Devotional for December 11th

You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives.

Genesis 50:20

PAUSE: Joseph came from a big family. He had 11 brothers! Jacob was Joseph’s dad. Out of all of his brothers Joseph was his dad’s favorite. One day, his dad got him a beautiful coat made out of many different colors. To top it off, Joseph kept having dreams that his brothers were bowing down to him. He would share this with his brothers. This made them very jealous of him and they grew to hate him.

One day Joseph went to check on his brothers while they were working in the fields. They took his coat and threw Joseph into a pit and later sold him to slave traders on their way to Egypt. They wanted to get rid of Joseph forever. Joseph continued to trust God even though things got worse for him. He worked hard as a slave and he was eventually thrown into jail for something he did not do.

One night Pharaoh had a dream about skinny cows eating up fat cows. He heard that Joseph could interpret dreams so he sent for him. Joseph told Pharaoh his dream meant there would be seven years with plenty of food and seven years with no food. Pharaoh was so pleased with Joseph that he put him in charge of collecting food for the kingdom. Meanwhile, Joseph’s family was not doing well. They were running out of food. They heard Egypt had plenty of food so they traveled there to buy some.

They went and knelt before Joseph just like in his dreams. His brothers did not recognize him but Joseph knew who they were. When Joseph revealed himself to them they were afraid because of all they had done to him. They deserved punishment. Instead, Joseph forgave his brothers. He told them, “What you meant for evil God has used for good. You meant to kill me but God used all of these bad things to save thousands of lives and even yours.”

God had a plan for Joseph and his family. Many years later, the baby Jesus would descend from the family of one of Joseph’s brothers, Judah. Jesus would die on a cross so that we could be forgiven.

PRAY:  Jesus, help us to trust You even when things are not going well for us. Help us remember that you are in control. Thank you for loving us and letting us be a part of your plan.

FAMILY ACTIVITY: Go on a “trust walk”. Blindfold your child and lead them by hand or voice through an obstacle course. Use this opportunity to talk about how Joseph trusted God through hard things even though he could not see what God was doing.