Genesis 46 -- 48
Jacob knew that God had planned for his people to live in Canaan, not in Egypt, so he did not rush to Egypt for a grand reunion with his precious son Joseph. Jacob needed assurance from God, since the will of God remained uppermost in Jacob's heart. After Jacob left Hebron, he journeyed about 25 miles to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And He said, I am God, the God of your father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make you a great nation: I will go down with you into Egypt; and I will also surely bring you up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon your eyes (Genesis 46:1-4).
The Lord assured Jacob that their sojourn in Egypt was not to be a permanent one, but that it would be a time of preparing his family to become a great nation. Our earthly life is intended to be a time of preparation for eternity (Luke 12:20-21). What gets priority, and how we live, is an expression of our preparation for eternity. There is a goal to be reached, a prize to be won (I Corinthians 9:24; I Peter 1:3-9). Our eyes should not be set primarily on worldly achievements, but, foremost on being the person God wants us to be in order to accomplish the purpose for which He created us.
The life of Jacob gives the believer insight into the sovereignty of God, who protects, directs, and blesses all who are faithful to Him. In bereavement, it appeared to Jacob that all these things are against me (Genesis 42: 36); but, as the years in Egypt passed, he could see how God had been directing, protecting, and providing for him throughout his life. As the end neared, Jacob called his sons together and foretold the future dealings of God with each of them in relationship to their past, as well as their future, conduct. This points out that we are not people of fate, doomed to what will be; but, we are in the hands of a loving God who will work out His will through all who yield to Him.
The prophetic blessings recorded in Genesis 48 and 49 complete the eventful history of Jacob. This remarkable man of God who received so much abuse throughout his life God conferred more blessings than on any other man in Old Testament history. The name of Abraham, the father of the faithful, appears over 300 times in Scripture and the name of Isaac appears only 131 times, and many times only in conjunction with Abraham and Jacob. Jacob, however, is mentioned over 370 times, and his new name Israel, referring to both himself and his descendants, appears over 2500 times. It is a serious thing to criticize one whom God has chosen to esteem, as He clearly said: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).
It is also encouraging to know that every injustice that Jacob suffered throughout his life brought him to a new awareness of the presence of the Lord. We should not be surprised when the unbelieving Esaus of today seek to discredit our efforts to please the Lord. Jesus said: But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you . . . That you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:44-45).
46:4 put his hand upon thine eyes = be with you when you die; 46:31 Pharaoh is a title given to the monarchs of Egypt; 47:4 sore = severe; 47:6 men of activity = competent, skillful men; 48:6 thy issue = your offspring; 48:14 wittingly = knowingly.
Government Official: Rep. Tony Hall (OH) · BPM Staff: Barbara Ann Bivens · Pray for Somebody Cares/Turning Point Ministries International and Doug Stringer, Director · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Benjamin and Ilene Wallace · Country: Sierra Leone (4 million) in western Africa · Major language: English · Increasing restrictions on Christian work in some areas · 50% belief in river spirits, medicine men, and witchcraft; 39% Muslim; 7% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Delight in the Word of God; prayerfully meditate upon it for daily guidance (Psalms 1:2).
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