Joseph’s story begins in Genesis chapter 37.
Joseph as a father in the Bible.
- After Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt, he married an Egyptian woman named Asenath, and they had two sons together: Manasseh and Ephraim.
1. Naming of his sons: When Joseph’s first son was born, he named him Manasseh, saying, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household” (Genesis 41:51). The name Manasseh signifies Joseph’s gratitude for the new life and blessings God had given him, despite the hardships he had experienced.
- Genesis 41:51-52 NIV Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
2. Blessing his sons: In Genesis 48, Joseph brings his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to his dying father, Jacob, for a blessing. Joseph positions his sons for Jacob’s blessing according to their birth order, with Manasseh, the firstborn, at Jacob’s right hand. However, Jacob, guided by the Spirit of God, intentionally crosses his hands and blesses Ephraim, the younger son, with his right hand. This act symbolizes Joseph’s role as a father, transmitting blessings and inheritance to his children.
Joseph’s actions reflect his faithfulness to God and his commitment to fulfilling his responsibilities as a father.
Title: Lessons from Joseph: A Father’s Faith, Integrity, and Leadership
- Introduce the story of Joseph and his significance as a father figure.
- Highlight the importance of fathers in shaping the lives of their children.
I. A Father’s Faith (Genesis 50:19-21)
- Discuss Joseph’s unwavering faith in God through challenging circumstances.
- Explore the impact of a father’s faith on his children’s spiritual development.
- Encourage fathers to cultivate and demonstrate faith in God’s promises.
Genesis 50:18-20 NIV His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
- Joseph has unwavering faith in God through challenging circumstances.
- A Father’s faith(or absence of) is a cornerstone in his children’s spiritual development.
- Fathers must cultivate and demonstrate faith in God’s promises.
Let’s contrast how most men might have responded to the hardships Joseph faced compared to Joseph’s response:
1. Sold into Slavery:
- Most men might have harbored resentment, sought revenge, or given in to despair.
- Joseph responded with resilience and trust in God, making the best of his circumstances and using his abilities to excel wherever he was placed.
2. False Accusation:
- Many men might have become bitter, angry, or resigned to their fate.
- Joseph, on the other hand, maintained his integrity and steadfastness, refusing to compromise his principles even in the face of false accusation and imprisonment.
- While imprisonment would likely lead to discouragement and a sense of hopelessness for many men,
- Joseph didn’t allow his circumstances to define him. He continued to use his God-given gifts, interpreting dreams for fellow prisoners and remaining faithful to his calling.
4. Forgotten by the Cupbearer:
- After accurately interpreting dreams for the cupbearer and baker, Joseph could have easily become disillusioned and despondent when the cupbearer forgot about him.
- Joseph chose not to dwell on bitterness or self-pity but maintained his trust in God’s timing and faithfulness.
5. Years of Separation from Family:
- Most men would likely feel great sorrow and longing for their family after being separated for many years.
- Joseph experienced deep emotional pain, but he chose to focus on the bigger picture and entrusted his family’s well-being to God.
6. Famine and Responsibility:
- The weight of managing resources during a severe famine could easily overwhelm anyone. However,
- Joseph demonstrated exceptional wisdom, foresight, and responsibility in handling this task.
- Made wise decisions,
- forgave his brothers, and
- ensured the well-being of both the Egyptians and his own family.
II. Integrity in Fatherhood (Genesis 39:7-9)
- Joseph demonstrated integrity in the face of temptation and adversity.
- The role of father as examples of honesty, righteousness, and loyalty.
- A Father’s integrity (or lack of) will influence his children’s character.
III. Leadership Lessons (Genesis 41:38-44)
- Examine Joseph’s leadership qualities and achievements.
- Fathers must take the lead in nurturing and guiding their children.
- Fathers can provide wise counsel, make responsible decisions, and inspire their children.
- Genesis 41:39-40 NIV Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
IV. Forgiveness and Restoration (Genesis 45:1-15)
- Joseph demonstrated acts of forgiveness and reconciliation with his brothers.
- Fathers must teach forgiveness and modeling reconciliation within the family.
- There is transformative power of forgiveness in healing broken relationships.
- Genesis 45:4-7 NIV Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
V. God’s Fatherly Love (Psalm 103:13; Matthew 7:11)
- Connect Joseph’s role as a father to God’s love and care for His children.
- Discuss how earthly fathers can reflect God’s unconditional love, compassion, and provision.
- Encourage fathers to nurture a deep sense of security, acceptance, and affection in their children’s lives.
- Psalms 103:13-14 NIV As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
Overall, the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 through 50 teaches us about:
- God’s faithfulness, the power of forgiveness, the importance of character and integrity, and the redemptive nature of God’s plans.
- It encourages us to trust in God’s providence, seek reconciliation, and live a life that honors Him, knowing that He can turn even the most challenging circumstances into opportunities for growth and blessing.
Encourage fathers to seek God’s guidance, rely on His grace, and emulate Joseph’s faith, integrity, and leadership.
- While many men might have succumbed to bitterness, revenge, or despair in the face of such hardships,
- Joseph responded with resilience, integrity, and faith in God.
- His unwavering trust, humility, and ability to see beyond his circumstances allowed him to rise above adversity and become a source of blessing and leadership.
- Joseph’s response serves as an inspiring example of how faith and character can transform one’s response to challenges.