Joseph Rules in Egypt

Study Notes

Joseph– Forgiveness

1. Joseph rules in Egypt
- Pharaoh’s dreams came true, just like God and Joseph said they would. 
- There were 7 years of good harvest. Joseph worked super hard, organizing and supervising the grain for all of Egypt! There was so much, they couldn't even measure it. 
- Then, the 7 years of famine began. Seeds wouldn't grow, and people eventually ran out of food.
- Joseph opened the storehouses and began selling grain**. **When the people ran out of money to buy the storehouse grain, Joseph let them trade their cattle for food. When they’d sold all their animals, he let them trade their food for land. 
- By the end of the famine, Pharaoh owned all the people’s animals and all their land. While people may have been sad about their things, they were thankful to be alive! Joseph gained respect and power in Egypt. 

2. Joseph brothers in Egypt
- The famine wasn't just in Egypt– it was in other countries, too! Including Canaan, Joseph’s homeland. 
- People started coming from all over to buy grain and trade for grain. 
- One day, Joseph saw 10 men dressed like shepherds in the crowd. He hadn't seen them in 20 years, but Joseph knew at once that these men were his brothers -– the brothers that beat him, threw him in a pit, and sold him as a slave.
- Except one brother was missing– Benjamin, the youngest brother. Jacob (Joseph’s dad) wouldn't let Benjamin go, because he was afraid of losing him like he lost Joseph.  
- These brothers didn't recognize Joseph because Joseph was looking like a king these days!
- Joseph accused his brothers of being spies and put them in prison. 
- After 3 days in prison, Joseph told them they had a chance to prove they were telling the truth about not being spies. 
- One brother would stay in the prison, the other brothers would take food to their families, and they would bring Benjamin (the youngest brother) back to Joseph. This would be the only way they would get more food. 
- The brothers gathered around and agreed that this was happening because of what they’d done to their brother (Joseph) long ago. 
- Genesis 42:23 says “They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter. He turned away from them and began to weep.”
- Joseph’s heart felt so overwhelmed when he was listening to his brothers talk about him. He may have felt sad, surprised by how much he had missed them, homesick, upset with them for betraying him, or all of these things all at once! 
- We see that Joseph kept his heart kind towards God and his brothers instead of blaming God and his brothers. When we keep our heart soft towards other people, God can work in and through us! And that’s exactly what He was doing with Joseph! 
- After Joseph was finished crying, he bound Simeon as the prisoner brother while the other brothers got ready for their journey home. 
- As they were getting ready, Joseph snuck their silver and grain into their bags so they would have everything they needed for their journey. Even though they were horrible to Joseph, he still cared for them so much. 

3. Brothers to Father
- Jacob, the boy’s father,** **was super old now and was still so sad about Joseph. 
- When the sons got home, they told Jacob the whole story about the lord of Egypt and their terrifying experience– how they were accused of being spies, how Simeon was still in their prison, and how they’d have to take Benjamin (the youngest brother) back with them if they wanted any more grain. 
- At first, Jacob said no to letting Benjamin go back with them– he’d lost 2 sons already, and he wasn't willing to lose another one. 
- Eventually, though, the family ran out of food. Judah told his dad he would watch over his brother. 
- They found the silver that Joseph put in their bags, and they were so scared! They had no idea how it got in their bags, but they knew this might not end well.  
- Jacob told them to take a gift basket of honey, spices, and nuts as a gift to lord Joseph– they wanted to be on his good side. Back to Egypt they go. 

4. Joseph forgives brothers pt 1
- When Joseph saw that his brothers were returning, and that they had Benjamin with them, he told his servants to prepare a feast for them! The servant took all the brothers to Joseph’s house
- They were so scared at first! They thought they were there because of the silver in their bags, but Joseph’s servants told them that they weren't in trouble for the silver 
- Genesis 43:23 ““It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.”
- When Joseph came in, they gave him their gift. Joseph asked about their father (who they told him was alive and well), and then Joseph asked to see Benjamin. As soon as he laid eyes on Benjamin, he had to leave the room to cry. 
- This was the second time Joseph got crazy emotional about being around his family. Even though it’d been so many years, he still cared about his family so much. 
- He was happy to provide for them, and he was happy to throw feasts for them! It’s obvious that Joseph was not holding grudges against his family that betrayed him. 
- When it came time to eat dinner, Joseph sat them at the table from oldest to youngest! They were shocked! How did Joseph know their birth order? Hadn't they only met him once before? 

5. Joseph forgives brothers pt 2 
- As the brothers were getting ready to go home again, Joseph told his servant to fill their sacks with grain and put their money in the top. He also told his servant to put his silver cup in the top of Benjamin’s bag. 
- When the brothers had only gone a short way, Joseph sent his servant after them to ask them “why have you taken my master’s silver cup?” 
- The brothers replied saying they hadn't stolen anything– and they honestly hadn't! They told the servant to search their bags– if they found silver in someone’s bag, they could kill the person who stole it. 
- The servant searched every sack and found the cup when they got to Benjamins! The brothers freaked out, and the servant took them back to Egypt. 
- When they came back to Joseph, Joseph basically said “I’ll keep Benjamin as my slave– the rest of y'all can go free” 
- Judah, the brother that promised his father to protect Benjamin, pleaded to Joseph to let him stay in Benjamin’s place– he was scared his dad would die of grief if Benjamin didn't come home! 
- Joseph quickly told all of his servants to leave. When he saw how much his family cared about each other he started crying in front of his brothers. 
- In Genesis 45:4 Joseph says ““I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you… God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God”
- After he kindly releases them from their evil acts toward him years ago, he instructs them to go home, get their father, and bring their family to live safely with Joseph. He wants to take care of them! 
- Joseph put his arm around Benjamin and kissed him– he did the same with the rest of his brothers. He gave them new clothes, suits, and silver. 
- When we choose life with God, He keeps our hearts soft and teaches us how to love other people freely! 

6. Joseph’s brothers confess
- Jacob, the father of the brothers, probably watched for his family every day**. **He must have been so happy when they finally came!
- What a lot to share with their dad once they got home! First things first: confession! They told their dad they lied forever ago about Joseph’s death. Joseph is alive!, they explained.  He rules Egypt and he wants us to come live with him! 
- Jacob must have been SO happy that his favorite son was still alive! He spent all those years being so sad about his death! 
- Jacob, his 11 sons, and their wives, children, flocks, and servants loaded up and started their journey to Egypt. 
- On the way, they stopped at a place where Abraham worshiped so Jacob could make a sacrifice to God
- It’s so powerful that Jacob still prioritized worshiping God over every other excitement. No matter what our lives are full of, God deserves our best. 
- That night, God speaks to Jacob again and tells him not to be afraid to go to Egypt. God still had plans to make Jacob a great nation!
- As they got closer, Jacob sent Judah ahead to get directions. Joseph was already loaded up and ready to meet his father! He races to him, throws his arms around his dad, and weeps in his arms! 
- Jacob tells Joseph that he’s ready to die now that he has seen his beautiful son again. 
- Their whole family settled in Goshen, and Jacob lived seventeen more years in Egypt. Before he died, he gave each of his sons a special blessing. His sons took him back to be buried with Abraham and Isacc. 

7. Joseph forgives brothers pt 3
- When the brothers came back from burying their father in Canaan, they got scared of Joseph again! They were worried that he had a deep down grudge that would come up now that Jacob was gone.  
- They approached Joseph in the palace, bowed down before him, and told them they’d be his servants
- Joseph spoke kindly to them and said ““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. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” Genesis 50:19-21 
- These words from Joseph show so much about where his heart was with God! 
- Joseph made the story about God instead of making it about himself! If Joseph had made the story about his own life and dreams, he may have gotten sick with discouragement. Instead, he chose to look up at God, choose life with Him, and trust in Him! 
- Instead of being mad at his brothers, mad at the world, or mad at God, he chose to see that God worked in every single one of his hard situations! 
- God is always working for His highest glory and our greatest good. 
- By trusting God, Joseph was able to love his brothers freely and be generous with them. God tells us to lean into Him so that we can be free!

  • We see that Joseph walked so powerfully as a son of God. Sure, he had his issues! He had moments of immaturity, being afraid, and probably doubting what God was up to, but at the end of the day, God’s goodness and Joseph’s “yes” to God was so powerful! Their relationships saved so many people! 
  • In Genesis, we uncover the design behind the way God created things! Everything was created by God, and everything was created to need Him– nothing was supposed to exist without Him. 
    • The entire book of Genesis is packed with stories of people that either chose life with God or chose life without God. 
    • We see the blessings and consequences for Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.  
      • In each of these stories, we see imperfect people being sought out by an absolutely perfect God. He was, and still is, set on being with His people! 
      • Thank You, Jesus, that you paid everything for us to be fully with God forever! We love you, love Your Word, and want to be led by Your Spirit into deeper depths with You. 

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

Continue Reading
Next Episode