Bahan Alkitab: Genesis 42-50
This week the children are going to learn from Joseph that God could use hardship as a mean to save many people. Children also learn to obey and keep their trusts in God during difficult times to be a part of God’s plan, just like Joseph trusted and obeyed God in his difficult times until God’s plan to save Jacob’s family was fulfilled.
After interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph was chosen to be the highest leader in Egypt. What Joseph had said about the dream really happened. During 7 years of plenty, Joseph went around Egypt to build storehouses and collect a fifth of harvested grain. As the 7 years of plenty came to an end, the 7 years of famine began to come. Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the grain to Egyptians when the famine had spread over all the land in Egypt.
The famine did not only occur in Egypt, but also in all the earth around Egypt. Thus, people from outside Egypt came to Egypt to buy grain. Jacob’s family also suffered from the famine. So, Jacob asked his 10 sons to buy grain from Egypt, but he kept Benjamin beside him.
Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before Joseph, who was the one who sold grain to all the people, with their faces to the ground. This made Joseph remembered his dreams and realised that God meant all his hardship for good to save many people. Joseph recognised his brothers, but his brothers did not recognise him. He pretended that he did not know his brothers, as he was longing for his younger brother and father. He accused his 10 brothers of spying and put them in prison for 3 days. On the 3rd day, Joseph decided to keep Simeon in prison and let the rest go to Canaan with some grain. The brothers needed to bring and show their youngest brother, Benjamin, to Joseph as a proof that they were not spies.
Joseph’s brothers returned to Canaan without Simeon. They told Jacob of what had happened in Egypt, but Jacob insisted not to let Benjamin go as he was afraid that Benjamin will be harmed. When they had eaten the grain that they bought from Egypt, Jacob asked his sons to go again to Egypt to buy some food. He reluctantly sent Benjamin with the elder brothers, as the brothers would not go without Benjamin.
Joseph’s brothers reached Egypt for the second time and showed their youngest brother, Benjamin, to Joseph. Joseph asked his men to bring the brothers and Simeon into his house for lunch. During the mealtime, Joseph served the brothers food from the eldest to the youngest in order, but Benjamin’s portion was 5 times more than the rest. This showed that Joseph had forgiven them. Afterwards, Joseph decided to let his brothers know that he is Joseph whom they sold into Egypt. He told them not to be angry with themselves because they had sold him, but it is God who sent him into Egypt to preserve Jacob’s family. After that, Joseph asked his brothers to bring all their families to live in Egypt, as the famine would still last for 5 more years.
Genesis 50:20b “God meant it for good .. to save many people”