(Message 1) Who’s your favorite child? Grandchild? That’s a dangerous question. Many of us would dismiss this as an absurd question. Playing favorites leads to hurt and family dysfunction, just ask Joseph and his brothers. Join us as we look at jealousy and family disfunction in the life of Joseph.
When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
How do you like your coffee? If your family members were cups of coffee who would be the black, the cream, the double shot espresso, the caramel mocha Frappuccino? If you SG Group members were cups of coffee what would they be?
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Read Genesis 37. How did Jacob’s favoritism toward Rachel and then Joseph play a part in this family’s dysfunction. Did you experience similar dysfunction when you were growing up? What are some practical lessons families can learn from their stories? Are there any “family history” issues you need to overcome or avoid? Any items you want to preserve for your family?
Describe your relationship with your siblings. Can you relate to some of the feelings in Joseph’s family? Explain.
As a parent or grandparent how do you love your kids equally?
Genesis 37:18-20 records the bitter words and evil plot of Joseph’s brothers. How does jealousy and bitterness lead to really stupid decisions? Can you think of examples in your life?
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
God used Joseph and his brothers to be the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. How does that reality speak to God’s redemptive power? Have you experienced God’s redemptive power in your own life? Share with the group.
What was the importance of Joseph’s dreams for his family? For Joseph? How did those dreams sustain Joseph in the hard days that lay ahead for him?
Do you remember your dreams? What are some funny dreams you have had? Have you ever felt God has spoken to you through your dreams? Do you feel like shaped your future? If so, share with the group.
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Troy talked about how if we are quitting when things get hard then we aren’t making an impact. Commit this week when a hard situation comes your way to standing strong in the Lord and learn from the situation.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
God, thank you so much for the story of the life of Joseph. Please help me to learn to stand strong in Your power when things in life get hard. Please continue to work in and bless my family. Please use Josephs’ story to help my family to see where we have dysfunction and help us to overcome it.-Amen