Joseph, The Obedient Son

Study Notes

Joseph– The Obedient Son

1. Joseph Learns From His Father
- When Jacob** **left Uncle Laban to make the trip back to his homeland, he brought flocks, herds, his wives, and 12 children (11 sons, and 1 daughter).
- The youngest son was named Joseph and he was the only son that Jacob had with his love, Rachel. 
- God instructed Jacob to go back to Bethel BETHEL, the place where Jacob had the wild dream about the ladder reaching from heaven to earth. 
- Jacob told his family to get rid of all their false gods and said “come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:3 
- After this, God appeared to Jacob again and reminded him of the promises He gave to his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac. 
- After God spoke with Jacob, Jacob poured out a drink offering and poured oil on the pillar. 
- Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, must have watched his father follow God in lots of different ways. I bet he was learning so much about God by watching God’s relationship with his dad! 
- Joseph will teach us so much about keeping our eyes on God! 
- While Jacob’s family was still traveling, Rachel gave birth to another son– they named him Benjamin. She died during childbirth, but her baby was safe. They buried her not far from Bethlehem.
- After this long, hard journey, they made it safely to their home land. Jacob’s father, Isaac, was there. He lived to be 180 years old, and Jacob and Esau buried him together when he passed away. 
- Do you have anyone in your life that teaches you about keeping your eyes on Jesus? What do they do that inspires you to draw closer to God? 

2. Joseph Gets a Special Coat
- By the time Joseph was 17, he worked in the fields with his brothers caring for the sheep. It was hard work! Sometimes they were gone for multiple days at a time! 
- Joseph’s brothers were not good men, and their dad was afraid that they would give their family a bad name. He would ask Joseph about his brothers, and Joseph gave his dad honest updates about how the brothers were doing. His brothers began to hate him! 
- To make matters even worse, Jacob made it pretty obvious that Jacob was his favorite son
- He made him a special coat**. **It was a long, flowing robe with long sleeves, like the robes rich people would wear! 
- You would think that Jacob would have learned the consequences of having favorites from all the drama that happened with his brother, Esau. 
- Every time the brothers saw the coat, they got more and more mad at Joseph. 

3. Joseph’s Dreams
- Joseph was confident in the delight of his father over his life. Joseph wasn't afraid to tell the truth, and he wasn't afraid to be confident in who God is! 
- God loves to speak to people through dreams, and God spoke to Joseph back to back with 2 specific dreams. Joseph told his brothers about both of these dreams!
- In dream 1, he told them “We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
- In dream 2, he told them ““I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
- God often gives His children crazy big dreams– dreams that we could never do on our own! Dreams that only God could make happen! But as His children, we must let Him grow us up instead of trying to make these dreams happen in our own strength. 
- It seems like Joseph was not mature enough yet to understand that these dreams and the call of God on his life were not about him one bit! This calling would be something God used to help hurting people!
- Both of these dreams frustrated his brothers and his father. 
- Joseph may have known that his family hated him, but he knew that God was with him! 

4. Joseph Obeys His Father 
- One day, Jacob called his son Joseph** **and asked him to go check on his brothers. Even though the brothers hated him, and they were super far away with their flocks, Joseph obeyed his father. 
- What happens next is crazy! 
- Joseph's 11 brothers saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns  and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” Genesis 37:18-20
- Reuben, the oldest brother, did not want to kill him, so he suggested they throw Joseph in a pit instead. 
- When Joseph got to them, they stripped him of his robe and threw him into a pit. Joseph was so afraid and was yelling up to them for help, but they ate their lunch and ignored him. 
- While they were eating, they saw merchants going to Egypt. 
- Judah, one of the brothers, suggested they sell Joseph for money instead of letting him die for free. They sold him for 20 shekels of silver, and Joseph was taken to Egypt. 
- God never meant for people to be sold to one another, but it was a common, evil practice in those days. 
- Reuben was not with the brothers when the caravan of merchants came. When he came back, he ran to the pit to try to rescue Joseph! He was devastated to find out that Joseph wasn't there anymore. 
- Romans 8:28 tells us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. Joseph was just beaten and sold into Egypt by his own brothers. How in the world was God going to make this good???

5. Jacob Grieves Joseph 
- The brothers had to think of something to tell their father, Jacob. 
- Genesis 37:31-32 “Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
- Jacob was sooo sad— that was his favorite son, and he was tricked into thinking that he was dead. He tore his clothes and put on a sackcloth (which was their way of grieving in those days). 
- Genesis 37 tells us that all the sons and daughters came to comfort him; these brothers were super deceptive! They abused Joseph, lied to their father, and then tried to comfort his pain that was there because of their lie! 
- The boys were acting super sweet, but God knew their hearts. While humans judge outside things, God knows and judges the heart. We’re accountable for our heart decisions
- One of the best ways to see where your heart truly is on something is to spend time in God’s Word! Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there’s any area where you're acting honest but your heart isn't being honest. We all have these areas, and God will totally love on us and heal us– especially if we will invite Him into those tough spots! 

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

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