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Vayigash(Genesis 44:18-47:27)

Seeing God's Plan


An exciting scene was taking place in the Royal Palace. Joseph was the powerful viceroy of Egypt and his brothers who were standing right in front of him didn't even know it was him! And now Joseph was about to reveal the big secret.

Many years before, Joseph's brothers had done something very cruel to him. They had thrown him in a pit, and sold him as a slave. But God was good to Joseph. The young slave managed to win his freedom and became the viceroy of Egypt. He was almost like a king.

Now Joseph's brothers were in Egypt to buy food. They came before Joseph, who controlled all the supplies, but they didn't recognize him.

Suddenly as the bewildered brothers bowed before him, Joseph yelled out: "I am Joseph, your brother, the one you sold as slave!"

Joseph's brothers were terrified. They thought: "We hurt him when we sold him into slavery and now he's going to hurt us back to get revenge."

But Joseph didn't look angry. In fact, he spoke to his brothers with love.

"Don't worry," he told them gently. "You don't have to be afraid that I'm going to hurt you just because you once hurt me," he said. "I know that everything that happened was part of God's plan. No, don't be scared, my brothers, because I forgive you."

 


In this story three boys grow into men, and learn that not everything in life has to turn out...

"EVEN STEVEN"

The Laytze brothers, Freddy and Tim used to have one favorite hobby -- teasing Steven Nebbs. They used to make his life miserable. They teased him from the first day of first grade on. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year.

Many years passed and Freddy and Tim grew up. They forgot all about Steven. Until one day when they were driving together, and a policeman stopped them.

"We're sorry officer, we hope you won't give us a ticket…" they started to say, but then they noticed that the policeman was looking at them strangely.

"Don't you remember me?" the policeman said, "I'm Steven Nebbs, the one you used to tease all the time!"

Freddy and Tim couldn't believe their eyes. This big, strong-looking policeman was really Steven, all grown up.

"Oh no!" whispered Freddy. "We're in big trouble!"

"Yeah," added Tim. "Now he's going to get back at us for all the teasing. He'll probably put us in jail!"

But Steven only smiled and said, "I know what you're thinking -- that now I'm going to get even with you for all the bad things you did to me when we were kids."

Freddy and Tim just swallowed hard.

"Don't worry," said the policeman. "I forgive you. Revenge won't help anybody. But from now on drive more carefully or next time I will have to give you a ticket."

As they drove off, Freddy said to Tim, " Steven was really such a nice guy. Why did we ever tease him?"

 


Ages 3-5

Q. How did Freddy and Tim feel when they saw that the big policeman was really Steven?
A. They were scared, because they had been mean to him and thought he'd get even now.

Q. How would you feel if you were Steven and you saw Freddy and Tim in the car?

Ages 6-9

Q. If Steven was a big, tough police officer, why didn't he take revenge on Freddy and Tim?
A. Because he forgave them. It's very important to forgive people and not take revenge even when we have an opportunity.

Q. Do you think Steven did the right thing?
A. Yes, because revenge never solves anything; it just makes people more angry and bitter.

Q. How was Steven similar to Joseph in what he did?

Ages 10 and Up

Q. Sometimes people say that "revenge is sweet." Do you agree? Why or why not?

Q. Do you think Steven's reaction to meeting Freddy and Tim after all these years was a good one? What would you have done? Why?

Q. How did Freddy and Tim feel about what they did to Steven after he forgave them? Do you think they would have felt differently if he had tried to get even?

 

Published: January 25, 2000

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