Family Devotional: Joseph Saved His Family

Dear Parents,

Last week, kids learned that God had a plan for Joseph’s suffering. The land of Egypt enjoyed seven years of plenty before a famine struck, just as Pharaoh had dreamed. During that time, Joseph gathered all the excess food and stored it in the cities. The famine was severe in every land, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to everyone who needed it.

Jacob and his family lived in Canaan, and Jacob sent his sons to Egypt for grain. Jacob still felt the sting of losing Joseph. He did not allow his youngest son, Benjamin, to go for fear of losing him too. But Joseph wasn’t dead. He was in Egypt and had been elevated to a position of authority. As his sons headed to Egypt, Jacob had no idea that the journey would lead to a family reunion.

Although Joseph recognized his brothers immediately, they did not recognize him. When Joseph finally revealed his identity to his brothers, they must have been in awe that the brother they sold into slavery was now a powerful leader in Egypt! Would Joseph use his authority to rescue his family from the famine? Or would he avenge his brothers’ evil against him?

What Joseph’s brothers intended for harm, God intended for good. Joseph invited his family to come to Egypt where they could thrive. God clearly used Joseph to provide for Jacob’s family and establish a remnant. As Jacob made his way to Egypt, God spoke to him in a vision and repeated the promise He first made to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation” (Gen. 46:3). 

Joseph and his father’s family stayed in Egypt. Before he died, Joseph reminded his brothers of God’s promise to their family. (See Gen. 50:24.) Despite Egyptian oppression, Jacob’s descendants multiplied. God kept His promise, and through the nation of Israel and the tribe of Joseph’s brother Judah, God worked out His plan to provide His Son, Jesus Christ to redeem people from sin.

Emphasize to your kids that God had a plan for Joseph’s life. He allowed Joseph to suffer to rescue a whole nation. In a greater way, God planned for Jesus to suffer so that many—people from all nations—would be saved from sin.

Ashley Kalhagen