Joseph in Slavery

Study Notes

Joseph– Slave to Prison

1. Joseph Testing Intro
- Remember that the most amazing men and women of God were tested by God (think back to Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Joseph). 
- All of these people had to trust God and believe His word when things were making no sense! 
- God doesn't test us to play games with us– He tests us to mature us from the inside out into the likeness of Jesus! Testing makes us stronger, and it makes life more abundant. 
- Romans 3:5 tells us that “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame”. 
- Think about it in terms of sports. You’re training for soccer, and your coach is making you run super hard soccer drills. The more you suffer during those soccer drills, the longer you’ll be able to give 100% during your game. The more you’re able to give in your game, the stronger your character (on the inside) will be. As your inside character gets stronger, you’ll have more hope about the games and opportunities to come! 
- Going through this process with God is even more important, because it’s an eternal process that makes us like Jesus from the inside out. Soccer is super cool, but heaven isn't thinking about soccer! It’s thinking about Jesus, the most incredible being of all time!  

2. Pathways of Testing 
- When we go through tests TEST with God, we pretty much have two choices CHOICE 
- 1) We can get frustrated with God and tap out. The enemy will try to tell you that God is not good, and that He’s holding back good things from you. When things get hard, the enemy wants you to doubt God! 
- BUT Psalm 84:11 says “no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless”. 
- 2) Instead of blaming God, we have another option! We can trust God, lean into His Word for strength, and wait for Him to finish His work in us. 
- James 1:2 says to “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
- This testing of our faith gives us the ability to persevere, and perseverance is a HUGE part of being mature in Jesus! 

3. Trusting God Through Tests  
- Think back to our lesson. Joseph had just had crazy God dreams! He knew they were from God! But somehow, shortly after, he was abused by his brothers and was sold into slavery. 
- How many of you think that this made sense to Joseph? Do you think he felt like he had arrived with God and that all of his God dreams had come true?
- I don't think so! I think Joseph probably felt lonely and confused. He may have thought he’d somehow messed up his entire life. He might have even thought God had forgotten about him. 
- Maybe you’ve had moments like this with God– where you thought something was going to go a certain way, but things fell apart and you had no idea how it even happened. 
- There’s good news for us in moments like this! 
- For one thing, God promises us that He never leaves us. The Bible tells us not to fear 365 times– one time for every day! We don't have to fear, because we get to trust in God instead! 
- Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
- For another thing, God promises to direct the steps of the Godly! When things go horribly wrong, we don't have to figure out how to fix everything! We simply call on God, wait on Him, and put our trust in Him. He promises to go before us and make a way forward . 
- Psalm 37:23-24 “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
- Let’s learn more about Joseph’s story and find out how he found his strength in God! 

4. Joseph Sold Into Slavery
- Joseph traveled multiple days with the camel caravan until they got to Egypt. This all must have been super strange for Joseph! He was used to pasture land, and now he was in a world of crowds, city streets, temples filled with idol worshippers, and a king called Pharaoh who ruled the land. 
- There were lots of slaves in those days– people who were forced to work for no pay. Some worked in fields, some worked as servants inside the homes of other people. 
- Joseph worked inside the home of Potiphar,** **captain of the king’s guard. 
- Genesis 39:3-5 “3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.”
- In this verse, we see that Joseph chose to honor God through this test instead of choosing to doubt God. He chose life with God instead of life without God! 
- He worked in the household with truth and honesty, because he was a man of God! 
- As a result of Joseph’s relationship with God, Potiphar’s household was super blessed! Potiphar didn't even believe in God, but God honored Joseph so much that He blessed Potiphar! 
- Because of God’s favor on Joseph’s life, Potiphar made Joseph his special assistant. He later promoted him again, making Joseph in charge of all of his belongings and the other servants. 

5. Joseph Refusing to Sin
- Joseph was young, strong, influential, and handsome. 
- Soon, another test came to Joseph. Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph and tried to make Joseph have a physical relationship with her. 
- Joseph was way too loyal to Potiphar to betray him like that. 
- Even more important than that, Joseph knew this wasn't what God wanted! God designed marriage to be between one man, one woman, and no one else! 
- Potiphar’s wife was relentless, though. She wouldn't stop trying! One day, she basically attacked Joseph. He wrestled his way away, but not before she stole his cloak. 
- Potiphar’s wife must have felt angry and rejected. When her husband got home, she lied to him and said that Joseph attacked her, leaving his cloak behind when she screamed in distress.  

6. Joseph In Prison
- Potiphar got super angry and put Joseph** **in prison with the king’s other prisoners. Joseph became a prisoner for doing the right thing, not doing the wrong thing. 
- Just because we follow God doesn't mean that everything will be easy and go our way. 
- On hard days, it’s super important to remember to 1) obey God’s Word and 2) follow the instruction of the Spirit. When we do these two things, we set ourselves up for God to really show up for us! God is amazing at making a way forward, especially when we’re in alignment with Him. 
- Once again, we see Joseph’s having lots of favor on his life. 
- Genesis 39:20-22: “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison.
- This was the third time Joseph got promoted since becoming a slave. This favor was on him because God was with Joseph!! 
- Doesn't this make you so thankful that God is with us, too? 
- When you follow God, it looks like something. If your life looks the same as the world around you, you might not be representing the Kingdom of God! 

7. Joseph Interprets Dreams
- One morning, Joseph** noticed that two of the prisoners looked super sad; one was a cup bearer and the other one was a baker. **
- When he asked them why they were sad, they explained that they’d both had dreams from God that neither of them could figure out. 
- Joseph was confident in his ability to interpret them, because he knew that interpretations belonged to God and that God was with him! 
- The cup bearer started: he described a dream of a grape wine with three branches, buds, blossoms, and ripe grapes. He squeezed the grapes into the king’s cup so he could have juice to drink. 
- Joseph told him that this meant he’d be the cup bearer again. He then asked the cupbearer to remember him and help him out of prison when he got back to the king. 
- Then came the dream of the baker: He’d made all kinds of baked goods for the king, but birds came and took them away! 
- Joseph told him that this meant that pharaoh was going to hang him and that the birds would eat him :/ 
- Three days later, Pharaoh had a birthday and sent for both servants. Their dreams came true, just as Joseph had said. The cupbearer served the king, but he totally forgot to remember Joseph! 
- While the cupbearer forgot Joseph, God certainly hadn't. God was very much with Joseph, and He was working things together in His perfect timing. 

We are including Sara's notes for complete transparency for parents.

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