God Meant It for Good

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When we look at everything that happened to Joseph, it may not seem as if the Lord was with him. Joseph endured hardships throughout his life—the jealousy of his brothers, being sold into slavery, and being thrown into prison—but the Lord was with Joseph at all times, bringing good out of everything that happened. The Lord foresaw the evil that would be done to Joseph and arranged to bring good from it.

The Story

Read portions of the Joseph story from Genesis 39-46 and 50.

Genesis 39             “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man.”
Genesis 40, 41        Joseph is in prison, interprets dreams, and prepares for famine.
Genesis 42-44        Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain.
Genesis 45             Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them.
Genesis 46             Jacob (Israel) brings his family to live in Egypt.
Genesis 50             “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Ideas for discussion

  1. How was it that Joseph became a great ruler in Egypt?
  2. What did Joseph do that helped the Lord protect him and make him prosper? (He believed in the Lord and obeyed Him. He also attributed the ability to interpret dreams to the Lord rather than to himself.)
  3. How did Joseph learn that his brothers regretted how they had treated him? (see Genesis 42) How did Joseph feel when he learned this?
  4. How did Joseph’s family respond to learning that the man who was selling them food was their brother, Joseph?
  5. Joseph forgave his brothers, saying, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). What is the good that came from his time in Egypt?
  6. Like Joseph, we may endure difficulties through no fault of our own. How can the story of Joseph help us see how the Lord works to bring good from evil and misfortune?

Read more about Joseph:

Projects and activities for various ages:

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