Over the past 6 weeks at the ROC, we have covered the topic of connecting with God by examining the life of Moses. Now, we are going to shift gears and focus on the life of Joseph, a young man who also connected with God. As we cover Joseph’s life, we will notice some similarities with Moses because they both connected with God and tried to connect others with God. They joined God’s plans and lived successful lives for the Lord. I pray that this series will greatly impact the lives of the children and leaders who study with us at the ROC.
Before we begin the lesson, take a moment to read Genesis 37.
I. Joseph connected with God
Joseph was born to a family of faith. Joseph’s grandfather was Issac and his great-grandfather was Abraham, the father of faith. Joseph grew up with the stories of his grandfather and his great-grandfather. He was taught to connect with God from an early age. Joesph’s 11 brothers had the same upbringing that he had yet they had not been as deeply impacted by their faith. Their connection with God seemed to be missing. In verses 5 through 10, we see God communicating with Joseph via dreams. God is revealing prophecy to Joseph, specific things that would take place in his life, things that he had no idea how they would come about but he knew that they would because they came from the God with whom he had connected. Joseph trusted God no matter what.
II. Joseph connected with his family
As we saw in the life of Moses, when we connect with God, He leads us to connect with others. Our relationship with Him impacts our relationships with others. Joseph honored his father and mother, showing that honor by obeying them. When Joseph’s father gave him a task to complete, he put forth all effort to complete the task with the right attitude. Joseph was sent to find his brothers and he went to the location where his father had sent him. Upon arrival, Joseph did not find his brothers. He could have gone home and reported to his dad that he had finished the task. Instead of doing that, he asked around until he found out where they had gone. He discovered that they were doing bad things and instead of keeping the truth from his parents and covering for his wicked brothers, Joseph tells his dad the truth as is. As a result, his brothers do not like him and treat him poorly. While connecting with his family, Joseph tries to connect his family with God by revealing God’s plans to them. This does not work out well for Joseph because his brothers hear it and use it against him. They even get to the point that they oppose God in their actions, trying to stop His plans from occurring. Joseph’s father even rebuked him for sharing God’s plan with them. Have you ever tried to connect with others and connect them with God only to be rejected? How did you respond to that? What happens to Joseph after he shares with his brothers?
III. Joseph experiences persecution because of his relationship with God
Joseph’s brothers were bad guys and they demonstrated this through the way that they treated him and everyone else around them. First of all, when Joseph was sent to find his brothers by his father, he quickly discovered that they disobeyed and deceived their father by no going where he had sent them. Instead, they went where they wanted to go, disobeying their father’s orders. They had no problem dishonoring their father by not obeying him. Secondly, they were jealous of the fact that their father favored Joseph over them. Naturally Jacob favored Joseph, he honors his father by being obedient to him while the brothers dishonor him by not doing what he asks. They also showed that they were willing to lie to their father, telling him that Joseph was killed by a wild animal instead of the truth, that they had sold him into slavery. They are also bad because they try to stop God’s promises from happening. These men would probably claim to be connected with God yet their actions showed otherwise. They were very disobedient men and need to connect with God. Joseph had tried to connect them with God and they tried to shut him up by selling him as a slave. In fact, before they sold him, they had planned on murdering him. They were not above committing murder. So, Joseph connected with God and tried to connect others with Him and as a result, he is persecuted. Does this seem right? Does it seem fair? What does God do about this situation? Does He keep His promises? Let’s take a look and find out.
IV. Joseph is comforted by God
In Genesis 39, we pick up with Joseph’s story. God led the slave traders to Potipher’s house in Egypt. Potipher is a wise man who recognizes something different about Joseph. The key phrase that we see in Genesis 39:2 is, “the Lord was with Joseph”. Joseph was not alone, even though he was far from home. His connection with God led him to connect with others, like he had tried to do with his brothers. God begins to comfort Joseph and use Joseph’s circumstances to set His plan in motion and accomplish the promises that He had made to Joseph via the dreams. When things are good and when things are bad, Joseph understands that God is with him and that is all that he needs.
How do you respond when things go bad for because of trying to connect others with God? Did you know that there will be people who will not listen to you and even try to harm you because you have connected with God? How will you respond? Will you get mad or will you allow God to comfort you? Do you realize that no matter what the circumstance, God is with you and He is all that you need? May God help us connect with God, join His plans, and submit to His will no matter what.