“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.” NIV

“Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there” (3).

This is precisely what God did and where He did it. We only have to look at Exodus 1:7 to see it. God knows precisely the condition of ‘soil’ we require, in order to to grow into what He wants for us. This is true of both individual believers and Christian communities. There is nowhere God cannot work, and we should not fear to go anywhere He may send us.

‘…who would have supposed that the promise would be realised amid the pressure and persecution of Egypt!…faith is led by very uncommon paths. Trust and obey!’ F.B.Meyer.

‘Even as to those events and undertakings which appear most joyful, we should seek counsel, assistance, and a blessing from the Lord. Attending on his ordinances, and receiving the pledges of his covenant love, we expect his presence, and that peace which it confers. In all removals we should be reminded of our removal out of this world. Nothing can encourage us to fear no evil when passing through the valley of the shadow of death, but the presence of Christ.’ Matthew Henry

‘When compared with the last two sections this one seems rather subdued, with long lists and the gloom of Jacob’s impending death. But this is the third and most decisive journey to Egypt, in which Jacob left Canaan, the land of promise, for Egypt, the land of future slavery. Was this a big mistake? No. Jacob’s migration was not prompted just by Joseph’s invitation; it was divinely authorised. 46:3-4 records the only divine vision in the Joseph story, and in it Jacob is told ‘to go down to Egypt’ and is assured that ‘I will go down…with you, and I will surely bring you back again’ (cf.28:15). The stay in Egypt was to be only temporary; it was indeed part of the divine purpose (cf.15:13-14). The section ends with Jacob enjoining Joseph to bury him with his fathers in Canaan (47:29-30). God’s promises were to be fulfilled.’ G.J.Wenham: ‘New Bible Commentary’, pp.88,89.

PRAYER: Lord, please guide all our steps (and our stops) and may we never to fear to go where you send