Israel’s 70 People Go to Egypt – Joseph (Genesis 46)
Jacob’s family grew. His many sons would one day form the 12 tribes of Israel, the nation through whom the promised Savior would come. During a time of great famine, God used Jacob’s son, Joseph, to move their entire family to Egypt and save them from starvation. When Joseph grew old, he said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land, to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and then you must carry my bones up from this place” (Genesis 50:24-26).
Bible: Read Genesis 46 and 50:24-26 with your family.
Family Activity 1:
Teaching Time: 12 minutes
Materials: shallow basin of water, newspaper/paper towels
Spread out newspaper/paper towels on the floor next to the basin of water. Have one child leave the room. Take turns stepping into the water with bare feet and making footprints on the paper. Have the child return and identify the footprints. Choose a different child to leave the room. This time, pick up a child and make footprints while carrying him. Invite the child to return and guess who was standing on the paper. Discuss the trick. Joseph endured many difficulties in his life, but he was never alone. God was with him all the time—when his brothers threw him in a deep pit, when he was a slave in Egypt, when he was falsely accused and thrown into prison. God carried Joseph through the hard times.
Option: For small families, invite friends to join you, or do this activity with your small group.
1. Which part of the activity was like God’s carrying Joseph? Share about a hard time in your life when you knew God was with you.
2. When God asks us to serve Him in ways that seem risky or difficult, how does knowing that God is always with us encourage us to obey?
Family Activity 2:
Teaching Time: 8 minutes
Materials: ten dominoes
Set up a row of ten dominoes. God passed down His promise to bless the nations through Abraham and his family. Point to the first three dominoes and name the generations together—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Point to the last domino in the row. Many generations later, Jesus, the promised Savior, would be born into this family. Push on the first domino and watch the entire row fall. Set up the row of dominoes again. Point to the third domino. Because of a famine, Jacob’s family was threatened by starvation. What if Jacob’s children had died? Remove dominoes 4-9. Push on the first domino. Observe what happens. Why did God make sure that Jacob’s family survived?
1. After living in Egypt for most of his life, what did Joseph ask his brothers before he died? How does this request show that Joseph continued to trust in God’s promised blessing?
2. What promises has God made about our future with Him? How can we live in the reality of those promises today?
Ask God to make your family bold enough to serve Him in new ways.