Chapter 3: Joseph
Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. … You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good.” —Genesis 50:19–20, NIRV
Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” —Genesis 50:19–20, NIV
Family Discussion Questions for Preschool & Elementary
• Can anybody remember a funny or weird dream you’ve had recently? (If nobody remembers one, share one of your own to get the conversation started.)
• How were Joseph’s dreams different from our dreams?
• What did Joseph’s dreams teach him about God?
• How did God take care of Joseph when his family sold him or he was in prison?
• When are you worried that God won’t take care of you like he took care of Joseph? (Share your own fear and trust in God here in child-appropriate ways).
Family Discussion Questions for Middle & High School Students
• Has anybody told lies about you or a friend of yours and gotten you in trouble, like Potiphar’s wife did to Joseph?
• What did it feel like? Did you do anything to get even?
• Has anybody made promises to you and then not followed through, like the drink-tester did to Joseph?
• How did that make you feel?
• How could Joseph welcome and forgive his brothers?
• What would it take for you to forgive people when they’ve wronged you?
Family Activity Option
Instruct each family member to bring his or her favorite possession to the living room. It must be only one thing, such as a toy, golf club, stuffed animal, photo, Wii gaming system or car (of course, this would require a trip outside). Once everybody has chosen something, start with the youngest family member and have her explain why that item is her favorite. Continue around the room until each person gets to share about his possession.
After everybody is finished explain that it’s natural to have a favorite thing. Some items just fit your personality and specific tastes better than others. Some things have more sentimental value and mean more to you. But when it comes to families, favoritism can cause some problems.
• How did it make Joseph’s brothers feel that Jacob “loved Joseph more than any of his other sons” (Genesis 37:3)?
• Were Joseph’s brothers justified in selling him into slavery?
• Who was more at fault—Jacob or Joseph’s brothers—for what happened to Joseph?
• If Jacob would’ve acted differently, do you think Joseph’s life would’ve been different?
• Have you ever been in a group or team where somebody else was the favorite?
• Have you ever been treated as the favorite? How did that make you feel?
At the end, pray for God to give your family the wisdom and ability to love each other fully and unconditionally without showing favoritism.