Scripture: Genesis 39
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis 39 (page 68 – 69 of The Golden Children’s Bible.)
Remind them that last week Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him that they sold him to merchants who took him to Egypt.
Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.
- Who bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites? Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh.
- Working for Potiphar would be like working for the right hand man of the President, wouldn’t it. Do you think that Joseph realized that God was taking care of him when he saw where he was going to be living? Yes. It was probably a very big, fancy house.
- Why did Potiphar like Joseph? The Lord was with him. Everything that Joseph did went well. Therefore, Potiphar’s house was also blessed. Potiphar didn’t have to worry about anything when Joseph was in charge.
- What do you think that Joseph was doing that made him such a good servant? He was responsible. He was respectful. He probably worked hard and got more done than anybody else. He probably never complained. etc.
- How did Potiphar reward him? He put him in charge of everything in his household.
- When you do a job for your mom or dad, are they happy with the job you do? Are you a good worker?
- What are some of the chores that you do at home? How can you do that job better?
- Why did Potiphar’s wife like Joseph? Because he was handsome.
- What did Joseph say to her when she asked for his love? He said no because he didn’t want to betray Potiphar’s trust after he had been so good to him, nor did he want to sin against God.
- Has anybody ever asked you to do something wrong?
- What are some things that someone might ask you to do? Take drugs, smoke, cheat on a test, etc.
- What should your answer be? No, and walk away.
- What did Potiphar’s wife do when Joseph said no to her? She lied about him to Potiphar and claimed that Joseph had attacked her.
- Have you ever been lied about? How did that feel?
- Have you ever lied about someone else? How do you think that that person felt? How do you think that God felt about that?
- What did Potiphar do when he heard this lie? He threw Joseph into prison.
- Did Joseph get angry at God because he was unjustly put into prison? No. The Lord was with Joseph and Joseph was a good worker even in prison.
- Have you ever heard the phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? What do you think that that means? Make something good out of something bad.
- Joseph always made the best out of the situation he was in, didn’t he.
- Let’s pray and ask God to help us to say no to sin and to do our best in every situation…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Ephesians 6:7 “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Watch a video of this story:
Watch “Testament – Bible in Animation – Joseph”. This is a very cute children’s movie about Joseph.
Talk to the children about the importance of work, then play Job Charades.
If the weather is nice, go outside and play Resisting Temptation Tug of War.
Have the children color a color page related to the story.
Color page #1 from Calvary Williomsport
An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Have the children decode this puzzle from Bible Wise.
Read the story “Ups and Downs” by Paul Dallgas-Frey.
Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.
This lesson from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa has a great object lesson.
This activity from Children’s Ministry would work well for older children.
Play the game “Potiphar Says” from Teach Them.
Make these paper pyramids by Tinkerlab. Or if you want a pattern, here is a great one from Don’t Eat the Paste. (Scroll down quite a ways.) Talk about how Joseph was taken far away from his family and home to Egypt. Show them a map to see how far from home he was. This map craft could also be used.
Sing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”, or “God Will Take Care of You”
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.