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If you'd like to hear me read the first story in Genesis People, just click on this video.
Otherwise, read on and meet a littlest boy, middle boy, biggest boy called Judah as he tries to find his place in the world. It's story #36 from Genesis People.
~ 36 ~
(Genesis 29:31-35, 35:23-26, 34:25-31, 37:12-36, 44:1-45:15)
There was once a boy called Judah who was the youngest of four brothers. He rather liked being a youngest son because everybody liked him and gave him treats. Then Judah’s father had eight more sons and a daughter, and Judah became just another kiddy-in-the-middle. Nobody noticed him anymore. The littlest kids were cute and funny, and the oldest were clever and strong. But Judah was just a nuisance and a pest.
One day the oldest brother did something bad and made their father very mad. Then the next two brothers did something even worse and made their father even madder. And then something very strange happened. Their father was sending the boys out to work in the fields and he called out to Judah. “Hey Judah,” he said. “I need you to tell everyone what to do.” Judah said yes and wondered how he’d ended up in charge, but it worked out all right. The littlest kids knew to do what he told them, and the oldest brothers didn’t dare mess about or they knew they’d make their father even madder.
“Judah, you’re the boss,” said their father in spring, when they moved camp to a better grazing place. “Judah, tell those boys to behave themselves,” he said when they spent the night watching the sheep. “Judah, I trust you,” he said and Judah felt proud. He felt like a biggest kid.
One day all the boys were really angry with one of the younger brothers. He was being a pain and they wanted to kill him, even though he was their father’s favorite. The oldest brother said no, but nobody listened. Then Judah said, “Let’s just sell him as a slave instead,” and they listened and did as he said. Selling his brother probably wasn’t a very good idea but it was much better than killing him.
One day the family went to Egypt to buy food and the Egyptian leader tried to take the littlest brother away and put him in jail. But Judah wasn’t going to lose another brother. “You can’t have him,” he said. “I’m not selling my little brother, no matter how much food you offer. I don’t care if my family is starving. You can’t have him!” Then the Egyptian leader took off his headdress and Judah got such a surprise. The Egyptian wasn’t an Egyptian at all. He was the brother they’d sold as a slave all those years ago.
Judah’s brother forgave them all and gave them a place to live with plenty of food. Judah and his family, and his father and his brothers and his sister and all their families, all moved to Egypt. They lived in a comfortable district not far from the river and they looked after sheep, because that was a job that Egyptians didn’t like to do. And they were happy.
Lord God, you don’t love the cutest brothers best,
or the sweetest sisters, or the bossiest boys,
or the kindest girls.
Thank you, because you love us all the same,
and do good things for all of us.