Did you ever think that something was going to be really bad, but it turned out to be really good?
Abraham had a son name Isaac.
And Isaac had a son name Jacob.
And Jacob had a son named Joseph.
In fact, Jacob had 11 sons and Joseph was the youngest (later Jacob would have a twelfth son name Benjamin).
Do you remember how Jacob’s brother, Esau, didn’t like him for a long time? Well Joseph’s brothers didn’t like him either. When Joseph was young he dreamed that he was a king ruling over his brothers and even his parents. And to make matters worse, Joseph’s dad, Jacob, liked Joseph better than all his brothers. Jacob would give Joseph special presents including a colorful coat that made him look like the king in his dreams.
Over time Joseph’s brothers hated him more and more. So much that they decided to kill him. One day they grabbed him, tied him up, and threw him into a pit. But instead of killing Joseph, his brothers chose to sell him as a slave. Do you know what a slave is? Being a slave is a terrible thing. It means someone else owns you and you have to do whatever they say no matter how hard it is, without being paid, and without ever being thanked.
The Bible says that Joseph ended up as a slave in a far away land called Egypt. Do you know where Egypt is? Life for Joseph was really hard, and for a long time he was not only a slave but also a prisoner.
But Joseph kept trusting God even through all these terrible things. God never gave up on Joseph, and Joseph never gave up on God. And eventually God would let Joseph rise to power in Egypt and save the world from a terrible famine when all the food ran out because it stopped raining for a long time. The king of Egypt put Joseph in charge of everything during the famine. He gave Joseph his own coat, and his own ring, and made Joseph into the king that he once dreamed he would be.
Then one day Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking to buy food because they were starving. Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him at first because he was dressed like and Egyptian king. But finally, Joseph told his brothers who he was. And they were terrified! They thought for sure Joseph would kill them because they had been so mean to him all those years earlier.
But listen to what Joseph said to his brothers:
Genesis 50:19-20. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Joseph decided to forgive his brothers and not hurt them back because he trusted that God had used even their evil for good to save the world from the famine. That’s what Joseph’s story shows us – that no matter how bad things get, God is always going to turn the bad things into good.
How do we know that God will turn everything bad into good? Because he turned the worst thing ever, the cross of Jesus, into the best thing ever, our forgiveness. And because we know God has forgiven us we can also turn evil into good by forgiving and being kind to others, even when they are mean to us.
Because of Jesus we know that everything bad done to us God will turn into our good.
With Jesus we can forgive others and do good to them, even if they hurt us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch Joseph King of Dreams (Netflix). Or watch the scene below to see how Joseph forgave his brothers.
You make everything bad, good. Help us to be good to others even when others are bad to us.
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