By | September 20, 2020


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Date: Sunday, September 20, 2020.


Devotional Reading : Psalm 51.

Background Scripture : Genesis 42.

Lesson Scripture : Genesis 42:6-25.


Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood. Genesis 42:22

Primary Learning Outcome/Indicators:

Learners will know that God has commanded us to love one another as He loves us and indicate achievement of this by:

– Stating some reasons Joseph’s brothers could not recognise him;

–  Identifying ways believers can overcome their tendencies for revenge with the understanding that vengeance belongs to God;


Brother Adams Uyi, lost his parents at a tender age and was adopted by an uncle who promised to train him through university. For Adams, this will help him to fulfil his dream of becoming a medical doctor. Unfortunately, this never came to pass. Apart from the fact that Adams was denied the opportunity of attending school, he became a sales boy in one of his uncle’s shops while his cousins attended the best school in town. He was made to do all the house chores and sometimes he was deprived food and proper care. One day, Adams ran away from the home without anyone knowing of his whereabouts. He began to sleep under the bridge until he met a pastor who willingly accommodated him, cared for him and promised to train him to the university. In fact, Adams enjoyed the necessary care and education through the pastor. After his graduation as a medical doctor, he got employed at a Federal Medical Centre. One day, his uncle walked into the hospital and was directed to be attended to by Doctor Adams. Immediately the old man entered his office, Adams recognised him. He treated him with courtesy and paid for his medications. When the old man inquired why the doctor was so generous, he smiled and introduced himself as his son, Adams. Haunted with shame, the old man broke down in tears and held him to himself begging for forgiveness. The story above is similar to the case of Joseph and his brothers who were haunted by shame when they finally realised that their supposed dead brother was alive, and occupying an exalted position in a foreign land.

The whole story shows that God was always in charge, such that good came out of the evil that the brothers of Joseph had committed against him. The burden and shame of past sins and failures are issues that many Christians contend with silently. This is the situation that Joseph’s brothers found themselves. They were troubled by the shame of their past misdeeds. The lesson focuses on the burden and shame Joseph’s brothers faced when Joseph revealed himself to them as the second in command in the land of Egypt.



According to Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, the seven years of plenty was gone and the other seven years of famine had just begun. As recommended by Joseph, there was enough food throughout Egypt but there was severe famine in other countries that people came from all over the world to buy food from Egypt (Genesis 41:57). When Jacob learnt that there was food in Egypt, he immediately told his sons to go and buy but Benjamin was left behind because he did not want to risk his life (vv. 3-4). Behold, Joseph’s dream was fulfilled when his brothers bowed down before him with their heads to the ground as courtesy demands. Immediately, Joseph recognised them but they did not recognise him probably because of his new appearance and they never expected him to be alive, let alone occupy such an exalted position. Besides, it was almost two decades they separated and he spoke an Egyptian language through an interpreter. According to verse 9, Joseph remembered his dreams and in pretense, he accused them falsely as if they were spies. Despite their explanation in verses 10-13, they were all kept in prison custody for three days. The only condition for their release was to keep Simon behind so that others will go and bring their youngest brother (Benjamin) to prove their sincerity. Benjamin is significant in the account because he was Joseph’s full brother. Joseph’s unfriendly attitude toward his brothers was not with the intention to revenge for their wrongdoing. It was to bring to pass the accomplishment of his dreams and to have an update of the state of his family, which he desired to know.

It is, therefore, important for believers to be careful with how they treat others because every action we take, whether good or bad has its own consequences. Joseph’s brothers never expected that they would see him again, not even in such an exalted position.

Our daily relationship with people within and outside the church leaves some memories with them. It can be played back someday in the future because human minds have the capacity to recollect good and bad experiences, no matter how long ago it took place. Even though we may not be able to recognize them but within us, the guilt of the event that transpired between us in the past will be remembered.


1. Discuss some memories that usually run through your minds whenever you see someone who once favoured or maltreated you, as the case may be.

2. Explain the steps you will take to correct the wrong done to you in the past.

3. If you were in Joseph’s shoes, what would you have done immediately you saw your brothers?


Three days after Joseph’s brothers had stayed in Egypt, he made them know that he is a God-fearing man and repeated the condition for which he will spare their lives. Ultimately, he agreed to release them on two conditions:

Firstly, one of them will remain in prison while the others will go and take grains for their starving household.

Secondly they must bring their youngest brother who they had told him was with their father so as to prove their sincere journey (v. 16).

They blamed one another and regarded their present suffering as punishment for the sins they committed against their brother, Joseph. But Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” (v. 22).  Unfortunately, they did not know Joseph could understand them since he communicated to them through an interpreter. When he heard this, he was moved with emotion and turned aside to weep. He, however, seized Simon and gave an order to fill their sack with grains with their money in their sack. He also made provisions for their journey back home because of the power Pharaoh had bestowed on him (Genesis 41:44).

Joseph’s brothers’ confession in verse 21 is an indication that guilt produces shame and it haunts, even though it may appear to have been forgotten. The Scripture says, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) Joseph’s brothers covered up the matter for many years thinking that it was a forgotten issue until their encounter in Egypt that caused them to remember how they treated Joseph wickedly. They quickly interpreted the situation they found themselves as the consequence of their cruel actions toward their brother.

Joseph’s generosity towards his brothers, despite the ill-treatment he suffered from them reminds us of our responsibility to do good to those who hate and maltreat us. Christians should constantly remember that one of the ways to overcome the tendency to revenge any act of wickedness is to remember Jesus’ teaching about our relationship with our enemies. According to Matthew’s account, He commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us so that we may be sons of our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45a). The most challenging aspect of the story is that Joseph did not seek revenge; rather he showed his brothers genuine love and commanded that their bags be filled with enough food for the family and he also made provision for their safe trip back home.


1. To what extent is the saying, “What goes round comes around” true, in light of the story of Joseph and his brothers?

2. Joseph said to his brothers in verse 18 that he fears God. Discuss how true the statement is.

3. Discuss why Joseph turned aside and wept when he heard his brothers blaming themselves.


Pray and cancel the tendency to do evil things against other people, like the brothers of Joseph.

Confess any sin the Holy Spirit is bringing to your heart now. Ask God to forgive you and heal your wounded conscience.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will create in you a new heart, give you assurance of forgiveness and restore the joy of your salvation.


Let the class members mention different sayings concerning getting what one deserves. For example, “what goes round comes around.” Let them contrast such sayings with God’s love, forgiveness, and grace.

They are to sing Baptist Hymnal 212- Love Lifted Me


No one can thwart the plan of God for our lives.

It is not good to repay evil with evil.

Christians should not plan evil for others.

God’s plan for our lives must surely come to pass.

Suppressing guilt does not help, rather confess it and ask for forgiveness.

Our burden of guilt can lead us to make restitution or public confession of our misdeeds.

Forgiveness is essential in our relationship with God and humankind.

Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!

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