Joseph, Prince of Egypt
We have not even begun recovering from the Robb Elementary mass shooting that resulted in the loss of 21 innocent lives, and yet another gunman has walked into a Texas summer camp of more than 250 kids and staff.
Fortunately, avoiding complete déjà vu, quick-thinking staffers ushered the children to safety, and the police were at the scene to take down the gunman before any children could be injured.
As the United States continues seeking ways to eliminate mass shootings in schools, law enforcement, staff, parents and students are learning ways to recognize and defend against dangerous situations.
A few thousand years ago, in the midst of a vast famine, Joseph’s brothers were also attempting to avoid a déjà vu that would break their father’s heart.
The brothers traded away Joseph, to whom their father had shown extreme favoritism. They saw the terrible repercussions in their family because of their actions, and felt the guilt of their betrayal. Years later, when they met with a physically unrecognizable Joseph, vizier to the pharaoh, they saw favoritism expressed to their youngest brother Benjamin.
But this time it didn’t even faze them. In fact, when Joseph threatened Benjamin, the brothers would do whatever it took to save him.
The brothers had learned from their past mistakes to bring about positive results. Similarly, Joseph had learned that through his hardships God was using him to save uncountable lives, and expressed grace to his betrayers.
Connecting: Was it necessary for Joseph to test the callousness of his brothers by threatening Benjamin?
Sharing: Brainstorm ways the following can be addressed by each of us in efforts to reduce pervasive violence in society.
- Mental health
- Family life
- Spiritual health
- Social media and entertainment media
- Alcohol and substance abuse
Applying: Who do you know is hurting from unfair or unjust treatment? Offer them words of affirmation and let them know that they are valued.