Genesis 46:1-7: Keep in step with God.
“So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, ‘Jacob! Jacob!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. 3 ‘I am God, the God of your father,’ he said. ‘Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.’5 Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6 So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters – all his offspring.” NIV
An effective missionary was asked, ‘What is the secret of your success?’ He replied, ‘I just watch what God is doing and go and join Him.’ It is important to try to keep in step with God. At one time, God had told Jacob’s father, Isaac, not to go down to Egypt (26:2, 3). But this was now a different day. As someone observed, the times and seasons (and purposes) differ, but whatever God says is to be obeyed. We are not to copy other people or live in the past. Of course, we may; we must imitate good examples. But Jacob has to walk with God for himself; he cannot live off Isaac’s experience.
As we journey through life with God, let’s be worshippers. (Note Jacob stopped to worship in the very place where Abraham and Isaac worshipped: 21:33; 26:23-25).
This time it was God’s purpose to make Jacob ‘’into a great nation there’’ (3). This was a confirmation of God’s original promise to Abraham (12:2). F.B. Meyer comments: ‘…who would have thought the promise would be realised amid the pressure and persecution of Egypt!…faith is led by very uncommon paths. Trust and obey.’
Jacob would come back to the land of promise, but not alive. He would die in Egypt, and later his body would be carried back to Canaan, and buried in the cave near Mamre where Abraham and Isaac had been buried years earlier (50:12, 13).
Just note that they brought their livestock and possessions with them, contrary to Pharaoh’s advice (45:20).
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you so much for the ‘Abraham’s’ and ‘Isaac’s’ in my life story. I’m grateful for their examples – for every memory of them. But although I learn much from them, and I see principles at work in them I need to apply, help me to walk with you myself, in my day.