January 16, 2006
Read Genesis 46 -- 48
In Today's Reading:
Jacob's vision at Beersheba; the journey to Egypt; Joseph and the famine; the best land given to Jacob; Joseph's sons blessed
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. Since the will of God was uppermost in Jacob's heart, he sought assurance from God concerning his journey to Egypt, so Jacob left Hebron, journeyed about 25 miles to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And He said . . . fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation . . . I will also surely bring thee up again (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. Earthly life is a time of preparation for eternity (Luke 12:20-21). What gets priority, and how we live, is an important part of our preparation. Our eyes should not be set on worldly securities, pleasures, or achievements but should be foremost on becoming 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 assists, strengthens, and sustains all who are faithful to Him. As the years in Egypt passed, Jacob came to see how God had been directing, protecting, and providing for him all of his life.
This remarkable man of God received much abuse throughout his life, but the Lord conferred more blessings on Jacob than any other man in Old Testament history. The name of Abraham, the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11), appears over 300 times in the Scriptures. The name Isaac appears only 131 times, often only in conjunction with Abraham and Jacob. Jacob, however, is mentioned over 370 times. 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 have I loved, but Esau have I hated (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).
By Joseph, who was placed second only to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:39-40) to sustain life and give provision (Genesis 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).
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.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by James M. Eicher · Staff: Barbara Bivens · Country: Egypt (67 million) in northeastern Africa · Major languages: Arabic and English · Christians are not permitted to evangelize Muslims · 82% Muslim; 16% Coptic; .6% Protestant; .6% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for courage to praise the Lord before unbelievers (Psalm 96:3-5).
Optional Reading: Matthew 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:14