There is one truth that reigns supreme.
God dedicates himself to His people.
To me and to you…
Jacob was now 130 years old. His life is coming to an end, but God has never left his side.
In chapter 46:1-4 we read about Jacob’s family leaving Hebron and traveling for about a week to Beersheba. Beersheba was a very special place to Jacob.
- This is where Abraham dug a well (Gen 21:30).
- This is where Abraham lived after offering Isaac on Mount Moriah (22:19), and it was from Beersheba that Jacob left for Laban’s house to find a wife.
- At Beersheba God had appeared to Hagar (21:17) and to Isaac (26:23-24) and now he would appear to Jacob.
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
As Jacob prepared to leave his home for a strange land, he paused to worship God. Can you imagine what he is feeling? His life is coming to an end and he is called to leave everything he knew. He did not know the circumstances of the future and what all that was in store for his family. What he did know was he had no reason to fear…God was with him.
It was in Egypt God would prepare Jacob’s descendants for their future destiny. They were to be a mighty nation. God’s chosen people.
God would go with Jacob to Egypt and bless him. Just as God goes with us into the unknown of our own futures and blesses us.
He dedicates Himself to us and the cross is our reminder.
Jacob had nothing to fear because God would keep the promises He made to him at Bethel (28:15).
It was here in Egypt God would multiply Jacob’s descendants and make them into a great nation (12:2). The Israelites would begin their temporary stay in Egypt under the protection of Pharaoh. Eventually that will change, but for now blessings are all around them.
We will read about their struggles in the near future, but what I will tell you is that suffering is on the horizon. This doesn’t mean God left them. Not at all. God was preparing them for something greater…even in their suffering. Read that last sentence again. Struggling with that? It will all make sense as we continue on our journey. God can even use our suffering and turn it around for the better.
God would use Jacob’s unknown and Israel’s future pain and suffering to mold them into the nation He had destined them to be. Today’s reading was a defining moment for Jacob, his family, and the future nation of Israel. It all begain by God dedicating Himself to His people in the face of change.
Change is never easy and we can all relate to the feelings and anxiety it creates. The next time you encounter it, think of Jacob.
His story is our story. We have no reason to fear because God is with us…
-Follow the other staff members and their observations from our chronological Bible readings here.
-Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Geneisis-Deuteronomy, (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishing, 2001).