Slide 16 of 50
DISCUSSION QUESTION: How did Joseph’s family end up living in Egypt? Joseph was released from prison and put in the service of the Pharaoh as second in command of Egypt because he correctly interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream that a great famine was coming. He predicted 7 years of good harvest followed by 7 years of famine. Joseph recommended that Egypt make great stores of food to prepare for the famine. This famine not only affected Egypt but also Israel. Joseph’s father, Jacob, sent his sons to Egypt to get food during the famine. At first Joseph did not reveal who he was to his brothers but finally revealed himself and Jacob and Joseph’s brothers were invited to come and live in Egypt. The Hebrew people (Israelites) were the descendants of this group.
The photo of Joseph’s family journey into Egypt shows the fertile Nile delta as the Nile empties into the Mediterranean Sea. During the famine, this became the home of the Israelites.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: How was it that the Hebrew people became slaves in Egypt? Years after moving to Egypt, the descendants of Joseph’s family became quite numerous. The Egyptians had a distaste for sheepherders and the Hebrews and Egyptians generally did not intermarry. A new Pharaoh who did not know Joseph became concerned that the Hebrew people might rebel against Egypt and put them into slavery. It was into this setting that Moses was born.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: What lessons from the story of Joseph should we learn to apply to our lives today? We learn from the story of Joseph how that a faithful person can be ill treated. We learn a great deal about patience from Joseph. Joseph lived for years as a slave and in prison before God’s final will for his life was made known. Joseph saw no immediate reward for resisting the advances of Potiphar’s wife. He also saw no immediate reward for properly interpreting the dreams of Pharoah’s baker and butler. Despite this fact, Joseph remained faithful and as a result not only he but ultimately his whole family was blessed.