Genesis 46 (ESV)
So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, 7 his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt . . . Continue Reading
Jacob’s Final Journey
After many years, Jacob is finally going to see his long lost son again – the son he adored and thought had died. But Joseph was alive and well, second in command to Pharaoh in Egypt who has sent for his father and all his father’s descendants to live in the best of the land of Egypt near him. What a journey that must have been. Travel was difficult back then but with Pharaoh’s provision of wagons, it was much less challenging. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jacob and all of his descendants, livestock and goods to travel the many miles to Egypt? The text doesn’t reveal how long it took but it must have seemed like an eternity.
As I consider their journey, I think of all the times I’ve packed moving trucks and moved my family (a total of 3 including me) and belongings (way too many) to different parts of the country. Most of these moves involved employment, ministry, music or in the case of my mother-in-law, caring for a family member in Georgia.
I remember that long drive from Rhode Island like it was yesterday. It was hot, but the further south this northern boy travelled, the more my understanding of hot changed. I was enlightened and felt like I might catch fire! I had packed the 26-foot moving truck with a little help from my friends the day before. Even though it was hot and I was exhausted, I had air conditioning and music to make the drive a little less stressful.
Jacob’s final journey was certainly not comfortable. He was 130 years old and the wagons back then didn’t have air conditioning, GPS or tunes. But what a blessing those wagons were when the alternative would have been riding on donkeys!
Genesis 46 shows Jacob’s mindset when he came to Beersheba as he offered sacrifices to God (Genesis 46:1). God comforts Jacob and tells him not to be afraid to go to Egypt – that He would be with him and make him a great nation (Genesis 46:2-3). Genesis 46:8-26 lists all the descendants of Jacob. Genesis 46:26 says, “All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own descendants, not including Jacob’s sons’ wives, were sixty-six persons in all.” That’s a few more than me!
I love Genesis 46:29 that says, “Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.” Joseph must have missed his father so much. Jacob certainly missed his youngest son. What a reunion that must have been! In that moment, Jacob was so overwhelmed with emotion that when he saw Joseph’s face again and knew he was alive, he was ready to die.
The chapter closes with Joseph saying he will speak to Pharaoh about their occupation so that Pharaoh knows what land they should settle in.
This chapter was timely for me this morning. While I’ve certainly moved around in my life and travelled many miles, it’s not those journeys on my mind right now. I’m thinking about my spiritual journey and how long I struggled to find God’s will for my life – my purpose. Much of that time was spent focused on where we were going rather than what He was doing in me while I lived. My walk with God has been up and down many mountains and through some deep valleys. It has not been easy and I’ve struggled at times to find my footing. But God has been faithful and although I walk with a limp, I walk and will continue to – with my Lord leading me where he wants me to go.
Father, I’m here. I’m listening.
Thank you for reading my daily online journal today. Far from commentaries these are just my initial thoughts after reflecting on what I’ve read from a chapter in God’s Word each morning. This not only helps me apply what I’ve read because I’m reflecting and sharing instead of only reading but it also allows me to encourage others to prayerfully consider doing the same.
In His Care,