Many of us experience favouritism in our lives. Sometimes at school, one of the children in the class is treated differently and given special privileges. This can make the other students in the class feel undervalued and resentful.
Today we are going to hear the story of Joseph. This story hinges on the ordinary human failing of parental favouritism. We also see that all through the story of Joseph’s life, God had his protective hand on Joseph and whatever situation Joseph finds himself in God is with him.
Jacob had many sons but foolishly he made it clear to his whole family that Joseph was his favourite son. This special treatment of Joseph made his brothers truly hate him. To make matters worse Jacob made Joseph a very special coat of many colours which really set him apart from his brothers. This made the brothers even more jealous so when they saw him they would not even speak to him.
Then Joseph had two dreams which he unwisely told his brothers about. He told them that they were all in the field tying up bundles of wheat and that his bundle stood up straight and that his brother’s bundles had bowed down to him.
In the second dream he told his brothers that the sun and moon and eleven stars had bowed down to him. When his father heard what he said he scolded Joseph and his brothers hated him even more.
One day Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to go and see if his brother who were minding the sheep and find out if they were safe. When Jacob got to that area he could not find them, but a local man told him that the brothers had gone to Dothan. When he was a long way off his brothers saw him coming and they decided to kill him.
They threw Joseph into a dry well, they tore up his many coloured coat and covered it with goat’s blood. They decided to tell their father that Joseph had been eaten by wild animals. The brothers sent the blood-stained coat back to their father. Jacob wept for his son when he saw the coat.
Ruben the eldest brother had second thoughts about this plan and decided to go back later to rescue Joseph. But he was too late the brothers had sold Joseph to passing traders. The traders took Joseph down to Egypt and they sold him in a slave market for twenty pieces of silver.
Potiphar an official in Pharaoh’s household bought Joseph. Potiphar was so pleased with Joseph’s work that he put him in charge of the whole household. The Lord was with Joseph and made him successful. Because of Joseph the Lord blessed the whole household and it prospered.
Next week we are going to continue with the life of Joseph. Throughout the story we will see that the Lord God was with Joseph and showed him his steadfast love.
Today’s Sunday School lesson is from Revd Peta May.