December 5, 2021, Genesis 46:1-34 God’s promises to Jacob
Thought from above- God’s plan is far bigger than any individual, we are only a small part, like the grass of the field.
The first time we meet Jacob he is struggling, wrestling with his brother in their mother’s womb. And now he’s at the end of his life and he’s still struggling. He’s been a deceiver, a complainer, a manipulator, an overindulgent father (to Joseph and Benjamin, to the neglect of his other sons) and we find nowhere where Jacob seeks God after Joseph is “Gone.” For 22 years! But now Jacob is old and has to make a decision, it could risk his entire family and it will change the course of history. Go to Egypt or not? He wants a DECISION GUARANTEED! (chap. 1-4)
The “Good News” of Joseph being alive has changed Jacob’s heart and he is moving forward, leaving everything behind. (That should sound familiar). When Jacob comes to the border of Canaan and Egypt there’s a town called Beersheba, (the furthest Southern point of what will someday be called the promised land, like Dan to the North) and he STOPS TO WORSHIP! He’s got to get this right, everything depends on it. How do we know God’s will? “I would have to believe it begins with worship. (Ro. 12:1) God’s good and perfect will…and worship…?
It begins with “here am I.”
God spoke to Jacob in a vision at night, an old man dreaming dreams. “Do not be afraid to go down” (in Jacob’s family history both his grandfather and father went to Egypt during a famine and things didn’t go so well, Abram and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca).
But God promised, “I will!” (3 times). First a nation, from one man Abram at100 years old to Issac 65 years later now 50-60 years later Jacob. Then 400 years later a nation of 2 ½ million. (Had Jacob heard of this promise before, from his granddaddy or father?)
The second promise…“I will go down with you.” Translation “where I AM there is no assimilation. Be holy as I am holy! Come out from them and be separate!” How does God keep his people separate? Kosher laws, maybe, but really, it’s adversity; slavery! United by a cause!
(I Peter 2:11-25) shepherd of your soul…Gen. 46:34 detestable!
Third God promised to bring them back, (400 years doesn’t seem much like “bringing them back” but remember how long Abram waited).
Verse 5-27 Jacob leaves the place of seven wells, Beersheba…and the Beverly Hillbillies rolling into town, his family, his livestock, and all he possessed. This is Israel’s DESCENDANT’S GENEALOGY.
We’ll find people like Moses’ priestly family among the Levi’s and David’s among Judah’s – Perez, and “all those who went to Egypt with Jacob were 70 in all.”
Verse 28-34 here we find Judah being sent on ahead of the rest of them, to get directions, but mostly to represent repentance. (Remember chapter 44:32) where Judah says, “I will bear the blame before my father…” And here he is!
Judah and Jacob DESCENDED GEOGRAPHICALLY to the region of Goshen, with the help of G.P.S. God’s Precise Sovereignty while Joseph, ascended to meet him. Joseph’s vehicle was ready to go and as soon as Jacob appeared before him…(v 29) WOW! This was their
PAR-EXCELLENCE MOMENT! (Better than all others of the same kind, may be of any kind.)
Challenge: watch videos of long-lost reunions and feel the tugging emotion or watch animals. My sister’s dog jumped right in the window of her truck.
This was Jacob’s fulfillment of his bucket list!
“Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.” Really he is ready to live…Abundantly! (v 29)