A 5-Part Family Devotional by Brent Lanigan
As of this writing, it has been 11 weeks since our world went into the daily reality of quarantining and social distancing. Before March 12, very few of us had ever heard of COVID-19 or the terms related to it – such as flattening the curve and personal protective equipment. And now, almost 3 months later, living in a COVID-19 world has become our regular routine.
But getting used to living in a world with rules and protocols related to COVID-19 does not make things easier, does it? Our lives have been drastically interrupted by this virus and it has caused us a lot of heartache, frustration, fear and anxiety.
At times like this it is important to turn to the Bible and draw strength and hope from the stories of biblical characters who went through similar duress in their lives but saw God carry them through it. Specifically, I think of the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, 39-45. Over these 5 devotionals we will discover what we can learn about God from Joseph’s life. Are you ready? Let’s begin…
Part 2: God Cares About Us
Genesis 37:23-28 (ICB) So when Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his robe…Then they threw him into a well. It was empty. There was no water in it. While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. When they looked up, they saw a group of Ishmaelites. They were traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his death? Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” And the other brothers agreed. So when the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. And the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
Story Snippet: Sadly, Joseph’s brothers decided not to kill him only so they would not feel guilty about it. Unfortunately, they still hated him very much and desperately wanted to get rid of him in some way. So they decided to sell him as a slave. As for Joseph, the Bible does not say how he felt but he must have been utterly shocked. How could his own brothers be doing this to him? How could they hate him so much that they wanted to sell him as a slave? No doubt Joseph felt many emotions as his brothers turned against him – confused: “why did my brothers throw me into a pit?”; shocked: “my brothers are selling me as a slave?”; concern: “what have I done wrong?” Perhaps in that moment, Joseph began questioning whether God even cared about him anymore. After all, if God really cared about him, why was he being sold as a slave?
Lesson For Us
Pretend you are Joseph for a moment. How would you be feeling: confused? Wondering what you did wrong? Wondering if God still cared about you? Sometimes when bad things happen, like COVID-19, it’s hard to remember that God still cares about us. But it’s true. He never stops loving us – ever. How do we know that? Because God’s Word, the Bible, tells us so. There are many stories in the Bible that show how God cared for his people. And there are many verses that remind us of this too. And so we can be assured that God loves us very much!
Verse To Remember
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
Questions to Discuss
1. What emotions do you think Joseph felt when his brothers threw him into the empty well and then sold him as a slave?
2. If you were in Joseph’s place, what emotions would you have felt?
3. When bad things happen to you do you think God still cares about you? If so, how do you know?
God, thank you for still caring about Joseph even when he was sold as a slave by his brothers. Help me to remember that you continually care about me too, even when bad things happen to me. Help me to remember that you always love and care about me. Amen.