Highlights:

Read the stirring details of how God used Joseph to dramatically save not only the small Israelite family from extinction but enabled them to grow into a great nation.

And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac (Gen. 46:1).

Jacob's sons returned from Egypt with the wonderful news: Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt (45:26).

Although Jacob longed to see his precious son Joseph, yet he must know God's will. His grandfather Abraham had gone into Egypt and had sinned and Isaac, his father was forbidden by God to go to Egypt. Furthermore, Jacob had other reasons to fear. He was an old man now, far advanced in years. Would he forsake the promised land to be buried in Egypt outside the will of God? Could he, even for Joseph's sake, go down into Egypt? NO! He would not allow his natural love for his son or his desperate need for provisions to interfere with God's purpose. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).

Jacob was afraid to proceed further. He did not want to forfeit his right to the Abrahamic Covenant promises. He could not risk entering Egypt with all these fears. So, before he left Canaan, he stopped at Beersheba, near the border of the promised land, where Abraham and Isaac had offered sacrifices (Gen.21:33; 26:24; 25; 46:1). In the same area where God had met Abraham and had spoken to Isaac, Jacob presented his fears and laid his all on the altar “To go, or not to go?” leaving the decision to God. Much later, Paul prayed, Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you (I Thes. 3:11).

After entering Egypt and enjoying Joseph's care for some years, Jacob had to teach his descendants the consequences of failing to seek God's guidance. As the time drew nigh that Israel (Jacob) must die (Gen.47:29), he bestowed his prophetic blessing upon Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (48:17-20).

Our road ahead is designed to test our faith and focus our attention on the guidance of God. If Christians could realize what those in eternity know now, they would drop all interest in this world's attractions and prayerfully read all that God has written. But there are rival voices sounding everywhere. They demand attention and fill our eyes and ears with such a multitude of sounds that we often neglect the Voice from the throne, God's voice, through His word. And too often it is ignored.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).

Thought for Today:

Before making any life decision, seek the Lord for His guidance. His Word is our Guide.

Christ Portrayed:

By Joseph, who was placed second only to Pharaoh (Gen. 41:39-40) to sustain life and give provision (47:15-17). Jesus said: The Bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33).

Word Studies:

46:4 put his hand upon thine eyes, be with you when you die; 46:31 Pharaoh was a title given to the monarchs of Egypt; 47:4 sore, severe; 47:6 activity, ability, competence; 48:6 thy issue, your offspring; 48:14 wittingly, knowingly.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcast • Thursday Morning Prayer • Government Official: Rep. Diane L. Black (TN) • Country: Namibia (1.6 million) in southwest Africa • Major languages: Afrikaans and German • Religious freedom • 89% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other (Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i)• Prayer Suggestion: Realize that your life is in the hands of God, and ask Him to deliver you from all evil (Luke 11:4).

Optional Reading: Matthew 16

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:3