And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And He said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes (Gen. 46:2-4).
Jacob was now an old man. Centuries before, God had promised his grandfather, Abraham, that He was going to give the land of Canaan to him and his descendants. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (17:8). Yet Abraham had died as a foreigner in the land of Canaan, as did Isaac his son over a hundred years later. Now God was telling Jacob to abandon the settlements that he and his sons had established in Canaan and take his family down into Egypt. Surely Jacob must have been somewhat confused at that point. Did God intend for them to settle the land of Canaan, or not? Still, despite any confusion he might or might not have had, Jacob did not hesitate to follow God's command.
Jacob gathered his eleven remaining sons and their families and, utilizing the Egyptian wagons sent for him by his son Joseph, packed up his belongings and headed to the land of Egypt (46:27-28). Settling into the area of Goshen, the 70 members of the family of Israel grew and prospered. Eventually, they would lose sight of God's Covenant promise to bless them as long as they lived in obedience to Him and, as a result, they would become enslaved by the nation that was now welcoming them with open arms. For the present, however, they enjoyed the peace that came from living in the will of the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee (Is. 26:3).
Jesus died and was resurrected so that we might be cleansed of our sins and be offered eternal life, and He will return and bring an end to all evil, pain, and suffering in the world. This is the promise that we live under, the covenant that has been established with every child of God. As the centuries pass, however, many have been deceived into believing that God's presence on earth has faded. Just as Jacob must have wondered about the ownership of Canaan, many today have come to question their status as citizens of God's kingdom. They theorize that the time of the Bible is now ancient history, so how can it possibly relate to modern life?
God's plan is bigger than we can comprehend, and His timeline is His own. Just as Jacob stepped out in faith over 4000 years ago, we too must believe God's promise simply because that is what He said. If we believe in God, then we must believe in His Word. There is no other way.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry (Hab. 2:3).
Thought for Today:
Sin makes us its slave, but Jesus can set us free.
By Joseph, who was placed by God second only to Pharaoh (Gen. 41:39-40) in order to sustain life and give provision (47:15-17). Jesus said: The Bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33).
46:4 shall put his hand upon thine eyes = will close your eyes when you die; 47:4 sore = severe; 47:6 of activity = skillful at their craft; 47:13 fainted = suffered, were exhausted; 47:18 not ought = nothing; 47:20 prevailed over them = continued to be severe; 47:21 removed them = moved them as servants; 48:6 issue, which thou begettest = your children; 48:10 were dim = became blind; 48:14 guiding his hands wittingly = crossing his hands intentionally.
Romans 12: 1 - 7
Romans 12: 1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;