What are your first feelings or thoughts if your parents tell you, “We are going to Nevada State Capitol, pack what you have because you leave tonight, walking.” Most of us would feel afraid, nervous, have millions of questions in mind, don’t you think? The scenario is pushing reality, but it is an example of what Jacob did when God tells him to go to Egypt….
1So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. 2During the night God spoke to him in a vision. “Jacob! Jacob!” he called. “Here I am,” Jacob replied. 3“I am God, the God of your father,” the voice said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. 4I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.” 5So Jacob left Beersheba, and his sons took him to Egypt. They carried him and their little ones and their wives in the wagons Pharaoh had provided for them. 6They also took all their livestock and all the personal belongings they had acquired in the land of Canaan. So Jacob and his entire family went to Egypt—7sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters—all his descendants 8These are the names of the descendants of Israel—the sons of Jacob—who went to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob’s oldest son. 9The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul. (Shaul’s mother was a Canaanite woman.) 11The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (though Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron. 14The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15These were the sons of Leah and Jacob who were born in Paddan-aram, in addition to their daughter, Dinah. The number of Jacob’s descendants (male and female) through Leah was thirty-three. 16The sons of Gad were Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. Their sister was Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malkiel. 18These were the sons of Zilpah, the servant given to Leah by her father, Laban. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Zilpah was sixteen. 19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 20Joseph’s sons, born in the land of Egypt, were Manasseh and Ephraim. Their mother was Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. 21Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22These were the sons of Rachel and Jacob. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Rachel was fourteen. 23The son of Dan was Hushim. 24The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25These were the sons of Bilhah, the servant given to Rachel by her father, Laban. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Bilhah was seven. 26The total number of Jacob’s direct descendants who went with him to Egypt, not counting his sons’ wives, was sixty-six. 27In addition, Joseph had two sons who were born in Egypt. So altogether, there were seventy members of Jacob’s family in the land of Egypt.
Jacob’s Family Arrives in Goshen 28As they neared their destination, Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and get directions to the region of Goshen. And when they finally arrived there, 29Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father, Jacob. When Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept, holding him for a long time. 30Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.” 31And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s entire family, “I will go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s entire family have come to me from the land of Canaan. 32These men are shepherds, and they raise livestock. They have brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’” 33Then he said, “When Pharaoh calls for you and asks you about your occupation, 34you must tell him, ‘We, your servants, have raised livestock all our lives, as our ancestors have always done.’ When you tell him this, he will let you live here in the region of Goshen, for the Egyptians despise shepherds.”
Jacob had a huge family! Today most of our families have a minimum of 4 or 5 members, counting your parents. However, Jacob had to carry with all 70 members of his family and their belongings to Egypt to meet with Joseph. Imagine on your trip to Nevada having to carry everything you own. Most of us would have said no and refused to go because it’s a mission walking! Fortunately, Jacob did not refuse to go to Egypt like most of us would. Instead he did what God told him to do. Why would Jacob do such thing? The answer is found in verses 3 and 4. Before God asks Jacob to go to Egypt, God tells him “Do not be afraid” (vs 3) and just before Jacob can say anything God tells him, “I will be with you” (vs 4). You see God did not demand Jacob to go against his will, God promised to be with him the whole way. Therefore Jacob decided to obey God’s calling for his trust in Him. Today, we may struggle in answering God’s call, but we shouldn’t be afraid my friends! God has promised to be with us through all of it! The word of God says “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). He lets us know that we will have troubles, but reminds us to smile 🙂 because He already overcame the world for you. Let Him take care of your life and ask Him to give you strength to respond to His calling.
Then in this chapter the moment we have all been waiting for: the reunion of Jacob and his son Joseph. The way God led these two men and their family is an example of what God can do for you and your loved ones. One day we will all be reunited too when Jesus comes! They will be moments of pure joy as we reunite with all the people who are far from us. Jesus’ second coming is the hope we hold on to as the time gets nearer.
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May God bless you today and always.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.