Joseph The Dreamer

A Bible Study on Jospeh

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At the beginning, the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 is one of favoritism, envy, betrayal and deceit. It's not until 13 years later that it becomes a story of forgiveness, humility, love and restoration. Yet the end of the story of Joseph is a mirror image of the dreams that he had as a youth -- that one day his family would bow before him.
With jealousy as a motive, Joseph's 11 brothers attempted to prevent those dreams from being fulfilled by selling him as a slave to a band of traders. In their minds, to send Joseph into the lowest social class possible guaranteed they would never have to subject themselves to the humiliation of bowing to the brother they envied. But God, the giver of dreams and visions, had already confirmed the outcome.

See the Joseph PowerPoint Template.

The Bible account is well known. Years go by, and Joseph experiences life as a servant, during which he is falsely accused of a crime by Potiphar's wife, followed by several years in prison. Eventually Joseph is made second in command over all of Egypt, which allows him to save his entire family during a time of famine. It's a success story made in heaven, one that offers a message of hope in the midst of trials for those that read it. But there is a detail that is often overlooked in the life of Joseph.

"So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field." (Gen. 39:4-5)

Ideal for children's classes or VBS, here is the Joseph Coloring Page.

Even in his youth, Joseph had integrity, and a work ethic, and he knew how to serve. When Potiphar bought Joseph from the Ishmaelite traders, Joseph did not suddenly develop the heart of a servant. He did not, at that moment, become someone who could be trusted as an overseer. These were qualities that were already within him. It could even be said that these qualities were evident to Jacob, Joseph's father, who rewarded Joseph for his faithfulness and obedience by donning him with a multi-colored robe, a sign of favor over the other brothers.

Joseph may have been the favorite because he was the son of Jacob's old age, and the son of Jacob's favored wife, Rachel. But Joseph also was the favorite because of his willingness to serve. He helped tend his father's sheep, and was ready to do his father's bidding without complaint. Whereas the other 11 brothers thought they deserved more status because of their age, Joseph had a place of honor among the children of Jacob because of his heart.

Children's clipart image, Joseph and the Colorful Coat.

Not only did Joseph receive approval from his earthly father as evidenced by the colorful robe, but he also received approval from God as evidence by the fulfillment of the youthful dreams. Joseph's immaturity may have caused him to reveal his dreams too prematurely to his brothers, but his youthfulness did not prevent God from using him. God knew that Joseph could be trusted, just as his father, Jacob, knew. It was also evident to Potiphar, the prison keeper and captain of the guard, and ultimately to Pharaoh, who all placed Joseph in a position of authority. By the time Joseph reached age 30, he was second in command of all Egypt. As a man, Joseph's integrity and submissive heart that he cultivated as a youth brought him favor in the sight of God and men.

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Written by: Amy Miller