The Bible is full of true stories about people who saw God do amazing things in their lives. One of those people is Joseph, and this is part of his story.
Joseph went through some pretty tough things in his life. One thing we didn’t see in the video was that his mom died when he was still pretty young. That must have been really hard for him. The good thing was that his dad loved him very much. The problem was, his dad loved him so much that it made his older brothers jealous, and they hated him because of it. That made life even harder for him.
God knew what Joseph was going through, and He wanted him to know He was with him and had a special plan for his life. When God wanted to tell Joseph something, he gave him special dreams. Joseph’s dreams showed him that someday he would be a ruler and his brothers would bow down around him. God was going to use him to do something very important! He was probably surprised, confused, and scared when his older brothers grabbed him and threw him into a well. Then, when they pulled him back out so they could sell him as a slave, he probably wondered why that was happening to him. It must have been a pretty awful thing to go through!
Joseph was taken all the way to Egypt, more than 300 miles away from his home. Walking and riding on camels, it probably took about 15 days to get there, maybe more. When they got to Egypt, Joseph was sold to an Egyptian man named Potiphar. He was far away from home, in a strange place where he did know anyone, didn’t understand their way of life, and didn’t even speak their language! He had to do whatever Potiphar wanted him to do, and slaves were usually not treated very well by the people in power. That wasn’t right, but it was how they lived in Egypt back then. Joseph remembered the dreams God had given him and trusted God’s plan for his life. He worked hard to learn everything he needed to know about life in Egypt. He obeyed Potiphar and showed him respect. And God was with Joseph. He helped him in everything he did, just like He had done for Jacob. Potiphar noticed that God was with Joseph. He was so impressed by Joseph, he put him in charge of everything in his entire household! God was with Joseph and helped him, but that didn’t mean his life would be easy from now on. He still went through hard times. Potiphar’s wife didn’t like Joseph, so she lied about him and told Potiphar that Joseph had tried to hurt her. Potiphar believed his wife and had Joseph put in prison. Prison wasn’t a great place to be, but God was still with Joseph, even there. Just like Joseph had earned Potiphar’s trust and respect, he also earned the respect and trust of the prison warden. It was pretty clear to everyone that God was with Joseph, and everything he did was successful. The prison warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and everything that happened in the prison. One night, two prisoners who had worked for Pharaoh had dreams, and they didn’t know what their dreams meant. Joseph knew God could tell him the meaning of the dreams, so he asked the men to tell him about their dreams. The first one was Pharaoh’s cup bearer. He was responsible for making sure none of the food or drinks that were given to the king had been poisoned. In his dream, he squeezed some grape juice into a cup and gave it to Pharaoh. God told Joseph the dream meant the cup bearer would get his job back. Joseph told the cup bearer the good news and asked him to tell Pharaoh about Joseph and what had happened to him. The second man was a baker. In his dream, birds were eating pastries out of a basket he was carrying on his head. His dream wasn’t such good news. God told Joseph the dream meant he would not get his job back. Three days later, the cup bearer got his job back, but the baker didn’t. Everything happened exactly as God had told Joseph! But the cup bearer forgot all about Joseph and didn’t say anything to Pharaoh about him. It seemed like every time things started to look good for him, something went wrong. He was still stuck waiting in prison. It’s sometimes hard to understand why hard things happen to us. Sin is anything we think, say or do that goes against what God tells us. Sin destroys our relationship with God. Sin also damaged God’s creation and brought things like sickness, death, sadness, and pain into the world. If you’ve ever wondered why bad things happen, that’s why. It’s because of sin. I have great news for you! There is no sin in heaven! And there is no pain, sadness, sickness, or death in heaven, either. Heaven is a perfect place, and it’s where we can live forever with Jesus someday if we believe he died to save us from our sin. Nothing bad will ever happen to us in heaven. For now, though, we live in a place that has been damaged by sin, and bad things still do happen. But God promises that no matter what we’re going through, He is right there with us. He’s happy when we’re happy, and He’s sad when we’re sad. He will never leave us, and He will help us through the hard times in our lives. In your Trailbook, in Deuteronomy 31:8, it says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” There’s a lot more to Joseph’s story. God had some really cool things planned for him. Click here to read about it!