Start the challenge by finding and reading a Bible verse from Genesis 45:5b.
Think about the good and bad bits of your life. Start from when you were a baby and draw an up-and-down “lifeline” up to “today”.
What are your strongest memories? What have been the best times? When have been the worst times? Draw a smiley face on the line to show where God was working.
Look at your lifeline again and think about the part you have not yet drawn: the future. Think about what God has given you. What skills and interests do you have? What might you do? Where might you go? Use your lifeline to show where God fits into your life now – and where you think he will fit in the future.
The story so far…
On their return journey, Joseph used cunning schemes to test his brothers. Had they changed over the years? Joseph’s servant placed his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain. Then the servant chased after the brothers and accused them of stealing from Joseph. Judah begged Joseph to put him in prison rather than Benjamin, saying he couldn’t face his father’s grief over another lost son. Judah had learned his lesson. And any hurt and anger that Joseph might still have had about the way his brothers had treated him was now overcome by his love for them.
Now read Genesis 45:1–15 together.
What happened next…
There was great celebration. Joseph invited the whole family to come to Egypt to live – and Jacob died there, a happy old man. Joseph told his brothers that what they had meant for bad, God had used for good. Both they and thousands of others had survived a great famine.
Joseph knew that, one day, God would lead his people back to the land he had promised to his great-grandfather Abram. He made his family promise that, when that happened, his body would be taken home to the land God had promised them.
Explore the Bible
Answer the questions from Big Bible Challenge page 24 together.
Did you know…?
Goshen This was an area of Egypt where the Pharaoh allowed Joseph’s family to live. With water from the River Nile, it was a good place for growing crops and for keeping animals.
Families The history of a family is called a “genealogy”. This history was important to the Jews, who respected their parents and grandparents and all those who had lived before them. The Bible has many family lists, especially in the book called “Numbers”.
Joseph’s children After he became governor of Egypt, Joseph married an Egyptian woman called Asenath. They had two sons. Joseph chose their names: Manasseh means “God has let me forget all my troubles and my family back home”; Ephraim means “God has made me a success in the land where I suffered”.
Try it out
Look through all the Bible stories in Challenge 3 and find the good plans that God had for Joseph’s family. Do you think that Joseph always understood them? How can you know that God was always with Joseph’s family? What helps you to see that God kept caring for Joseph?
If you have already done Challenge 2, draw a family tree of Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and the other family members. Ask your Bible Coach to help you find their names in Genesis 12-45.
Now think about your own family and all the people you know who are related to you in some way. Try drawing a family tree of them, too. If you enjoy doing this, you could make a large copy and add on photos or pictures of the people (or create the diagram on a computer and add digital photos).
Look at your family tree and remember that God has good plans for your family too, although you might not understand them yet. How can you know that God is always with your family? What helps you to see that God keeps caring for you?
Talk to God
Joseph found that God is always reliable, can always be trusted and will bring good out of what seems to be bad. Think of something that God has done for you or someone in your family. Draw a picture about it, thanking God as you draw. Think of a caption for your picture and write on it:
“This picture is called ……………………..
because God has ……………………………….”