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Bible Pathways 01/16/05

January 16

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 remained uppermost in Jacob's heart, he needed assurance from God concerning his journey to Egypt. After Jacob left Hebron, he journeyed about 25 miles to Beersheba, 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 . . . fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation . . I will also surely bring you 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 expression of our preparation for eternity. Our eyes should not be set on worldly securities and 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 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 God conferred more blessings on Jacob than any other man in Old Testament history. The name of Abraham, the father of the faithful, appears over 300 times in Scripture. The name Isaac appears only 131 times, often 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 have I loved, but Esau have I hated (detested, i.e. thought less of) (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).

Christ Portrayed:

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 who comes down from heaven, and gives life to 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 men of activity = competent, skillful men; 48:6 thy issue = your offspring; 48:14 wittingly = knowingly.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thomas and Mary Beaghen · BP Staff: Barbara Bivens · Country: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia · Major languages: Chinese and English · Limited religious freedom · 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Confess any sins in your life so that your prayers can be heard (Psalm 66:18-19).

Optional Reading: Matthew 16

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:23

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