Jealousy always causes trouble and leads to anger and hate.
We all have dreams, don't we? (Let the children respond
we soon forget about our dreams. However, long ago in Bible times
some people were given dreams by God and these had important meanings.
There was a young man named Joseph, who was given two such dreams
by the Lord.
In both of these dreams God showed to Joseph some things that were to come
to pass in the future. Now Joseph was a son of Jacob, the man who
fled from Esau his brother after he obtained the birthright from his
Jacob had moved to his uncle Laban and stayed at Laban's home for many years
and had twelve sons. Joseph was the second youngest son. As
the sons grew up, they became herdsmen and keepers of cattle and sheep.
Jacob loved his son Joseph very dearly and to show how much he loved Joseph,
his father made him a beautiful coat of many colors. However, this
made the other boys very jealous of Joseph. Do you get jealous if
your brother or sister get a big present from your parents? (Let the
Joseph had his first dream where he dreamed that he and his brothers were
in a field gathering grain. Each of them had gathered up a bundle
of grain, and all their bundles bowed down to Joseph's bundle, which
stood straight upright! It might have been better for Joseph if he
had kept this dream to himself. But, in his excitement he told his
brothers all about the dream.
They understood it to mean that Joseph expected that some day they would
all bow down to him, and this made them even more jealous and angry and
they hated Joseph even more.
A little later Joseph had another dream. In this dream, Joseph saw the
sun and the moon and eleven stars bow down to him. Again Joseph made
a big mistake by telling this dream to his brothers and to his parents.
His father was upset because it seemed to mean that at some future
time, he as Joseph's father, would have to bow down to his son! Of
course that made Joseph's brothers more angry than ever!
Travelling to Dothan:
Not long after this Joseph's brothers went to a part of the country called
Shechem to find better fields for their flocks. They were too far
away to go back home each night, so after they had been gone for some
time, Jacob wanted to find out how they were getting on, and how their
flocks were doing.
Now, Joseph was too young to work in the fields with his brothers, so he
had stayed at home. His father asked him if he would go to Shechem
and find our how his brothers were getting along. Joseph willingly
set out on this errand, but when he arrived he couldn't find his brothers
He was wandering around in the fields when a man came up and asked him who
he was looking for. Joseph replied that he was looking for his
brothers and the man told him that they had gone to a place called
Let's Kill that Dreamer:
So Joseph travelled on until he came to Dothan where he found his
brothers caring of their flocks. When his brothers saw him
approaching, they agreed to an evil plan! They decided that they
would kill their brother. They caught their dreaming brother and
seized him, and were ready to take his life!
The eldest son, Reuben pleaded with his brothers not to kill Joseph.
He suggested that they should rather drop Joseph in a deep pit
and leave him there. Reuben's plan was to rescue Joseph when the
other brothers weren't watching!
Sold as a Slave!
The brothers agreed to this, but after they had put Joseph into the pit,
they noticed a nearby travelling group of Midianite merchants who were
on their way to Egypt. So they sold Joseph to the Midianites as
these merchants bought and sold slaves to rich people. The
Midianites took poor Joseph to Egypt, where he was sold as a slave to
an officer of the Egyptian king.
To hide their crime, the brothers took Joseph's coat of many colors and
dipped it in the blood of a goat, and then returned home to their father.
When their father saw the blood on the coat, he was convinced that
his beloved son Joseph had been killed by a wild beast. Years went
by, and Jacob thought that Joseph was dead, while all the time his
brothers knew that he was a slave in Egypt.
God gave Joseph his Dreams:
Yes, Joseph's brothers called him a dreamer and those two dreams that God
gave to Joseph had caused him a lot of trouble. No doubt his
brothers thought those dreams would never come true. After all,
how could Joseph ever rule over them now that he was a slave in Egypt?
As year after year went by, no doubt Joseph's brothers remembered what they
had done and chuckled, "We fixed him all right. He thought we would
have to bow down to him, but he was mistaken!"
But, there was one thing Joseph's brothers did not know. They didn't
know that God gave those dreams to Joseph, and that God would be sure to
make them come true. God always keeps His promises, doesn't He?
(Let the children respond).
Results of Jealousy:
It's a terrible thing to be jealous. It causes hate, anger and
bitterness. It was jealousy that caused Cain to kill his brother
Abel. And those older brothers of Joseph became jealous of him,
and as a result they came to hate Joseph. Remember, jealousy
always leads people into trouble!
If you have any jealousy in your life, make sure you ask ask Jesus to
forgive you and to take away all anger and hate out of your life!