years with no food. (Have Joseph show the posterboard with seven skinny cows, then the posterboard with Wheat Thins. Then, he can lay the posterboards aside.)
  • Joseph told Pharaoh that he should put a man in charge of all the food in Egypt so that they could save enough food during the good years to help them have enough food during the bad years.
  • Pharaoh thought this was a great idea, and since Joseph thought of it, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge.
  • I’m not kidding!
  • Right then and there, Pharaoh put a special robe on Joseph, gave him a gold chain to wear around his neck and put his special ring of authority on Joseph’s finger. (Have Pharaoh put a special robe, necklace and ring on Joseph.)
  • He told everyone that no one in the kingdom was more powerful than Joseph except Pharaoh, and he gave Joseph a chariot. (Put Joseph behind posterboard or cardboard that represents a chariot and ropes for reins if you are using them.)
  • Everywhere that Joseph went, his men commanded the people to kneel down. (OPTIONAL – You might have Joseph carry his chariot around and get the other kids to kneel down.)
  • And Pharaoh said that no one could even lift their hand or their foot in Egypt unless Joseph approved it!
  • Joseph had just come out of prison, and now he was the second most-powerful person in all of Egypt! Only God can do something like that!
  • But Pharaoh wasn’t done yet!
  • He also gave Joseph a beautiful wife, named Asenath. (Have one of the girls come up and stand with Joseph in the chariot. You might have them take a lap around the teaching area.)
  • Joseph was now 30 years old, and that means that he spent 13 years as a slave and a prisoner and Egypt.
  • But now he was the second-most powerful official in Egypt, and he had a wife and an important job to save the people of Egypt. (Have your girl volunteer get out of the chariot but wait at the front of the room, and have Joseph take his chariot around the room as you tell the next part. He can pretend to be giving orders to the people.)
  • Over the next seven years, there was plenty of rain, and the crops grew and grew just like Joseph had said.
  • Joseph made the farmers give some of the grain that they harvested to the officials, and he stored it in the cities.
  • There was so much food that they stopped keeping records of it after a few years.
  • In those seven years of plenty, God gave Joseph and Asenath two boys. (Give your girl volunteer two baby dolls or something representative. Have Joseph come stand with his wife.)
  • Joseph named his first son Manasseh, which means, “makes me forget,” because God had made him forget all the troubles in his life now that he had so many blessings.
  • Joseph named his second son Ephraim, which means, “fruitful,” because God had grown good fruit out of the wounds in his heart.
  • The seven good years came to an end, and the seven years without food started.
  • Pretty soon, everyone was hungry. (Have everyone in the audience rub their bellies and make low, growling noises to simulate a rumbling belly.)
  • The officials went to Pharaoh and asked for food, and he sent them to Joseph and told them to do whatever he told them to do. (Have two volunteers come to Pharaoh to act this out.)
  • Joseph opened the storehouses of grain and gave it to the officials to share with all the people of Egypt. (Have Joseph and two volunteers act this out. OPTIONAL – You might have the officials take crackers to everyone in the audience.)
  • The famine was so bad that people were starving even in the countries around Egypt, so those countries sent their people to Egypt and bought grain from Joseph. (Have a few volunteers come with money pouches and buy food from Joseph.)
  • As a result of Joseph’s wise actions during the seven good years, Egypt was well fed and became very rich during the bad years. (Thank and dismiss all your volunteers.)
  • OPTIONAL – OBJECT LESSON – Spotlight Effect (Modify the script as needed to blend with this lesson.)
  • (Bring out the heart with soil from the Good Seed-Bad Seed lesson.)
  • Do you remember our hearts with the soil in them?
  • Look! Some good things are growing in the soil that we fertilized!
  • It looks like God is making good out of bad.
  • I bet that is like what is happening in Joseph’s life at this point in the story.
  • Joseph had a lot of wounds from the way his brothers, Potiphar and Potiphar’s wife treated him, but God used that fertile soil in his heart to plant good seeds. (Show package of good seeds.)
  • This reminds me of our Rhyme Time for today. (Say Rhyme Time.)
  • The problems we have today (our “present struggles”) are more than we can see, because God has a purpose, a plan and a dream for them.
  • Joseph struggled for 13 years as a slave and a prisoner, but God had a purpose for that.
  • God had a plan.
  • And God had a dream for Joseph.
  • He was using the hard times to prepare Joseph for the good times.
  • He was teaching Joseph to trust in God during the hard times, and He was helping Joseph learn how to be a wise manager over Potiphar’s house and over the prison so that he could be a wise manager over all of Egypt.
  • When we are faithful to God with small things, God blesses us with bigger things.
  • That was true for Joseph, and it’s going to be true for you, too!
  • So remember that the hard times are more than they seem…they are part of God’s purpose, plan and dream for you!
  • (Have the kids say the Rhyme Time with you a few times. Have a Prayer Warrior pray for everyone. Then, dismiss everyone.)
  • OPTIONAL – OBJECT LESSON – Do Clothes Really Make the Man? (Modify the script as needed to blend with this lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

God has a purpose, a plan and a dream.

My present struggles are more than they seem.

 

 

Thursday – I Will Trust God to Help Me Forgive Instead of Getting Even

 

Time

50 minutes
Description

This lesson covers the time period in Joseph’s life when he encounters his brothers during the famine and finally reveals his true identity to them.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 42:1-45:15

Materials

  • 11 sacks with rice or something similar in them
  • 11 pouches with coins in them
  • Some things that can serve as gifts for Joseph (These could be gift-wrapped boxes, or they could just be fancy looking items that might be given as gifts during this time.)
  • Table with place settings and food on it
  • Heart with soil and package of good seeds from the Good Seed-Bad Seed lesson
  • Fake weeds to plant in the heart soil
  • Supplies for the two object lessons at the end of this lesson
  • Bible 

Preparation

  • Put rice or something similar in all the sacks.
  • Put a pouch with coins in it at the top of each sack.
  • Arrange the food on your table
  • Preparation steps listed in the two object lessons at the end of this lesson
  • Plant your weeds in the heart soil.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • Our story today starts with Joseph’s father and brothers. Remember them?
  • Well, remember that I told you yesterday that it was the seven bad years with no food, and everyone was hungry.
  • Joseph had done a really good job saving food for Egypt, so all the Egyptians had something to eat.
  • But people were also starving in the countries around Egypt, and that included the place where Joseph’s father and brothers lived. (Get 10 volunteers to come act out the lesson.)
  • One day, Joseph’s father told his sons that he had heard that there was good in Egypt.
  • He told his sons to go buy food for them so that the family wouldn’t starve.
  • However, he wouldn’t let Benjamin (the youngest go), because Benjamin was now his favorite child. (Have your Joseph volunteer come up to act out the lesson.)
  • When the brothers reached Egypt, they saw Joseph and bowed down to him, but they didn’t recognize him.
  • He was dressed like an Egyptian, and he talked like an Egyptian, and he was a very powerful man.
  • His brothers could never have guessed that Joseph would be Pharaoh’s top official.
  • They sold him as a slave and figured he was still a slave or maybe even dead after all these years.
  • As Joseph looked at his brothers bowing down before him, he remembered that he had dreamed that this would happen one day.
  • I’m sure Joseph was still feeling hurt that his brothers had sold him into slavery, so he spoke harshly to them and accused them of being spies who were trying to see if Egypt was weak and could be invaded by another country’s army.
  • His brothers were afraid that such a powerful Egyptian official would call them spies, so they began telling Joseph about their family to convince him they were just normal men wanting to buy food.
  • They told him about their aging father and their younger brother, Benjamin, but Joseph said he didn’t believe them.
  • He threw them all into prison for three days. (Have 10 volunteers go to prison area.)
  • After three days, he let them out and told them he would allow all but one of them to go back and get the younger brother they mentioned.
  • If they couldn’t bring the brother back, he would know that they were spies.
  • He kept his brother Simeon and put him back in jail. (Put one of the volunteers back in the prison area.)
  • Joseph kept one brother, because he wanted to make sure that his brothers would come back with Benjamin, his younger brother.
  • Then, he had his servants fill his brother’s sacks with grain.
  • Secretly, he told his servants to put the money each brother gave him to buy the grain back in the top of each sack. (Open one of the bags, and take out the pouch of coins to show the audience.)
  • The brothers were sad to leave Simeon, but they didn’t know what else to do.
  • They took their bags of grain and started walking home.
  • But when they stopped to sleep that night, they realized that their money had been given back to them.
  • They were terrified! Now the Egyptian would think that they stole the money.
  • They decided that God was punishing them selling Joseph into slavery.
  • When they got home, they told their father what had happened, and he was angry with them.
  • He accused them of robbing him of his sons.
  • First Joseph was killed, and now Simeon was in an Egyptian prison.
  • He said he would never let them take Benjamin back to Egypt, because he didn’t want to lose him.
  • But soon, almost all the food was gone, and Jacob realized that if they didn’t buy more grain from Egypt, they would all die of hunger.
  • So, he agreed to send Benjamin with them, but he made his sons carry gifts for the Egyptian official, and he had them take twice the money they had taken the first time so that they could pay it back to the man. (Have volunteers move from one part of the room to another with their bags that contain the pouches of money and their gifts for Joseph.)
  • When they got back to Egypt, Joseph saw them and saw his younger brother, Benjamin, who he loved very much.
  • Benjamin hadn’t been there when his other brothers sold him into slavery.
  • Joseph told his guards to take the men to a big feast at Joseph’s palace for lunch.
  • He told his servants to seat his brothers in the order of their age and told them who was the oldest and who was younger. (Ask two volunteers to play servants, and have them lead the brothers to sit at the table you set up. Have them seat the brothers in order of height. Have them act out the story as you tell it.)
  • His brothers were terrified when they saw they were going into the palace, and they thought they were going to be made into slaves because they didn’t pay for the grain on their last trip.
  • They told the servants that they found the money after they left and that they brought it back plus extra money to pay for the grain they bought this time.
  • But the lead servant told them that he remembered getting their money last time and that God must have put the money in their bags.
  • Then, the servant released Simeon from prison, and he joined them for dinner. (Have volunteer in prison come out and join the others at the table.)
  • When the brothers realized that they had been seated in the order of their age, they were amazed! How did the Egyptians know who was older and who was younger?
  • While the brothers waited for Joseph, they got their gifts ready for him. (Have them put their gifts on the table in front of them.)
  • When Joseph came, they gave him their gifts and bowed down low before him.
  • Joseph asked them about their father to see if he was still alive.
  • When he heard that his father was still living and saw his younger brother Joseph, he couldn’t keep in his emotions anymore and ran from the room to weep with joy.
  • Then he washed his face and returned and commanded the servants to bring food, and he told the servants to give five times as much to his brother Benjamin. (Have servants pretend to dish out food and give Benjamin a really large portion.)
  • Again, his brothers were amazed and confused by this strange treatment.
  • When his brothers were about to go home, Joseph called over one of his servants and told him to put all their money back in their bags and to put an expensive, silver cup in Benjamin’s bag of grain. (Have volunteers act this out.)
  • You see, Joseph was going to test his brothers to see if their hearts had changed over the years.
  • When they were caught “stealing” the cup, he was going to demand that Benjamin be taken back to be a slave.
  • Joseph wanted to see if his older brothers would let that happen, or if they would stand up for Benjamin.
  • If they just let Benjamin go to be a slave, Joseph was going to reveal his identity to his younger brother, and they were going to live together in Egypt.
  • But if the older brothers stood up for Benjamin, Joseph would tell them all the truth.
  • The brothers left early the next morning, but before they had gotten far, one of Joseph’s servants caught up with them and accused them of stealing the silver cup. (Have volunteers act the story out as you tell it.)
  • The brothers denied stealing the cup and said that they would all be Pharaoh’s slaves if one of them had stolen the cup.
  • Joseph’s servant told them that they could all go free except for the one who stole the cup, and he began searching their bags.
  • When he got to Benjamin’s bag, he found the silver cup, and all the brothers tore their clothes to show their grief!
  • They all followed the servant back to the city.
  • Joseph pretended to be furious with them, and they all bowed before him and said that they would all be his slaves – not just Benjamin.
  • Joseph said he only wanted the thief to be his slave, but Judah, one of his older brothers, stepped forward and begged to take Benjamin’s place as a slave. (Have one of the volunteers act this out.)
  • He said it would kill their father if he lost Benjamin.
  • They had passed Joseph’s test!
  • Joseph couldn’t hold in his emotions anymore!
  • He ordered all the Egyptians out of the room, and he began to weep so loudly that everyone in the palace could hear him.
  • When he could finally control himself, he said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?”
  • His brothers just stood and stared at him with their mouths open.
  • They couldn’t believe what they were hearing!
  • He let them come closer to look at him and see that he was telling the truth.
  • His brothers were shaking in fear and wondering how Joseph was going to punish them for selling him into slavery.
  • But Joseph told them that even though they tried to hurt him, God made good come out of the bad.
  • He told them that God had made it possible for Joseph to save many lives, and he told them that he forgave them all.
  • He kissed them each on the forehead and wept over them, and they began to believe that he really wasn’t angry with them.
  • Then, Joseph sent them all back home and told them to come back immediately with their father and everyone else in the family.
  • He told them that he would give them a special place in Egypt where they could live and where they would have plenty of food to eat.
  • And so, that’s exactly what the brothers did. (Thank your volunteers, and let them have a seat.)
  • One of the things that I really love about Joseph is that he was able to forgive his brothers.
  • That would be a hard thing to do if you had been sold as a slave, but Joseph could see how God was with him and protected him through all the difficult years.
  • Let me show you why it’s important to forgive those who hurt us.
  • OBJECT LESSON – Unforgiveness (Modify the script as needed to blend with this lesson.)
  • Remember our hearts filled with soil. (Bring out the heart filled with soil from the Good Seeds-Bad Seeds lesson.)
  • I don’t know if you can tell, but this heart has some weeds in it.
  • Those were planted by our enemy, Satan.
  • Remember that I told you that he loves to garden in your heart, but he plants weeds…not beautiful or fruitful things.
  • When people hurt us, weeds can grow from the wound in our hearts.
  • We have to pull those weeds out by forgiving those who hurt us, because if we don’t, the weeds will choke out the good things that God has planted in our hearts. (Pull the weeds out, and throw them away. Name the weeds as you pull them – “Hatred,” “Jealousy,” “Shame,” “Bitterness,” etc.)
  • You may forgive a person today and then get angry with him again tomorrow.
  • That’s normal.
  • Satan will keep planting his bad seeds over and over again in your heart, until you show him that you are determined not to let those bad feelings grow in there.
  • When Satan is convinced that you will pull out every week he plants in your heart, he will eventually give up.
  • OBJECT LESSON – Holding a Grudge (Modify the script as needed to blend with this lesson.)
  • (Have the kids say the Rhyme Time with you a few times. Have a Prayer Warrior pray for everyone. Then, dismiss everyone.)

 

Rhyme Time

Jesus helps me to forgive.

Holding a grudge is no way to live.

 

 

Friday – I Will Trust God to Bring Good Out of Bad

 

Time

50 minutes
Description

This lesson reviews the life of Joseph for lessons about how God uses even the bad things in our lives to bless us.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 45:26-28, 47:27-28, 49:29-50:21

Materials

  • OBJ LESSON – Life is But a Weaving – Slides
  • LCD projector and computer
  • Joseph & Jesus puzzle pieces
  • Cardboard to serve as a backing for the Joseph & Jesus puzzle pieces
  • Glue
  • OBJ LESSON – Jesus Unlocked the Door (and all it’s materials)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Use glue to stick the corresponding Joseph and Jesus puzzles pieces on both sides of a piece of cardboard.
  • Place a popsicle stick in the cardboard on the sides that you will be connecting to other puzzle pieces. (You might want to put a little glue on the popsicle stick.)
  • Follow the Preparation steps in OBJ LESSON – Jesus Unlocked the Door.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • You remember from yesterday that Joseph’s brothers were headed back to get their family and bring them to Egypt.
  • Jacob, their father, couldn’t believe that Joseph was alive at first, but his sons kept telling him, and he finally believed.
  • He was so overjoyed that he quickly packed everything and moved to Egypt, where he and Joseph had a joyful reunion.
  • Jacob lived in Egypt another 17 years before he died, and his family took him back to his home in Canaan to bury him.
  • After their father was buried, Joseph’s brothers were afraid of him again.
  • They thought that now that their father was gone, Joseph would get his revenge on them.
  • When Joseph heard about it, he broke down and cried.
  • He couldn’t believe that his brothers would still think he couldn’t forgive them.
  • He told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. You intended to harm me, but God turned it into good, and He allowed me to save many lives.”
  • After that, Joseph’s brothers trusted him, and they lived with him for the rest of their lives in Egypt.
  • Joseph had a pretty messy life, don’t you think?
  • He was hated by his brothers, thrown into a well, sold as a slave, accused of doing something he didn’t do and thrown into prison, and forgotten by the one who promised to try to get him out.
  • I’m sure there were many times when Joseph cried out to God and asked Him why? Why was God allowing these terrible things to happen to him.
  • I want to show you something. (Show slide of the back side of a tapestry.)
  • What does that look like to you? (Listen for responses.)
  • It looks like a mess, doesn’t it?
  • Would you believe me if I told you that this is a beautiful work of art? (Listen for responses.)
  • It doesn’t look like it does it?
  • It looks like maybe your little brother made it.
  • Well, this was a piece of art carried around by an incredible lady named Corrie Ten Boom.
  • Corrie was a Dutch person, who was living in her home country of Holland when the Nazi’s were killing as many Jewish people as they could find. (Joseph was a Jewish person, and so was his whole family, but they lived a long time before Corrie Ten Boom.)
  • When Corrie and her family heard that the Nazi’s were looking for Jews, they invited all their Jewish friends and even some that they didn’t know to come and hide in the walls of her house.
  • Eventually, the Nazi’s found out what they had been doing, and they took Corrie, her father and her sister to terrible concentration camps.
  • Her father and her sister died in those camps, and only Corrie lived long enough to get free.
  • She had a messy life like Joseph’s, and she would carry this artwork around and tell people that this is what her life looked like to her – a complete mess.
  • But she said she realized something one day.
  • She sees her life from underneath, but God is weaving it from above, and what He sees is very different. (Advance slide.)
  • What God saw was the Crown of Life that He was preparing for Corrie.
  • That’s much more beautiful, isn’t it. (Advance slide.)
  • If you look at both the top and bottom at the same time, can you see the shape of the crown on the messy side?   Yeah, me too!
  • She wrote a nice poem at the crown tapestry, and part of it says that the dark threads (the hard times in her life) are just as necessary as the gold and silver threads that look so beautiful.
  • But from here on earth, she couldn’t see how God was using those hard times to make something beautiful for her.
  • She wasn’t able to see the full beauty until she got to heaven, which was after her 91st
  • God is making you a crown, too, and He is going to use all the hard things that you have been through to make it beautiful for you.
  • When you get to heaven, He is going to give it to you as a special gift.
  • (Have the kids say the Rhyme Time with you a few times.)
  • You know, Joseph kinda reminds me of someone.
  • Let’s see if you can help me figure it out. (Use the Joseph and Jesus puzzle pieces to build the image of Joseph. Read the bold print on the Joseph side, and then read the bold print on the Jesus side, but don’t reveal that it’s about Jesus. Keep asking the kids if they know who you are talking about until they guess that it’s Jesus. Then, finish building the puzzle, and show them both sides.)
  • Okay, I have one more story to tell you.
  • OBJ LESSON – Jesus Unlocked the Door
  • (Have a Prayer Warrior pray for everyone. Then, dismiss everyone.)

 

Rhyme Time

If we trust Him and obey,

God makes bad things go our way.

 

 

 

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Filed under Joseph, Vacation Bible School, VBS

Joseph’s Journey (BOOK)


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This is my latest book, and it’s about the life of Joseph.  It includes 21 object lessons, challenges and Bible lessons for teaching children about forgiveness, hardship, and God’s plan for our lives.

To view the book on Amazon, click the link to the left.

Here’s a description:

Joseph’s life is one of the most exciting stories of transformation in the Bible. From favorite son to slave to prisoner to leader of Egypt, Joseph finds himself in dramatically different situations and roles. But no matter what his circumstances, Joseph continued to trust in God, and God was faithful to use Joseph in powerful ways.

This book includes the object lessons, challenges and Bible lessons that I’ve used over the years to teach about the life of Joseph and the important principles that can be learned from his example.

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Filed under Book, Joseph, Object Lesson

Jacob’s Family (BIBLE LESSON)


DanTime

30 minutes
Description

This Bible Lesson teaches about Jacob and his family and focuses on the meaning of the names given to each of his children.  It is a good introduction to the story of Joseph.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 29-30, 35

 

Materials

  • Optional – You can use the slides that I’ve created for this lesson. They are all funny pictures of me (or one of my children) posing as each of the different characters.  The file is located at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.  It is named, “Jacob’s Family – Pictures.”

 

Preparation

  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “I would like to tell you about Jacob and his family.”
  • “It’s a story from the book of Genesis.”
  • “Jacob got into trouble with his twin brother, Esau (another good story for another day!).”
  • “Esau was so mad he wanted to kill Jacob, and Jacob’s mom thought it would be a good idea to send him to live with her brother and his family.”  (Show slide with the map of Canaan.)
  • “Jacob traveled far from his home to a place called Haran, where his uncle Laban lived.” (Advance slide to show the arrow that leads from Canaan to Haran.)
  • “When he arrived, he met his cousin, Rachel, and fell madly in love with her.”
  • “He agreed to work for Laban for seven years to earn the right to marry his daughter, but at the end of that time, Laban tricked Jacob and made him marry his older daughter, Leah, instead.”
  • “Leah wasn’t as pretty as Rachel, so Laban was afraid she wouldn’t be able to find a husband if he didn’t trick Jacob into marrying her.”
  • “Jacob was really mad, but Laban agreed to let him marry Rachel, too, if he would work for him for seven more years.”
  • “Jacob agreed and married Rachel the following week.”
  • “He kept his promise to work for Laban another seven years and then continued working for him for another six, because Laban kept tricking him and changing his wages.”
  • “But even though Laban was dishonest with Jacob, God blessed Jacob with a large family during the time that he worked for his uncle.”
  • “Jacob had twelve sons and a daughter during that time.”
  • “But it wasn’t exactly a happy family.”
  • “The Bible teaches that we should only marry one person.”
  • “Jacob married two, and they were sisters.”
  • “And these sisters were competitive!”
  • “Jacob didn’t really love Leah.”
  • “He had been tricked into marrying her, but Rachel was his true love.”
  • “Because Leah was unloved, God blessed her with children.”
  • “Her first child was a son, which was a big blessing during those times.”
  • “Sons were preferred because they could do hard work and earn money to support their families.”
  • “Leah named this first son Reuben, which means, ‘Look! It’s a boy!’”  (Show slide.)
  • “Names were pretty important to the Hebrew people.”
  • “When people knew the meaning of your name, they knew something about you or about what was going on when you were born.”
  • “Leah was so excited that she had a boy, she celebrated with his name.”
  • “When she named him, she told those who were with her that God had been compassionate to her during her painful loneliness and that she hoped now her husband would love her.”
  • “But even though Leah brought a great blessing to the family, Jacob still didn’t love her.”
  • “So God blessed her again, and she had another son.” (Show slide.)
  • “This one she named Simeon, which means, ‘God heard.’”
  • “Leah knew that God had heard her prayers for another son, and she believed that Jacob would love her now.”
  • “But he didn’t.”
  • “So, God blessed her with a third son, and she named him Levi, which means, ‘Connect.’” (Show slide.)
  • “The desire of Leah’s heart was to connect with her husband, but he still didn’t love her.”
  • “So God gave her another son, and she named him Judah, which means, ‘Praise God!’” (Show slide.)
  • “Four boys made her one of the most blessed women in all the land, so she rightfully gave God praise for his blessings on her life.”
  • “Remember I told you that these sisters were competitive?”
  • “Rachel wasn’t able to have children of her own, and she was getting madder and madder every time Leah gave birth to a boy.”
  • “She said to Jacob, ‘I’ll die if you don’t give me children!’”
  • “And so she came up with a plan.”
  • “Since she couldn’t have children of her own, she gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob.”
  • “The custom in that land was that if your servant had children with your husband, those children were counted as your own children.”
  • “God blessed Bilhah, and she had a boy.” (Show slide.)
  • “Rachel named him Dan, which means, ‘Vindication!’”
  • “Vindication means, ‘to be justified or cleared of guilt.’”
  • “Back then, if you couldn’t have children, people thought it was because God didn’t love you.”
  • “Now Rachel felt that she was justified by God and that He had proven His love for her with the birth of Dan.”
  • “Because she had some catching up to do, Rachel gave Bilhah to Jacob again, and Bilhah got pregnant a second time.” (Show slide.)
  • “She gave birth to another boy, and Rachel named him Naphtali, which means, ‘Fight!’”
  • “Rachel said, ‘I’ve had to wrestle with my own sister and with God, and I’ve won!’”
  • “Now, Leah started to get worried.”
  • “She wasn’t having any children of her own, so she gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob, too.”
  • “Zilpah got pregnant and had a boy.” (Show slide.)
  • “Leah named the boy Gad, which means, ‘Lucky,’ because she felt so lucky to have five boys!”
  • “Leah gave Zilpah to Jacob again, and Zilpah had another boy.” (Show slide.)
  • “Leah named him Asher, which means, ‘Happy,’ because she was so happy to have six boys!”
  • “One day after this, Reuben (Leah’s oldest son) was digging and found some mandrakes, which have a root that looks a little like a person.”
  • “People used to believe that it had special powers to make women pregnant, so Rachel asked Leah if she could have it.”
  • “Leah didn’t want to share it.”
  • “She was unhappy because Jacob never spent time with her anymore.  He only spent time with Rachel.”
  • “Leah agreed to share the mandrake if Rachel would tell Jacob to spend time with her, so Rachel did it.”
  • “So, Leah got pregnant again and had a seventh son.” (Show slide.)
  • “She named him Issachar, which means, ‘Bartered,’ because she traded the mandrake with her sister so that she could spend time with Jacob.”
  • “Then, Leah had another son, and she named him Zebulun, which means, ‘Honor.’” (Show slide.)
  • “Leah hoped that Jacob would now honor her as his wife, since she had given him eight sons.”
  • “God blessed her one more time after that, and she had a daughter, whom she named Dinah.” (Show slide.)
  • “Dinah means, ‘Justified,’ which is a lot like the name Rachel gave to Bilhah’s first son, Dan.”
  • “Leah felt that eight sons and a daughter justified her as Jacob’s wife.”
  • “After that, God heard the prayers of Rachel and gave her a son of her own.”  (Show slide.)
  • “Rachel named him Joseph, which means, ‘Add.’”
  • “She said, ‘God has taken away my shame.  May he add to me another son.’”
  • “Because Joseph was the first son of Rachel, the wife Jacob loved, Joseph was his father’s favorite and could do no wrong.”
  • “Jacob finally got away from Laban after that and went to live back near his home in Canaan.”
  • “There Rachel gave him another son.” (Show slide.)
  • “But Rachel was much older now, and her body struggled through the labor.”
  • “In the end, it was too much for her.”
  • “As the boy was born, Rachel knew she was dying.”
  • “When they asked her what she wanted to name the boy, she said, ‘Ben-Oni,’ which means, ‘Son of my pain.’”
  • “Then, she died, and Jacob buried her with much grief.”
  • “A name is an important thing for a Hebrew.”
  • “It says a lot about you.”
  • “How do you think Ben-Oni would feel growing up with a name that means ‘Son of my pain?’”
  • “Everyone would know he caused his parents deep pain.”
  • “They would know (because people talk) that his mother died giving birth to him.”
  • “And every time his father, his siblings, a friend, a teacher or anyone else called his name, he would be reminded that his birth killed his mother.”
  • “Jacob couldn’t let that happen, so he changed Ben-Oni’s name to Ben-jamin, which means, ‘Son of Good Fortune.’” (Advance slide.)
  • “What an act of grace and kindness!”
  • “Instead of having a name linked with his mother’s pain and death, Benjamin had a name that reflected his father’s deep gratitude to God for giving him another child.”
  • “Maybe people have tried to give you a name like Ben-Oni’s, a name that constantly reminds you that you’re not good enough, that people don’t want you, that you’re not loved.”
  • “It may be a terrible nickname you are teased with, or it might be words like, “Worthless!’ ‘Unwanted,’ ‘Accident,’ ‘Mistake,’ ‘Screw-up,’ or ‘Failure.”
  • “I’m here to tell you that your Father in heaven would never use that name or that label to refer to you.”
  • “Your Father in heaven doesn’t think you are a mistake or an accident or a screw-up or a failure.”
  • “He thinks you are an incredible, wonderful blessing!”
  • “He loves you immensely, and there is nothing you can do that would ever make Him love you any less.”
  • “To your Father in heaven, you will always be the child of His good fortune!”

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Filed under Future, Jacob, Joseph, Purpose

Trust God When Things Look Bad (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge is a fun visual that reminds kids to trust God even when circumstances are looking bad. There is a little bit of “magic” and a little bit of science in this lesson that gives it some “Wow!” factor. Participants will create a water-suspension trick using some simple supplies.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37 to 45
  • Romans 8:28

 

Materials

  • Canning jar (“Mason jar”) with a screw-top lid and a removable insert – 1 per person with one extra for the group leader
  • Small piece of screening (like what covers your windows – enough to cover the top of the canning jar) – 1 per person with one extra for the group leader
  • Gallon jug of water – 1 for group
  • Piece of poster board – 3” x 3” – 1 per person
  • If you don’t want to make your own jars, you can order them for approximately $10 each from Steve Spangler Science (www.stevespanglerscience.com).  It’s called the “Mysterious Water Suspension Trick.”
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Trust God When Things Look Bad – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Cut the piece of screening so that it fits over the opening of the jar.  You want some overlap so that the lid will hold the screening securely to the jar.
  • Screw on the band part of the lid, but leave the removable insert out. (Only for the leader’s jar.  The participants will do their own.)
  • You might want to laminate your poster board square but only if you plan on using it multiple times.
  • Practice the trick.  Flipping the jar upside down is the most challenging part.
  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Put the small pieces of screening and the pieces of poster board in each Ziplock bag.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “Trust God When Things Look Bad” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “So, who’s thinks they have a strong faith in God?”  (Listen for responses, and select the most enthusiastic participant to come up to the front.)
  • (To the participant…)  “You think you have a strong faith in God, right?” (While you are asking, pour water from the pitcher into your demonstration jar.  Don’t let them see the screening over the top.)
  • “Do you feel like you even trust God when things look bad in your life?”  (While you are asking, place the poster board square on top of the jar.)
  • “Could you trust God like Joseph did even after he was sold into slavery and then thrown into prison?”  (While you are asking, flip the jar and the poster board square upside down, and hold them over the child’s head.  Keep your hand under the poster board square so that it looks like you are supporting it.  In reality, the water droplets inside the screening and the air pressure pushing up on the poster board will hold the card in place.)
  • “I would say things are looking pretty bad for you right now.  Are you still trusting God?”  (Listen for response.)
  • “Would you trust God to keep you from getting wet if I were to pull this card away?” (Listen for response, then, with as much drama as you can muster, pull the card away.  The water will stay in the jar.  The water droplets develop surface tension inside the tiny holes in the screen.  This and the fact that if you hold the jar perfectly level, no air can get in to replace the water that leaves, will hold the water in.)
  • “Wow!  I’m impressed that you are still here!  You really do trust God when things look bad!”  (Tilt jar just a little, and some water will pour out until you level out the jar again.  Participants usually get a big kick out of their peer getting wet.)
  • “Oops.  There’s a lesson in this.”
  • “Trusting God doesn’t mean that bad things won’t ever happen.  Trusting God when things look bad means that you trust Him to get you through the bad times.”  (You can thank your volunteer and send him/her back to his/her seat.)
  • “Sometimes, things look really bad, like when I held the jar of water over his/her head.”
  • “Remember during those times to trust God.”
  • “He has the ability to do the impossible in your life (like stopping gravity), but even when He doesn’t stop the bad stuff, He can turn the bad stuff into good.”
  • “The Bible says that God will make EVERYTHING work for you if you know Him as your heavenly father.  That means good stuff and bad stuff will turn out good for you!” (Romans 8:28)
  • (After your lesson, tell the participants how the trick works.  Then, let them make their own water suspension jars and try them out.  The jars can be made by putting the screening over the glass opening of the jar and then screwing the lid (without the insert) over the screening.)
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can help them forgive.)

 

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. Why do you think Joseph was able to trust God when things looked bad?
  2. Have you ever trusted God during a really difficult time in your life?  What happened?
  3. How could you trust God more during difficult times in the future?

 

Rhyme Time

God has a purpose, a plan and a dream;

My present struggles are more than they seem!

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Filed under Challenges, faith, Joseph, Object Lesson, Trust

Tool, Test or Territory? (CHALLENGE)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This Challenge looks at the events of Joseph’s life and asks whether God was using each one as a Tool (to shape Joseph), a Test (to reveal the quality of his heart) or new Territory (to give him more ministry for the Lord).

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50

 

Materials

  • Card stock paper – 1 sheet per person (Alternatively, you can use posterboard, but you will then need to glue the pyramid pattern to the posterboard.)
  • Printouts of the pyramid pattern – 1 per person (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Tool, Test or Territory? – Pyramid (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  It would be best if the pyramids were printed in color.)
  • Printouts of the Questions and Answers sheets for group leaders – 1 per group (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Tool, Test or Territory? – Questions and Answers Sheet (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.)
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Tool, Test or Territory? – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Glue sticks – several per group
  • Envelope – 1 per group
  • Rulers – several per group (to help with creasing)
  • Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group
  • Scissors or cutting tools – 1 per person

 

Preparation

  • Print out the pyramid patterns on card stock paper (or on regular paper and then glue them to posterboard).
  • Put enough pyramid patterns into each Ziplock bag for each participant in the group to have one.  (If you want to save time facilitating this challenge, you can cut out the pyramids yourself.)
  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Print the Questions and Answers document out (one per group) and put it in an envelope.  Then add it to the Ziplock bag for each group.
  • Put glue sticks and scissors (or cutting tools) in each Ziplock bag (enough for sharing or for each participant in each group).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “Tool, Test or Territory?” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card, some pyramid patterns, glue, scissors, rulers and an envelope.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and begin cutting out your pyramid patterns.  There are enough for everyone to have one.”
  • “After they are cut out, use the rulers to crease your pyramids along all the lines.”
  • “Then, put glue anywhere it says, ‘GLUE-GLUE-GLUE,’ and glue these tabs INSIDE your pyramid.  The square part is the bottom of the pyramid, and the four triangles are the top.”
  • “When you are done, your group leader will open the envelope to get the Questions and Answers sheet and ask you about different experiences in Joseph’s life.”
  • “Everyone in the group should vote about how you think God was using that experience in Joseph’s life.”
    • “If you think God was using it as a ‘Tool,’ show the ‘Tool’ side of the pyramid to your group leader.”
    • “A ‘Tool’ experience is when God uses it to shape our character to make us more like Jesus and develop skills / knowledge we can use to serve Him.”
    • “If you think God was using it as a “Test,’ show the ‘Test’ side of the pyramid to your group leader.”
    • “A ‘Test’ experience is when God uses it to test our hearts and show us our character and maturity.”
    • “If you think God was using it as a ‘Territory,’ show the ‘Territory’ side of the pyramid to your group leader.”
    • “A ‘Territory’ experience is when God uses it to invite us to take more territory (which is an area of influence or ministry) for His glory.”
    • “If you think God was using it for more than one reason, show the fourth side of your pyramid to your group leader.”
  • “Be ready…your group leader will probably ask you why you voted the way that you did.”
  • (Let them begin. When they finish making their pyramids, open the envelope and give them the quiz by reading off each experience and asking them to vote with their pyramids. After each vote, ask a few of the participants to tell you why they voted the way they did; then, share the correct answer and explanation from the sheet.  When they are finished with the quiz, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards.  The Rhyme Time is a reinforce to help them remember that the events of their lives can be used by God in a big way.)

 

Debriefing Questions

  1. What do you think about all these events in Joseph’s life?
  2. What did you learn about how God uses our experiences to prepare us for the future?
  3. What is a Tool, a Test or a new Territory God has recently used in your life?

 

Rhyme Time

Often what’s hard is a tool and a test;

God will help me to do what’s best!

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Character, Choices, Coping skills, God's Plan, God's Will, Hardship, Joseph

Potiphar Says (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches that we don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we always get to choose our attitude about those circumstances.  It highlights Joseph’s way of handling his enslavement to Potiphar in Genesis 39:1-20.  The activity is based on the game of Simon Says.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 39:1-20

 

Materials

  • Egyptian headdress for participants to wear as they play the role of Potiphar (1 per group) – OPTIONAL
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Potiphar Says – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Create the headdress (OPTIONAL)
  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Put the headdress in the Ziplock if it will fit or tape it to the bag if needed.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “Potiphar Says” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card, and an Egyptian headdress.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “This challenge is about Joseph from the Bible.”
  • “He was his father’s favorite son but his brothers’ least favorite sibling.”
  • “In fact, they hated him so much that they sold him into slavery!”
  • “A passing band of Ishmaelites bought Joseph and took him to Egypt, where they sold him to a man named Potiphar, one of Pharoah’s officials.”
  • “How many of you think being a slave would be really unfair and not much fun?”  (Take responses.)
  • “Let’s play a game like ‘Simon Says’ that will help us understand a little bit what it’s like to be a slave.  It’s called ‘Potiphar Says.’”
  • “Everyone stand up.”
  • “I’m going to be Potiphar for the first round.”  (Or pick one of the participants to be Potiphar. Have “Potiphar” put on the Egyptian Headdress.)
  • “Potiphar is going to ask you to do several things.  If he says ‘Potiphar says’ before the thing you are asked to do, then you should do it.”
  • “However, if he doesn’t say ‘Potiphar says’ before the thing he asks you to do, you shouldn’t do it.”
  • “If you do something when he doesn’t say ‘Potiphar says,’ you have to sit down.”
  • “The last person standing gets to be ‘Potiphar.’”
  • “Is everyone clear on the rules?”  (Check to make sure everyone is clear.)
  • “Okay, let’s play:”  (Play a round of ‘Potiphar Says.’ If you are leading, you can ask the participants to touch their noses, raise their hands above their heads, hop on one foot, etc…  Mix up the times you say, ‘Potiphar says,’ to try to catch them off guard.  The rounds will go quickly, so let several participants be “Potiphar” before you finish.)
  • “That was fun!  Probably a lot more fun than Joseph had following Potiphar’s orders, don’t you think?”
  • “But you know what really impresses me about Joseph?”
  • “Even though the whole thing was unfair…even though he had lost his family and his home and his country and his freedom, Joseph still had a great attitude about the whole thing.”
  • “He could have kicked the dirt and complained about how unfair it all was, but he didn’t.”
  • “He did his job the best he could.  In fact, he did it so well that Potiphar put him in charge of everything!”
  • “Joseph kept trusting in God and doing the best he could.  He made the best of a bad situation, and God blessed him.”
  • “And because Joseph was blessed, Potiphar’s entire household was blessed.”
  • “And you know what?  The same thing can happen with you!”
  • “In your life, you will be in bad situations sometimes.  You will be in unfair situations sometimes.”
  • “You may not be able to do much about the bad situation, but you can choose your attitude.”
  • “If you choose to keep trusting in God when things are bad, He will bless you and everything and everyone around you!”
  • “When someone has a great attitude in a bad situation, it really gets peoples’ attention.”
  • “They wonder why you have such a great attitude, and they will probably even ask you about it.”
  • “When they do, that is your opportunity to tell them about how wonderful God is and how you can trust in him to use ALL things in your life for your benefit.”
  • “So, everyone try to be like Joseph in Potiphar’s house – keep doing your best and trusting in God, and then watch and see how He will bless you and those around you!”  (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that even when life isn’t fair, God is watching over them.  He won’t allow more struggles that they are able to handle with His help, and if they do their best, they will have His blessing.)

Debriefing Questions

  1. What would be the most difficult thing about being a slave?
  2. Do you ever have to do things you don’t want to do, because someone makes you do them?
  3. How can you be more like Joseph in those situations?

 

Rhyme Time

Even when life is so unfair,

God won’t allow more than I can bear.

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Choices, Coping skills, Energizer, Game, Hardship, Joseph, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Waiting on the Lord