Joseph and Moses: Better. Not bitter.

joseph in egypt


Read: Genesis 39:20-23; 40; 41 (a lot of reading, but a great story.  Read over several settings)

As we learned last week, Joseph was in prison for something he didn’t do.  Have you ever gotten in trouble for something a brother, sister, or friend did?

When this happens to us, it’s very easy to become angry and bitter.  Bitterness is keeping anger anger inside of us for a long time.  Have you ever seen a rotten piece of fruit? Bitterness is like rotten fruit – dark and yucky – deep inside our hearts.

We don’t know exactly what Joseph did when he was sent to prison.  We do know he didn’t let anger and bitterness destroy him.  You see, that’s what bitterness does if we don’t forgive and move on.  When an apple is rotten, you must remove it from the rest of the apples, or it will spoil the whole bunch.

We know Joseph wasn’t bitter because he continued to obey his masters in jail. He rose to the top.  He interpreted the dreams for the baker and cup bearer.  When he was forgotten for two years, he didn’t give up.  He jumped at the chance to interact with Pharaoh with his dream.

Are you bitter and and angry about anything? Did your mom or dad yell at you?  Did your teacher say an unkind thing?  Did a friend accuse you of a mean thing (you didn’t do)?

Choose to forgive! We don’t want to be like the apple that spoils everything else around us.

Here’s the best part. When we choose to be better and not bitter, God opens doors for us.  For Joseph, God gave the opportunity to interpret two dreams, then the king’s dream, then move into a very powerful position, and as we’ll see next week, save his family!

This week, choose to be better… not bitter!

Questions: What did Joseph do in jail?  Why did Joseph have the chance to interpret the Bake and Cupbearer’s dreams?  How long did Joseph wait for the cupbearer to remember him in jail? What was the final reward for Joseph’s dedication to and patience with God?

Parents: Share a time when you held on to anger and bitterness. How did that negatively impact you and your life? How did you practically let that anger go?


Our theme verse for the story of Joseph (4 weeks) comes from a statement Joseph made to his brothers when they were reunited.  Continue to memorize this scripture:

God turned into good what you meant for evil… so that I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20


Choose one of your child’s favorite fruits. Cup up the fruit to make a snack. As you are cutting the fruit, point out any bad spots.  Share how this is the beginning of a rotten part of the fruit.  Talk about what would happen if it continued to sit for weeks or even days. Finally, point this back to what anger and bitterness does to us in our lives when left uncorrected.


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