It's In The Bag!
by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
Text Version | Afrikaans
Shanika opened the door, dropped her backpack on the floor, and ran straight to her room without saying a word to anyone. She climbed into bed, pulled the covers over her head, and started crying. "It's not fair! It's just not fair!" she whined. "I just don't know why I always get blamed for everything!"
Her brother Marcus was in his room trying to do his homework when he heard her sobbing. He tapped on her door and asked to be allowed to come in. Shanika then blurted out the whole story in between sobs.
In art class that day, one of the boys had gotten into the teacher's supply closet. He had taken out a tub of paint and accidentally dropped it, spilling it all over the floor and on Shanika's desk, which was right beside the closet. He had hurriedly walked away, leaving the mess. Mrs. Johnson had come into the room and she had seen Shanika standing there wondering what to do. Since Shanika was the only one in the room at the time, Mrs. Johnson had falsely assumed she had made the mess and had made her clean it up.
Marcus felt very sorry for his sister. Since he was older, he knew what it was like to be blamed for something he didn't do. He put his arm around her and tried to comfort her. Then he told her he would go with her the next day to talk to Mrs. Johnson.
Shanika quit crying and began feeling a whole lot better. She was glad she had a big brother and she was glad to know he would stand up for her.
Joseph and his brothers had eaten a delicious feast together. They talked, laughed, and enjoyed one another's company, even though the brothers had no idea that it was their own brother, Joseph. They were still quite puzzled about the good treatment they were receiving. Imagine their surprise when, after the meal, they were invited to stay and spend the night there in the house with the man in charge of all Egypt!
Joseph commanded his servants to fill their sacks with as much food as they could carry. He also commanded them to put the money back into each one's sack. Then he commanded them to put his very own silver cup into Benjamin's sack.
In the morning at the crack of dawn, the brothers loaded all the sacks on their donkeys and started toward home. They couldn't help talking about the strange turn of events, and they were glad that this time the trip was a happy one.
Joseph had one of his servants watch them leave. He told the servant, "When they are just outside the city, go after them. Speak harshly to them and ask why they rewarded my goodness to them with evil. Ask why they stole my special silver cup."
The servant did just as he was told. Since he had a chariot and it wasn't loaded down with heavy bundles of food and supplies, he was easily able to catch up with them. "Why have you done evil after we treated you so well?" he asked the brothers, speaking roughly. "Why have you stolen the special silver cup that belongs to the ruler?"
The brothers were speechless. They didn't know what to think or what to say.
"What do you mean?" they questioned. "We returned the money that was found in our sacks, and we have no idea what you are talking about concerning a silver cup. None of us would dare to steal from the ruler, especially after the kindness he has shown us! If you find the silver cup among any of our supplies, then we will all be slaves in the ruler's house." All the brothers nodded in agreement because they were absolutely positive that none of them had the ruler's silver cup.
"All right," the servant said. "It shall be just as you say, except that only the person who has the silver cup will return to the ruler and become his slave. The rest of you will be allowed to return home."
It was quite a chore to unload all the donkeys. The sacks had been filled to the brim and they were very heavy. The servant searched through all their supplies. Then he made them open all the sacks of food, and he searched them, starting with the bags belonging to oldest and going down to the youngest. The brothers were sure of themselves and were feeling quite relieved when one bag after another was searched and the silver cup was not found. . . . But then . . .
. . . They were stricken with fear and disbelief when the servant searched through Benjamin's belongings. As they opened the last bag of food, all of them saw that the silver cup was right there in plain sight in the top of the bag. Hanging their heads in shame and trembling with fear, they immediately started reloading everything onto their donkeys. Following the servant, they reluctantly began the dreaded trip back to the house of the man in charge.
"We are certainly 'goners' now," they said with dismay. "How did that cup end up in the sack?" they questioned.
Benjamin tried his best to defend himself. "I didn't take it! I didn't put it there!" he exclaimed. "I don't know how it ended up in my bag! Honestly, I'm telling the truth!"
The hard fact is that the silver cup was found in Benjamin's sack, and no matter how it got there, they were in B-I-GGGG TROUBLE! They had agreed with the servant that the person in whose bag the cup was found, would be left in Egypt as a slave. HOW would they ever explain THAT to their father when they had to go back home without Benjamin?
When the brothers got back to the ruler's house, they bowed down on the ground before him.
"What have you done?" the ruler asked sharply. "Surely you must know that someone as important as I am has the ability to discern the truth! Did you really think you could steal my special silver cup and not get caught?"
Judah spoke up strongly but fearfully. "Oh, Mr. Ruler! What can we do to make up for what has been done? If we become your slaves, would that be enough to make up for this great wrong?"
Receiving no response, Judah moved a little closer to the ruler. "May I have a word with you in private?" he asked.
"I know that you are second in command and no one is greater than you, except King Pharaoh. Please don't be angry with us." Judah continued, "Remember when we first came and you asked about our father, then you asked if we had another brother, and you made us bring him to you? We told you that we couldn't bring him because his father would be grief stricken if anything were to happen to him. But you wouldn't let us buy food unless we brought him."
"Well, we did as you required," Judah continued to explain. "We brought him to see you and now this trouble has come upon us. If we go home without him, our father, who is very old and loves Benjamin very much, will surely die of grief. Please, please, for our father's sake, take me as a slave instead of Benjamin," Judah pleaded.
Joseph was overcome with emotion and could not constrain himself any longer. He saw how the brothers had changed over the years and were no longer hateful. He saw the love they had for his father and for his younger brother. He began to weep openly.
"Every one please leave the room," he commanded his servants. "Leave me alone with these men." The servants did as they were asked and left the room, but because Joseph was crying out loud, he could be heard even in the next room.
Then Joseph brokenly spoke to his brothers. "I am Joseph," he said. "Is my father still alive?" he asked.
The brothers were astounded and could not speak. It took them some time to comprehend what he was saying.
"Come closer," Joseph said. "I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into slavery. But don't be fearful or angry with yourself. God used your deeds to bring me to Egypt so that I could save your lives."
Joseph went on to tell them that although there had already been two years of famine, there would be five more years. "It was not you that sent me here, but God. God has prospered me and made me an important advisor to Pharaoh and has made me the ruler of all his house, his land, and all the land of Egypt."
The brothers stood still in awestruck amazement. They couldn't believe what they were hearing. After all these many years of believing Joseph was dead, it was difficult for them to grasp the fact that he was alive and standing right there before them. It was even more difficult for them to believe that their little brother, the one they had made fun of, called a dreamer, and sold into slavery, was now the second most important person in all Egypt.
"This is what I want you to do," Joseph continued. "Go back to Canaan and tell my father that I am alive. Tell him you have seen me and that I am a ruler in Egypt. Gather all your flocks and bring your families to live here in Egypt near me. There is plenty of food here and your families will never be hungry again. Hurry! Don't be slow about getting back. I want to see my father!"
Joseph then reached out to Benjamin. He hugged him and kissed him, and cried tears of joy. Then he hugged and kissed each of his brothers. He was glad he was finally able to speak to them as brothers instead of pretending he didn't know them.
Joseph's servants were still listening in another room, and they spread the word that Joseph's brothers had come. It didn't take long for the news to reach King Pharaoh. He was pleased because Joseph was happy and called for Joseph. "Take wagons to Canaan to bring the children and your father so they won't have to be uncomfortable walking and riding donkeys."
The King then said, "Tell them to bring their herds but not to bother bringing other belongings. Send provisions for the trip, and tell them I will give them everything they need when they get here. I will also give them the land of Goshen to settle, which is by a river, so that their herds and flocks will have water to drink."
Joseph did according to all that Pharaoh said. He gave the brothers wagons, provisions and new clothing, and he gave Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver. For his father, he sent ten donkeys loaded with the finest goods of Egypt, along with ten more donkeys loaded with food and meat for the trip to Egypt.
The brothers hurried as quickly as they could, along the hot, dry, dusty trail back to Canaan. They were too excited to complain about the dry, hot, dusty traveling conditions. They talked the whole way about all that had happened in Egypt. They still didn't know quite what to think about Joseph, their own brother, being the man in charge!
They were eager to get home to their families and to their father to tell them of all their good fortune, and most importantly, that Joseph was alive!
- What was found in Benjamin's bag?
- How did the silver cup get in the bag?
- What did they all agree should happen to the person
who had the silver cup?
- Which brother spoke up and begged to be traded for Benjamin?
- Did Joseph seek to get even with his brothers for throwing
him into a pit and selling him as a slave?
- Did Joseph cry because he was sad or because he was happy?
- What gifts did he send home to his father?
- How did King Pharaoh react when he heard that Joseph's
brothers were in town?
Always try to be forgiving when a wrong is done to you.
A VERSE TO LEARN
"It was not you that sent me hither, but God" (Genesis 45:8a).
Dear God, thank You for always being in control
and knowing what is best for us. Help us remember
to be kind and to forgive others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Genesis 44:1 - 45:24
Joseph and His Brothers
Joseph's Brothers Bowed Before Him
Egypt Coloring Pages
Joseph Colouring Book (Bible Heroes)
Bible Colour and Learn 7: Joseph
Bible Story Cards Coloring Book - Old Testament
Bible Story Coloring Pages (Reproducible)
Children's Coloring Books
My Bible Coloring Book (Shirley Dobson)
Old Testament Scenes Stained Glass Coloring Book
Beginner's Bible: Joseph & His Brothers (I Can Read)
Benjamin Goes To Egypt With His Brothers
Joseph Saves His People
Joseph and the Hidden Sacks of Silver
Joseph Forgives His Brothers (Arch Books)
(Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids)
Joseph and the Silver Cup
Joseph's Ten Brothers Go to Egypt
The Birth of a Nation: Abraham to Joseph (listen and read online)
The Great Famine
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Baby's First Bible
Bible in Pictures For Toddlers
Early Reader's Bible
Five Minute Devotions for Children (ages 4-8)
The Children's Illustrated Bible
Pilgrim's Progress illustrated for children
Spanish Children's Books
The Picture Bible (Spanish)
Color, Cut, and Scramble
Joseph Word Search
The Big Feast Multiple Choice Worksheet
Joseph Reveals Himself Jigsaw Puzzle
Joseph and His Brothers - Word Search
Joseph's Life Wordsearch
God's Secret Agent: Joseph (King of Clubs) (TNT Ministries)
Creation by Design Activity Book 1: Joseph & His Brothers
Joseph Saves His Family (Pack of 10) (Pencil Fun Book)
Joseph's Journal (Newsbox Series)
Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
The Humongous Book of Games for Children's Ministry
Amazing Bible Mazes
Memory Verse Games for Kids (Take Me Through the Bible Series)
Big Book Of Bible Puzzles (Reproducible)
Bible Puzzles: Word Search
Big Book Of Bible Story Activity Pages V1 (Gospel Light Big Books)
Christian and educational toys
Children's Activity Books
Bible Word Search
Joseph Reveals Himself (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Joseph Tests His Brothers (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Joseph Activities and Games
Make Your Own Bible Game
Puppet Crafts For Kids
Craft Ideas For Any Story
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget (Grades 1 & 2)
Bible Crafts & More (Ages 6-8)
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget (Ages 5-10)
Big Book of Bible Crafts (Ages 3-12)
Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
Praise God With...Craft Series
Praise God with a Paper Plate (PreK-Grade 2)
Really Big Book Of Cool Crafts For Kids w/CD-Ages 4-12 (Reproducible)
Children's Crafts & Hobbies
Joseph DVD (Bible Collection)
Heroes of the Bible (Veggie Tales)
Joseph DVD by Sight & Sound
Joseph & the Coat of Many Colors (Greatest Heroes & Legends)
Joseph King of Dreams
Joseph Y Su Abrigo De Muchos (EMI-CMG)
The Story of Jacob and Joseph
Veggie Tales: Heroes of the Bible
What's in the Bible DVD 1: In the Beginning—Genesis
Amazing Bible Stories
Read and Share Ultimate Bible Storybook with 2 DVDs
The Bible Collection 6 DVD Set
Bible story DVDs
Romans 8:28 - Sheet Music (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
In His Dreams - Sheet Music (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
God's Secret Agent: Joseph (King of Clubs) (TNT Ministries)
Joseph: A Story
Joseph (Jewish Virtual Library)
Joseph Bible Story Series
Power of Forgiveness - Drama
Joseph by F B Meyer
801 Questions Kids Ask About God (Focus on the Family)
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher (Bruce Wilkinson)
Bible Crafts and Activities for Any Story
Big Book of Bible Games (Gospel Light)
Bulletin Board helps
Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul
Children's Church Resources
Church Nanny Sos: Teaching Discipline Essentials for Preschool Ministry Volunteers
52 Games That Teach The Bible
Free educational videos
God's Servants Teach Me (Instant Bible Lessons)
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs
Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher (Focus on the Family)
How To Lead a Child To Christ
King James Version Award Bibles
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids (Kay Arthur)
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Memory Verse Ideas
Memory Verse Resources
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
Resources for Teachers
Seven Laws of the Learner (Bruce Wilkinson)
Sunday School Attendance Boosters: 165 Fresh Ideas
Sunday school resources
Talking to God (Instant Bible Lessons)
Teachers' Reproducible Classroom Pages
Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives (by Howard Hendrickss)
The Big Book of Bible Skits
Things To Make Craft Activities
Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know
(by Elmer Towns)
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Last updated November 17, 2016.
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