TO CHEW ON: “Joseph said to them, ‘It is just as I told you: You are spies! And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.’” (Genesis 42: 14,15)
Joseph was made a ruler in EgyptThe dream Joseph explained to Pharaoh came true. After seven years of good crops the rains stopped and crops were poor. Everyone was hungry. When the people came to Pharaoh for food, he sent them to Joseph.
Joseph had collected food in storehouses during the good years. Now he sold the storehouse food to the hungry people. Soon people from countries all around were coming to Joseph for food too.
One day ten foreign travelers came to Joseph. They looked familiar. Suddenly he knew why. They were his brothers! What thoughts do you think went through Joseph’s mind as he saw his brothers again after all those years?
Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him. And he didn’t tell them who he was. “Where are you from?” he asked them roughly. When they told him, he said, “You’re lying. You’re spies.”
“No!” they said. “We’re all sons of one father. Only our youngest brother is with our father in Canaan.”
“You’re spies,” Joseph insisted. He put them in prison. After three few days he let them out and sent them home with food. But he kept one in prison. “He’ll stay here till you come back with your youngest brother.”
In the past these brothers tried to kill Joseph. Now he was testing them. Were they still selfish and mean? Or had they changed?
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to treat others with kindness now, so they won’t have a reason to get even or test me later. Amen.
SUPERSIZE IT: All Kinds of Tests
Joseph tested his brothers’ characters by the way he treated them. Our teachers in school test what we know (our knowledge) by giving quizzes and exams. Here is a fun way to test the physical makeup of some things around your house. This test tells you whether a substance is ACID, BASE or NEUTRAL. (Make sure you get adult supervision when you use the stove.)
What you do:
1. Grate the cabbage and measure 2 cups
2. Place cabbage in the saucepan and cover with water.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes and let cool.
4. Strain out the cabbage, saving the liquid.
5. Pour a little of the liquid in each of the six glasses.
6. Stir one of the things to test into each of the glasses and watch the color change.
7. Cabbage soup tester key:
- If the cabbage soup liquid turns PINK - the test material is ACID
- If the cabbage soup liquid turns BLUE - the test material is BASE
- If the cabbage soup liquid stays SAME - the test material is NEUTRAL