Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 1/16/2004

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 family to live in Canaan, not in Egypt, so he did not rush to Egypt for a grand reunion with his precious son Joseph. After Jacob left Hebron, he journeyed about 25 miles to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to God. Since the will of God remained uppermost in Jacob's heart, he needed assurance from God concerning his journey to Egypt. And God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. . . . 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 the sojourn in Egypt would be a time of preparing his family to become a great nation (Luke 12:20-21). What gets priority, and how we live, has a direct bearing on our preparation for eternity. Our eyes should not be set on worldly securities and achievements, but rather 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 could see how God had been directing, protecting, and providing for him all his life.

This remarkable man of God received much abuse throughout his life, but God conferred more spiritual 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, thought less of) (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).

Word Studies:

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.

Christ Portrayed:

By Joseph who was placed second to Pharaoh to sustain life and give provision (Genesis 47:15-17). Jesus said: For the Bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world (John 6:33).

Pray For:

Country: Lesotho (2 million) within the east-central part of the Republic of South Africa · Major languages: Sesotho and English · Limited religious freedom · 43% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 6% ancestor worship, divination, and spirit-possession cults · Prayer Suggestion: Ask God for daily direction (Psalm 48:14).

Optional Reading: Matthew 16

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4

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