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Genesis 47




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.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Genesis 46




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 46

As the chapter opens, Jacob and his family, servants, and livestock had begun the move to Egypt.  We find them in Beersheba which is the southernmost town in Canaan.  There Jacob stopped the journey, built an altar, and offered sacrifices to God.

Beersheba has played an important role in the Biblical narrative since we first met Abraham.  He dug a well there.  Abraham lived there after offering Isaac on Mount Moriah.  Isaac lived there for awhile.  And it was from Beersheba that Jacob would leave to go to Laban’s home to find a wife.  At Beersheba, God appeared to Hagar, to Isaac, and now He would appear to Jacob.

We all need those places that are spiritual markers in our lives.  Those may actually be physical places.  For example, I can take you to the place in the pastor’s study at First Baptist Konawa where I asked Jesus to save me.  Those spiritual markers may actually be more memories of times that God did a most special thing.  I think Beersheba was one of those places.  It was a physical place but it held many incredible memories of God doing some very special things.

In verse 2, God spoke to Jacob.  He called His name twice.  There are a couple of important things here.  One, God knew Jacob’s name.  God is not some distant deity that is out of touch with His servants.  He is close.  He is personal.  He knows things about us that no one else knows.  And, yes, He knows our names.  It is more than a bit crazy to think about the fact that God knows our names.

The other important thing to notice here is that, as I have already said, God called Jacob’s name twice.  There is an interesting pattern of this throughout the Bible.  As God prepares to speak to an individual about something of great importance, He calls out that individual’s name twice.  Maybe that is just to get that person’s attention.  Maybe it is a reinforcement that God knows who that person is.  Maybe it is that God is about to do something significant.  

God’s first words to Jacob at this point were for Jacob not to be worried about going to Egypt.  God promised to go to Egypt with Jacob.  He promised to do a great work among Jacob’s family there.  And He promised to be with Jacob throughout the rest of his days on this earth.

We have a pretty good understanding of the omnipresence of God as well as His omnipotence.  In other words, we know that God exists everywhere simultaneously.  We may not understand that or truly comprehend it but we know it to be true.  We also know God is not limited.  He can do whatever He chooses to do wherever He chooses to do it.

From the ancient, eastern view this was a very different perspective.  Their gods or idols were always limited.  They could only “work” in certain areas and they could only “do” certain things.  So, God is showing Himself to be bigger, stronger, and different from any of the idols of that part of the world.  God stands alone in this universe as the one, true God.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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