Of all his twelve sons, Jacob favored Joseph because “he was the son of his old age” (Gen. 37:3). Knowing this made the other brothers hate Joseph. One day when they were tending their flocks away from home, Jacob sent Joseph to see if all was well with them. When they saw him approach, some of them wanted to kill him. Reuben, the oldest son, talked them into capturing Joseph, instead, and putting him into a pit. They later sold him to a passing caravan, then led their father to believe that he had been killed by a wild animal.
Joseph was taken to Egypt and put to work in the house of Potiphar, a captain of Pharaoh’s guard. In spite of all that had happened to him, Joseph remained faithful to the word of God, to what he knew was good and true. “And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Gen. 39:3). Joseph was made an overseer in Potiphar’s house.
One day Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph to do something that he knew was wrong. Remembering how the Lord wanted him to live, he answered, “How … can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9). He quickly left. Potiphar’s wife was angry and caused trouble for Joseph, but he still “held to the iron rod” and followed the teachings of God.
Later Joseph was reunited with his brothers, whom he forgave, and with his father. From his example and other stories of righteous men and women in the scriptures, you may learn that you, too, can choose to always follow the Savior’s example and obey His commandments.
Mount the flannel-board figures on heavier paper, color them, and cut them out. Use them to tell about the faithfulness of Joseph.
Potiphar’s wife; Joseph as a 17-year-old Israelite; Reuben, the oldest son; Joseph, as an overseer in Egypt; The other brothers. (Illustrated by Beth Whittaker.)