Jacob looked at all the carts, sacks of grain and animals before he stared at his sons. Simeon’s face was too sad for a proper reunion. “What is the meaning of all this stuff?”
Benjamin walked up to his dad and grasped Jacob’s shoulders. “Joseph sent them. He wants us to bring you to him.”
Jacob squinted at his youngest son. “What are you talking about? Joseph is dead. I saw his coat myself.”
Judah cleared his throat. “But, there’s a reason you never saw his body.”
Jacob glanced at each pale face of his ten eldest sons. Benjamin guided his father to a bench.
Reuben came over and knelt on one knee. “The man we’ve been dealing with in Egypt is Joseph.”
Jacob pushed back a wave of grief as he stared at his eldest son. “But, you said he was killed by wild animals. How can you know this is Joseph?”
Levi spoke up. “He sat us by birth order for a meal. Nobody in Egypt would know that but Joseph.”
Jacob shook his head. “How would you know Joseph would be in Egypt?”
Reuben placed a hand on Jacob’s thigh. “We sold him to some traders going that way. As far as we knew he was dead by now. But, God has been with him.”
Tears steamed down Jacob’s cheeks as he grabbed Reuben’s hand. “My Joseph is still alive. I shall see him before I die. How soon can we go?”
When the caravan came to the place Jacob grew up he stopped them to reminisce. Beersheba was empty now. The echoes were all in Israels’s head.
He looked at Reuben. “Bring the strongest bulls here to the altar.’
He stared at Levi. “Bring the best rams. Hurry!”
He grabbed Simeon’s arm. “The best of the goats must be given to God. Find the strongest ones.”
The ground was soon soaked in blood. The sky filled with smoke.
A feast was enjoyed by all that evening.
Laughter and voices filled Jacob’s tent as he laid down for the night. A prayer to God preceded slumber. “We’re leaving the land You promised us. We must, for food and…I must see Joseph again.”
A tear rolled into his beard.
God appeared to Jacob in a dream. “I am the God of your fathers. I will make you into a great nation in Egypt. It’s My plan for you to go there. I will bring you back here again. Joseph will be with you at the end.”
The story of God’s chosen people takes an interesting turn here. The boy who was sold into slavery has risen to the throne of the most powerful nation at the time. To survive the famine the family must go to a foreign land to live.
What would become of the promise of the land?
Would the family stay together?
Is there some way we can stay and live?
These must have been some of the questions floating around Isreal/Jacob’s head. God waited until he was stilled in sleep to speak to him.
God assured the old man he was in His will here. Egypt had a place in this family’s saga.
As I look at the big picture here I see some interesting things regarding prayer.
- God spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob several times to guide them. Abraham went to Egypt once then returned to the land. Isaac was stopped by God from going to Egypt. Jacob was forced to Egypt by the worst famine ever imagined.
- God never spoke to Joseph directly, nor any of his brothers. Joseph’s boyhood dreams were as close to a divine communication any of them ever received. Yet, God was definitely in every step of each of their lives.
- It would be over four centuries until God would reach out to anyone from this family in direct communication. I’m sure several people must have thought God forgot about them during their time of slavery, until the burning bush.
Wherever you are in this spectrum believe God is working in your life, too.
If you’re receiving assurances and open doors then proceed with abandon for God’s kingdom.
If you’re living off past promises then keep plugging along until you see those promises fulfilled.
If you’re surrounded by heart ache and hardships keep taking one step at a time. Your burning bush may come without notice, too.
Living on this side of the cross means God is working differently than He was back then. We can have a relationship they only dreamed of. The indwelling Holy Spirit is alive and active today.
There may still be times of “silence” from God, but He’s still involved.
We have the promises of scripture to spur us on. Let’s use them that way.
God may bless for a season like there’s no tomorrow. Move full steam ahead my friend.
For several generations Jacob’s descendants looked forward to returning to the land promised to Abraham. We, too, are looking forward to a promised land.
Actually, a kingdom awaits us.
Jesus promised His followers that He would build homes for us in that kingdom.
There’s an address book with the names of its occupants.
Our goal is to find as many of those residents as we can.
As soon as the last name is uncovered Jesus will come back and judge those who refuse to believe Him.
If your name is in that book you will reign with Jesus in that kingdom.
Those are the promises we are given, not promises of a great life here and now.
Suffering and heart ache will be normal for us here.
Peace and tranquility will be ours for eternity there.
Build your relationship with God strong now. In other words delight yourself in Him.
Then He will give you the desires of your heart, not your heart’s desires. There’s a difference.
Jacob’s sacrifices showed God where the old man’s heart was.
What sacrifices are you making for your heavenly Father?
Show Him your love. He’ll spur you on, too.
I’ll see you later. Wade