TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
By Jeremy Witt
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 47
At the end of chapter 46, Joshua tells his family to tell Pharaoh that they are shepherds. This is important because Egyptians viewed shepherds as a one of the lowest occupations a person could have. Because of Joshua and Pharaoh trusted him and gave Jacob and his family the land of Goshen, the best grasslands in all of Egypt. God provided and took care of Jacob in the midst of famine. Imagine how Joshua felt when he realized that God had brought him through all of those difficult situations in order to save his entire family! When we look back at our own lives, we can see how God is faithful as well. Those spiritual markers help us to look back and remember what the LORD has done!
At the beginning of chapter 47, we find Joshua taking care of his family just as God had showed him many years prior through his dreams. Joshua had gone from favorite son to being sold as a slave. He went from the pit to the prison. Ultimately, Joshua moved from prison to being 2nd in command of all of Egypt because Joshua remained faithful to the LORD. Even in the midst lows of his life (yes, in our lives as well), God shows His sovereignty and used difficult circumstances to prepare Joshua (and even us) for what God had planned all along. So many times we find ourselves asking why. Through the life of Joshua we can learn that the answer may just lie in our future for a specific purpose that will help us and those close to us. We just need to have the right perspective that God has a plan and a purpose even if we don’t see it at the time.
Verse 10 stands out to me for one reason. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. This blessing was unlike any other Pharaoh had ever received outside of Joshua himself. Why would that be? First, a simple shepherd blessed Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the planet at that time. That would only happen because of God. It’s a little ironic that such a simple man would impact the world like this. When we look back at Jacob and his own life, we see the importance of the blessing and through whom the blessing came! All blessings come from the LORD God.
In verses 13-26, what stands out to me is the organized leadership of Joshua. A wise person pays attention to the details and keeping things in order. Some might call this logistics, which is in my wheelhouse, or you might use some other term, but Joshua helped the nation, helped the people, and made Pharaoh even wealthier in the midst of famine.
In verse 27, we see that family prospered in Goshen. The herds grew as did the family. We see that Jacob and his family were in Egypt 17 years once they arrived. The chapter concludes with Jacob making Joshua promise to bury him back in the Promised Land with his father and grandfather. We do not know whether Jacob knew that he was about to die or if God had told him. Regardless, Jacob never lost sight of the promise that God had given His grandfather, Abraham, and to his father Isaac, even in the midst of the famine.
Remember this, God is faithful and can use the lows of our life for good down the road. Be faithful to the LORD God.