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Joseph in Prison

Joseph in prison


God wants to bless the lives of children who love and obey Him.


Genesis 38 to 41.


A Slave in Egypt:

Joseph, who was so loved by his father, Jacob, was now in Egypt as a slave!  Do you think that Joseph was very angry and hated his brothers for what they had done?  (Let the children respond).  No,he did not hate his brothers, but it was very hard to be among strangers and he was probably homesick.  But Joseph was not alone.  God was with him and was going to mightily bless him.

Meanwhile,the Midianite merchants who purchased Joseph from his brothers had sold him to a man named Potiphar.  Potiphar was a very rich man and was an officer in Pharaoh's army.  Joseph loved God and even though he was a slave, Joseph knew that God wanted him to do his work to the best of his ability.  Because of this, Joseph was a very good slave and God blessed him in everything he did in Potiphar's home.

In Charge:

Because Joseph was such a good worker, Potiphar was pleased with Joseph, and it wasn't long before he gave Joseph the job of managing all his household business.  Potiphar did not have to take care of anything, and all he had to do was to eat and sleep!

One day Potiphar's wife told a terrible lie about Joseph.  Her husband believed it and became so angry that he immediately threw Joseph into jail.  Do you think that Joseph shouted and screamed and stamped his feet? (Let the children respond).  No, he didn't, but this was very hard for Joseph because he had done nothing wrong!

However, Joseph still trusted God and before long the Jail Keeper saw what a good man Joseph was, and gave him charge over all the other prisoners and God blessed Joseph in the jail!

The Chief Butler and Baker:

In those days, kings and rulers became angry very easily.  Two of Pharaoh's officers did something he didn't like, and so he had the chief Butler and Baker thrown into jail where Joseph was in charge of all the prisoners.  One night the Butler and the Baker each had a dream, and when Joseph met them the next morning he saw that they were very sad.

When he asked them why they were so sad, they told him about their dreams, and that no one could explain to them what the dreams meant.  Now Joseph knew a lot about dreams, didn't he?  (Let the children respond).  Yes, because God had given him two wonderful dreams when he was a young man living with his father and with his brothers.  God helped Joseph to understand dreams, so he asked the Butler and the Baker to tell him their dreams.

The Butler's Dream:

So the Chief Butler told Joseph his dream where he saw a vine with three branches which budded, then blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes.  He had Pharaoh's cup in his hand and squeezed the grapes into the cup and gave it to Pharoah.  Joseph told the butler it meant that in three days he would be out of jail, and would again be Pharaoh's chief butler!

The butler must have been so happy and when he was set free, Joseph asked him to speak to Pharaoh to see if something could be done to get him out of jail.  The butler promised to do this, but before he arrived at Pharaoh's palace, he had already forgotten what he promised Joseph, and did not think about it again for two whole years!

The Baker's Dream:

When the baker heard this good dream, he told Joseph about his dream.   However, his dream was not a good one.  He dreamt that three baskets of bread were on his head and in the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket!

"Oh dear!"said Joseph, "Your dream means that you are going to be killed within three days!"  And so it happened just as Joseph had said.  Even though the interpretation of the dream was a bad one, Joseph was a good man and always told the truth.

The Butler Remembers:

After the two years, Pharaoh himself had two dreams and these caused him tremendous fear and worry.  He sent for his magicians and wise men and asked them to explain the dreams, but they were unable to tell him the meaning.  This made Pharoah very cross and all the officers and servants in the palace must have shivered in their boots!

When the Butler saw how worried Pharaoh was about his dreams, he suddenly remembered Joseph, who was still in charge of prisoners in the jail, and how correctly Joseph had explained his dream.  The butler suddenly remembered that he had promised to speak to Pharaoh about Joseph, and now he felt very bad that he had forgotten to do so!  Must we always do what we have promised?  (Let the children respond).   Yes, we must always tell the truth and do what we have promised!

Pharoah's Dreams:

But here was a good chance to tell Pharaoh about Joseph and so he did.   Pharaoh straight away sent for Joseph and told his dreams to him.  They were very strange dreams!  In his first dream Pharaoh saw seven fat cows come up out of the water.  They were very nice looking and healthy, but then he saw seven lean cows come up out of the water and eat up the seven fat cows!

Pharaoh's second dream was just as strange.  In this dream the king saw seven very large ears of corn.  And then he saw seven shrivelled ears of corn that had no kernels at all.  These seven poor ears of corn ate up the seven good ears, just as the seven lean cows had eaten up the seven fat cows!

Of course these were only dreams, but they greatly worried Pharoah.   With God's help, Joseph was able to explain to Pharaoh that these dreams meant that there were to be seven years of abundant crops.  But then there were to be seven years of famine when nothing at all would grow!   He then told Pharaoh that the right thing to do during the seven years of plenty was to store away all the grain and food they possibly could.   Then there would be enough for everybody to eat during the seven years when nothing would grow.

Joseph Rewarded:

Pharaoh was delighted that Joseph could explain the dreams for him, and knowing in advance about these seven good years, they could take Joseph's advice so that no one would go hungry.  Pharaoh was so pleased that he immediately released Joseph from prison and made him ruler over all Egypt!

From that time on, no one in the whole country had more authority than Joseph, except the king himself.  He instructed Joseph to make all the necessary arrangements to take care of the food which would grow in abundance during the seven good years and Joseph did a very good job of this.

God wants to Bless Us:

God blessed Joseph and used him to interpret Pharoah's dreams and become the ruler of Egypt and God also wants to bless the lives of children who love and obey Him.

Lets ask Jesus to help you to obey God and please Him in all you do and say.  And then God will be pleased to continue to bless your life each day as you serve Him with all of your heart!

God bless.


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