Joseph in Egypt: A Reading Plan

To print out this discussion guide from a Google Doc, click here.

Our current Rotation covers part two of the Old Testament story of Joseph and his brothers. We covered part one – the “colorful” coat portion of the story – in January and February. A review of part one (with a printable discussion) is here.

Joseph is sold by his brothers

Part two concludes the cliffhanger that part one left off at – what happens to Joseph in Egypt?!? Because our story winds its way through several chapters in Genesis (39:1-5, 39:20-45:28, 46:1-7, 50:15-21) here is part one of a reading plan that breaks it down into manageable chunks so that you can all read the story over several days/weeks. Just read a passage and then discuss the associated question(s)/do the activities. Make it a habit to get out a Bible at the family dinner table. (Or wherever your family is gathered together.)

* A review question

Read in Genesis Discuss…
37:3-4 * Who was “Israel?” (Hint: It’s a name God gave someone; if stumped check out Genesis 32:28)
37:23-24 * How does this special robe end up getting Joseph into a heap of trouble?
Have you ever gotten into trouble because of jealousy? (Adults: ‘fess up time)
37:25-28 * The next thing Joseph knows, he’s headed for Egypt (and I suppose he’s not riding a camel). When has a sudden turn of events surprised you?
How do you suppose Joseph is feeling?
What do you imagine his prayers to God sound like?
39:1 Where would you put Joseph’s trust-in-God-level at this point in the story? (not so much, a little bit, still strong?)
Do you suppose it’s a good idea to prepare for the next rough situation, by strengthening your trust in God? Brainstorm some ideas for building trust. Create a list for the ‘fridge.
39:2-5 What do you suppose Potiphar saw that made him conclude: “the Lord is with Joseph”?
What would it look like if someone noticed that God was with you?
39:20 Joseph was accused of doing something that he didn’t do. Where would you put Joseph’s “trust-in-God-level” at this point in the story?
Tell about a time when you were at that place on the “trust-in-God-meter.”
39:20c-23 How do you suppose Joseph is feeling now?
What does it feel like to know that God is with you?
Bonus question for 3rd grade & up: what does the little “c” mean in “39:20c”?
40:1-8 How did Joseph come to interpret the dreams of the kings workers? (Hint: verse 7). What does this tell you about being sensitive to the needs of those around you? Speculate about where it might lead you if you notice someone’s needs today?
For < 3rd grade stop at verse 15
Do you suppose God speaks to us through dreams?
 What strange dreams have you had?
Why do you suppose the cupbearer forgot about Joseph? Where would you put Joseph’s “trust-in-God-level” at this point in the story?
41:1-16 Two years have passed! Do you suppose Joseph wondered where God was?

What do you suppose Pharaoh’s dreams mean? Why do you suppose none of Pharaoh’s “magicians” could tell him the meaning of his dreams? How would you describe Joseph’s relationship with God? (pay close attention to verse 16) When have you given God the credit for working in your life?
41:17-32 What is a famine? How would you describe your relationship with God – as going through a feast or a famine? If you could see into the future, what would you do?
41:33-44 What do you suppose Joseph is feeling now?
How has Joseph changed since the beginning of our story in chapter 37? (Remember, he was bragging about his dreams.) How have you changed as you’ve “grown up”?
41:53-57 How can years of “abundance” help you prepare for years of “famine?”
Read (and print) the next page of questions here.

Photo credits:
Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Joseph is sold by his brothers, from Christians Unite: Christian Clip Art

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