Don’t Keep Bringing Dead Cats to God’s Door

Friday’s section of this week’s lesson asks the question, “Once Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers feared that now Joseph would get revenge. What does this teach about the guilt that they still harbored? What does Joseph’s reaction teach us about forgiveness for the guilty?”

Maybe the brothers had a hard time believing Joseph had forgiven them because they had a hard time forgiving themselves. For spiritual growth and health I think its important to not only forgive others, but also to forgive ourselves.

Photograph by William Earnhardt

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV

Ever been haunted by your past? Sometimes I will have a flashback of some off-the-cuff smart remark I made to an elder when I was kid, and I will still cringe and want to go hide under a rock 40 years later! I believe Paul’s history of persecuting Christians may have haunted him too. Except for the fact that Paul never persecuted the Christians. That was Saul. Paul was a new creature,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Saul the persecutor was converted, and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 233

God wants to give us all a fresh, new start.

The story goes of a man who was driving down an old highway out in the country when he accidentally ran over a cat. He pulled over and inspected the cat, which sure enough was dead. He looked and saw a house in the distance at the top of a hill. He took the dead cat to the door and knocked. An old lady answered the door, and he said, “I am sorry Ma’m is this your cat?”

“Well it was she responded.” The man told her how sorry he was that he had just hit and killed her cat. She forgave him and they both took the cat to the backyard and buried it. A few weeks later the man found himself driving past the house again.

The terrible memories came back again, and he drove up to the house, went in the backyard, dug up the dead cat and took it to the front door again. When the lady answered, he started telling her all over how sorry he was! She reminded him she already forgave him and she helped the man bury the cat again. A few more weeks went by and the man found himself driving by the house again and once again was overcome with grief, and went and dug the cat back up and took it to the house. By this time the woman was fed up and ordered him to stop bringing the dead cat to her door!

God does not want us bringing dead cats to His door either. Don’t go digging up what His grace has buried. He wants us to leave our dead cats behind us and press for the goal. God wants to make you a new creature, just like He made Saul a new creature and turned him into Paul.

13: Israel in Egypt-Sabbath School lesson Teaching Plan

Posted on  by Michael Frackeravatar

Key Thought: Even though Israel living in Egypt contrasts with the hope of the promised land, Joseph points to another place where God will bring them to the land sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
June 25, 2022

1. Have a volunteer read Genesis 47:23-26.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the most important point is in this passage.
  2. What spiritual truths and principles can we kind in Israel leaving the land of promise for Egypt?
  3. Personal Application: What obligations does our faith place upon us in how we treat others? Share your thoughts..
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states, “Why should we pay taxes if the government isn’t using our money correctly? Why should we pay tithe if the church isn’t using our money correctly?’” How would you respond to your relative?

2. Have a volunteer read Genesis 48:16-20..

  1. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
  2. Why did Jacob bless Joseph’s two sons here, and not his other grandsons?
  3. Personal Application: How have we ourselves received the blessings of Israel? Share your thoughts
  4. Case Study: One of your friends states, “Why did Israel mention the angel that redeemed him from all evil as the one to bless Joseph’s children? Who was this angel? Was Israel a prophet in predicting the history of the two sons by placing his right hand on the younger son?” How would you respond to your friend?

3. Have a volunteer read Genesis Genesis 49:1-28.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. What prophecy is given here, and why is it important?
  3. Personal Application: What involvement have you had in the future of your children and understanding of their character traits? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states: “What is the significance of Jacob blessing each one of his sons in a different way?” How would you respond to your relative?

4. Have a volunteer read Genesis 49:29-50:21.

  1. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
  2. Why did it matter to Joseph where he was buried after he died?
  3. Personal Application: With families being scattered all over the country and world, does it matter to you where you are buried when you die? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.

(Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.”Ministry of Healing, p. 148).