TEXT: Genesis 37:1-36
LONG, long ago in a land far across the big ocean there lived a boy named Joseph. He was a good boy. He loved God. Joseph had ten brothers bigger than he was. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. That many. He had one brother who was little, too.
One day Joseph’s father gave him a very pretty coat. It had so many pretty colors in it. Joseph’s big brothers were not happy because Joseph got that coat. Each brother thought he should be the one to have it.
One day Joseph’s daddy told him that his big brothers were taking care of the sheep up in the hills, and he wanted Joseph to go and see how they were getting along, to see if everything was all right.
Joseph was glad to do this for his daddy. He put on his beautiful coat with all the colors and started out to walk to the hills. Walk, walk, walk. It was a long way to where his big brothers took care of the sheep.
The brothers saw him coming. “Here comes Joseph,” they said. They thought, “Father likes him better than he does us. He gave him that beautiful coat.” Those brothers were bad boys and had bad thoughts in their heart to think that.
Some of the brothers were so jealous of Joseph that they even wanted to kill him. His brother Reuben did not want them to hurt Joseph, and he said: “I know what we can do. Let’s put him down in this old well and take his coat away from him.” A well is a deep, deep hole in the ground. Sometimes it has water in it but this well was all dry.
Reuben felt bad about Joseph’s being in the well. He thought he would wait and when the other boys were not looking he would take him out and bring him home to his father.
Lunch time came. The big brothers sat down to eat their lunch. Poor Joseph was still in the well.
While the brothers were eating some men came by. They were on their way, far away, to another country. These men would buy things and sell them. Sometimes, in those days, they even bought and sold people.
One of the brothers said, “Come, and let us sell him.” That was a good idea, thought the other brothers. They went over to talk to the men about selling Joseph.
The men said they would buy him and take him away. They paid the boys about 15 dollars for him. That is not very much money.
Poor Joseph! There he was, way out in the hills, away from his daddy. He had been in the deep hole, and now his brothers were going to send him away with some men he had never seen before. He did not even know where he was going.
Joseph may have asked and asked them not to do such a mean thing to him. They did not listen to him.
When the men who were going to the far-away country started on their way again, they took Joseph with them. The big brothers took his coat away from him, and went back home. They must have felt bad in their hearts.
Now what are they going to tell their father about what happened to Joseph? They did not want him to know how mean they had been to their brother, so they would just tell a lie.
What are they going to say? The brothers wanted their father to think some wild animal had killed Joseph. So they killed a goat and put some of the blood on Joseph’s coat; maybe like when you cut your finger and some blood gets on your clothes. They took the coat to their father. “This have we found,” they said.
When the daddy saw the coat, he believed that a wild animal had killed Joseph. He cried and cried, but the brothers did not tell him the truth.
If your brother or sister gets something new and you do not, always remember to be happy because they have it. When it comes your turn you will get something new, too.
Joseph loved God. God took care of him, and did not let him get hurt when he was far away from home.