Sunday School Material 1-22-12: Joseph Transmits Abraham's Promise

(Genesis 50:15-26; 1/22/12)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that Joseph was used by God to forgive his brothers and keep the promise of God on the minds of his family members.

Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on forgiving people and trusting the promises of God.

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Body:
Read Genesis 50:15-18
I. Brothers' Fear.
In this section of the Sunday School material when Jacob died, his sons demonstrated great fear of Joseph. They sent word to Joseph about what they claimed Jacob said.

Joseph wept about the situation. The brothers offered themselves as slaves to Joseph - about 39 years after selling Joseph into slavery and enjoying his protection for about 17 years.

Applications -
- Healthy living and death preparation.
Notice in vss. 15, 26 of the Sunday School material that death is sure to come. On one hand, we should work on healthy eating habits, exercising, going to the doctors, getting enough rest, and taking care of our mental health.

In so doing, we can at least improve the quality of our lives. But on the other hand, no matter how hard we try to stay, we all have to leave this life.

This being the case, we should make preparations. Every adult should work on having a will, a living will, health and financial power of attorneys, gifts to the church and perhaps charities, and the like.

The Pastor urges us to think about at least organ donning, if not body donning. But whatever you do, try to have a plan that your loved one are familiar with.

Try to heal any relational issues (esp. with blended families). But the most important thing is to make sure you have accepted Jesus as your savior by faith. Let’s focus on both healthy living and death preparations.

- Forgiving and receiving forgiveness. Notice in vss. 15-18 of the Sunday School material the importance of forgiving people and receiving forgiveness.

Joseph sets a marvelous example of forgiving – releasing negative emotions and cancelling efforts to collect on being mistreated. But the brothers seem to have a problem receiving the forgiveness.

Let’s work on forgiving and receiving forgiveness. We should remember that the measure of our forgiving others has an impact on God’s forgiving us (see Mt. 6:14-15).

Even when people don’t forgive us like Joseph forgave his brothers, we need to learn to forgive ourselves and accept the forgiveness that God gives us, as we move along with our lives. Don’t mess up today with guilt from yesterday.

- Family and loved ones. Notice in vss. 17, 23 of the Sunday School material that family can be the source of tears and smiles. In vs. 17, we see Joseph weeping over the drama going on with his brothers.

But in vs. 23, we can image smiles inspired by grandchildren. Those you love the most can make you cry the bitterest tears and smile the biggest smile.

Let’s work on loving and enjoying our loved ones, with the realization that we all have to cry sometimes. Before you know it, loved ones will die on you. Learn to enjoy them, while you have them.

Read Genesis 50:19-21
II. Joseph's Fidelity.
Joseph assures them that nothing has changed in this section of the Sunday School material. Joseph is leaving vengeance to God. Joseph sees that what was intended for harm is being used by God for good. Joseph pledges to continue his kindness.

Applications -
- Trusting God when mistreated.
Notice in vss. 19-21 that Joseph understood that vengeance belongs to God. Therefore, Joseph kept on being kind to those who mistreated him and trusted God to work things out for the good of His people.

Let’s work on trusting God to deal with those who mistreat us and to work things out for our good. God can do more with our enemies than we can. We may be delaying our blessings by seeking our own revenge.



Read Genesis 50:22-26
III. Joseph's Final Days.
In this section of the Sunday School material Joseph died at the age 110. He saw great grand children. He assured his family of God's promises to take them out of Egypt. He also made them pledge to take his bones with them out of Egypt.

Applications -
- The promises of God.
Notice in vss. 24-25 of the Sunday School material that Joseph believed the promises of God and passed them on to his loved ones. First, we should study and know the promises of God.

Second, we should trust them so much that we live accordingly. And third, we should pass the promises of God on with both our words and our living faith. Let’s work on living by and passing on the promises of God.

Conclusion: Let's work on forgiving people and trusting the promises of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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