Genesis: Day 28

Jacob Travels to Egypt

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Today's Text: Genesis 45:16-28, Genesis 46:1-34, Psalm 90:10-17

Text: Genesis 45:16-28, Genesis 46:1-34, Psalm 90:10-17

“What? Are you kidding me?!”

I blinked back tears. No discussion. The decision set. We were moving.

In utter disbelief, I learned we were not just relocating to another part of town or even another state. Right before my senior year of high school, after living seventeen years in Boulder, Colorado, my family planned to resettle clear across the ocean—in Hong Kong.

My parents dragged me by the ankles, kicking and screaming. Scratch marks from my nails could be seen in Boulder and Hong Kong, and all 7,542 miles in between. Had I known then what hard-won wisdom and perspective have taught me over the years, I might’ve saved myself a manicure and great deal of heartache.

This side of heaven we sometimes catch glimpses of understanding about our own situations. But more often than not, God asks us to rely on His Word to reassure us of His love and character, as well as the promises He freely gives to those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

As we near the end of Genesis, we read about Jacob as he approaches the end of his life. Through Scripture, our vantage point gives us the ability to review his life in its entirety, enabling us to see God at work in Jacob and also in spite of him.

Jacob’s story is one marked by deception. Some instances were instigated by Jacob (Genesis 27:36), and in others, he got as good he gave (Genesis 29:25)—which isn’t saying much. His relational experiences ran the gamut: from strife, grief, and loss, to promises kept and broken. They dot the landscape of Jacob’s life. Perhaps to Jacob, his circumstances seemed haphazard. But we have the benefit of Scripture to offer us perspective on how all the pieces of his life worked together for God’s greater purpose.

“I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back.”
-Genesis 46:4

When God assures Jacob (now renamed Israel) of both His continued presence and plan to go down with him to Egypt and back again, Jacob’s heart responds in worship. As readers, our own hearts quicken with the knowledge of God’s greater plan for Israel. Jacob didn’t know the full extent of what God was promising, but we do! And the most miraculous parts of Israel’s story were yet to come.

Seeing Jacob’s life through the lens of Scripture restores hope to my own. His story encourages me that, no matter my hardships, mistakes, loss, or waywardness—God is redeeming it all for His glory and in the context of a much greater story.

Looking back now, I remember our time in Hong Kong with great fondness. I see how God proved His faithfulness to our family then, which gives me hope for my struggles today.

We are always en route, never really arriving until Glory. We journey, holding on to hope, as we see God’s faithfulness behind us and cling to His promises before us. May we lean into Israel’s story, remembering that He is trustworthy, and learning to pray as Moses did:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
-Psalm 90:12

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  • Sarah Yetter

    I hope that my responses to God’s promises are worship as well! Wrench was thrown in some plans I was looking forward to. But being present for my foster daughter at a last minute poetry reading clearly the more important thing. So much I don’t see in how it all works together. I love the reminder that God is there with us “there and back again”. That’s all I really need to know.

  • Kasey Summers

    Lord give me a heart of wisdom to number my days and live them for you alone.

  • I sometimes wonder if Jacob stole a curse intead of a blessing. His life so full pain and heartbreaks. But i also notice God has blessed him and compensated him for everything

  • I particularly appreciated the thought of seeing God’s faithfulness behind us and clinging to His promises before us. That, I’ve found, is the only way to walk the life of faith with victory, because when we look around at all the difficulties that surround us, we lose our way. Thanks for your insight! :)

  • Ann Marie

    What is our current story in which God is redeeming for His glory? For me right now it is my small group. I am leading it and God is using it as a vehicle for redemption. I know God will use this group to “go down with us, and bring us back.” We will be there for each other during the celebrations and the hard times. I am looking forward to how God will use this group to help his glory shine through so others can experience his awesomeness!

  • I don’t know why this struck me, but I love that Israel sent Judah ahead to show the way to Goshen. Those little details, foretellings of Christ, are so precious to me. God sent Jesus to show us the path to His promised land!

    • Tamara B

      Didn’t notice it untill now, but it’s indeed so wonderfull to keep seeing His fortellings all trough genesis!

  • Hi Sisters, 2 things struck me in today’s reading. Maybe they resonate with you too. #1 Joseph doesn’t send his “difficult” brothers on their journey with words such as “what goes round comes round”. Instead he sends them with the necessary tools and supplies to make their way to the father! And he doesn’t leave them there he provides helps to have them return to his fellowship! #2 Joseph’s life was not “proved” to his father through words alone. It was the combination of testimony and his generous gifts. This combination resulted in his fathers spirit transformation. Jacob believed that his son did indeed have life!

  • Michelle

    “We are always en route, never really arriving until Glory.” Wow; that is such a bold and remarkable statement! I never thought of my circumstances this way. I definitely see my life as a journey of growing closer to God until I’m ready to go home, but still. This is so awesome! Even in the Bible it shows that all the people that led to Jesus were en route until the Messiah came to save us! I am so excited to see this play out in my own life day by day. It can be really hard to connect the dots when I don’t understand what God is doing all the time, but I have seen in the past how it works out to the now, which is so encouraging and helps grow my faith immensely!

  • “Make us rejoice for as many days as you have humbled us.” (Psalm 90:15)
    This prayer caught my eye and my heart this morning. What hope?! The hope of rejoicing for as many days as we are humbled. Because, let’s be honest, life’s circumstances can flat out knock us down sometimes leaving us hurt, confused, or uncertain. Even and especially when we take big risks, big leaps of faith. I am often left questioning my chosen, well-intentioned path, “Have I wondered off? Will I ever find my way back? I don’t understand, God.”
    In my experience, it is often harder and more humbling to take these paths less traveled – the risky, faith-leaping kind. I often find myself on these paths. And I see today, that I truly need to embrace this part of myself, of my life. Because I have chosen not to go the easy routes, the expected routes, the familiar routes that others I know have taken. I have instead chosen those roads less traveled that lead me outside of my comfort zone, often shaking up my heart and my soul to the core. Yet, each path leaves me humbled, changed, and growing ever-closer to God’s heart. So, so good are the paths less traveled that I am on. *Because God goes with me.*
    Grateful that God gives me the strength to keep walking on these roads I have chosen. Grateful He works out all things for good along those paths – He always does. Praying He places people on my present path who can relate and walk along with me, even if only for a time. Remaining hopeful in Him, for the coming days (or years!) of rejoicing. I will pray and trust His Word that these joyful days are coming. Indeed, they are coming! And if they are slow in coming, He is still good. He is always faithful. Praying to find the joy right here, in the humbling.

  • I’ve been more an observer in the comments section as of late, but find so much comfort in all of your testimony.

    As I struggle with the loss of my friend and colleague (the first loss I’ve experienced) I am challenged to find gratitude in what feels like a hopeless situation.

    I ask God for wisdom and strength as my friend’s family had reached out to me for comfort. Lord, in this time when I find myself asking “will there ever be a time that things are easy?” I ask that you give me the courage and faith to focus on you and not the circumstances. To remember that we are not promised this life would be easy, but we are promised that we will have peace in you.

    God bless you, sisters. So thankful for you.

    • Beverly

      Praying over you, Joanna. That He will wrap you up in His love, and sustain you with peace during this time.

  • Rochelle

    Remembering God’s faithfulness, trusting in His promises. This has become my mantra in a time of major uncertainty for my family.

    • Beverly

      Love your mantra, Rochelle. Thanks for sharing these words. Praying for your family now, for continued hope and trust in Him through this season. Grateful that He sustains us through these times.

    • Churchmouse

      Amen!

    • Kylee

      Yes, Rochelle! Writing this in my prayers journal. Thank you for sharing — praying right now that God would continuously guide your family through this difficult time, giving you strength and grace to endure. Love to you from MN, lady!

    • She Reads Truth

      Love this, Rochelle. Praying this for you and your family today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • SRT friends, I have a prayer request. On Monday I start my new career as a culinary arts instructor at a magnet high school. I’ll be honest I’m starting with reluctancy. Communication during the hiring process has been poor and starting in the middle of a school year presents its own challenges. It’s so different from corporate culinary and I have such an uneasy feeling about the situation. I feel like I’m set up for failure. Prayers for confidence and trust. I feel like my own fears equals not trusting the Lord has my back in the situation. It’s clear from Genesis, God fulfills his promises and sees the greater picture when we don’t. As we wrap up the study, I’m so grateful the Lord has led me here. Looking forward to see what the Lent study has in store for us.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you and your students! Praying that within the walls of your classroom you will teach not only trade skills but LIFE skills, that those students would be drawn to the Spirit within you even though they may not recognize Him for Who He us. God has placed you there to be a blessing and receive a blessing. Rest in Him!

    • Taime'

      Reading your request and beginning to prayer, struck with this scripture: 1 Kings 17:13Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ”
      15She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord…
      Praying you will take this new opportunity one step at a time, allowing God to “Mise en place”. The oven is waiting. Blessings.

    • heather (MNmomma)

      lifting you up <3

  • “We see God’s faithfulness behind us and cling to his promises before us!”
    My husband and I are starting training this weekend to become foster parents. I’ve been wrestling with God about it and have so many fears and questions, but He continues to press it on our hearts and give us courage to move forward. When I look back at how faithful he has been to us when we are obedient and trust Him through our fears, a peace washes over me. He is good and always provides

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for the child you will be welcoming in to your home. And praying blessings on you all for your willingness to listen to God’s call – venturing forward even without a definitive map. He will be your map!

    • Cari

      We started the foster care training classes last week. I’m also scared of what kind of child we could get and what will happen when the child returns to their family…But God will be with us on this path! I’ll be praying for you to have peace in this experience!

      • Juliet

        Oh that’s wonderful! I love hearing about other families joining this journey. Praying for you as well, that He will increase our strength in this season

    • Taime'

      Esther 4:14 “who knows whether you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this” Chosen Sister, the “nation” of children God sends into your “castle” are/will be chosen by our loving and generous God. He can choose any foster parents for these children. But God, has chosen you! Thank you for responding to Holy Spirit’s urging even when the journey feels like a “how can this be” situation. Praying blessings on your “castle”.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    ————–> “Seeing Jacob’s life through the lens of Scripture restores hope to my own. His story encourages me that, no matter my hardships, mistakes, loss, or waywardness—God is redeeming it all for His glory and in the context of a much greater story.”

    THIS! Yes! Amen! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Oh I just love this commentary today, Vivian. Thank you for reminding us that we are always en route until Glory! Loving this entire study of Genesis but am particularly fond of Joseph and his family story. The coat of many colors had me from the start. Any reminder that God is with us in everything starts my day off right. Psalm 90 is one of my favorite as proven with underlining in my Bible. So happy to visit those words today and be reminded, encouraged, and energized.

  • I have a quick question. Why does Genesis go back and forth between “Jacob” and “Israel”. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Gen 35:10) Later God calls him “Jacob” (Gen 46:2) It goes back and forth like that several times.

  • Looking back on previous lessons: separating & scattering, stepping into the unknown, leaving the comfortable, ” it’s not fair, it’s not fair, prisons of life!!! GOD is working, HE has a plan & a purpose…HE is sovereign!!! As this journey continues…with hope in my heart, help me cling to YOUR promises…knowing YOU are faithful & trustworthy!!
    As I have shared in previous posts, we are entering into the “autumn” of our lives and seeking The Lord’s guidance for moving to a “retirement community”… Trusting every thought, plan & step to Him….Praying for HIS direction as we trust our future into HIS HANDS!
    (Always enroute, never really arriving until Glory!). Hallelujah!!!
    SHALOM dear sisters…keep walking !

  • “We are always en route”… Isn’t that the truth? By all accounts, I have a beautiful life, but there have been many times when I’ve thought, ‘can’t anything just be easy??’ It seems sometimes that around every turn is another struggle, another disappointment, another waiting period to get to that beautiful ending. Today I’m praying that God would help me to trust in His perspective- though I can’t see my whole story like we can see Joseph’s, I want to trust that God sees the whole picture and knows exactly why those struggles and waiting periods are necessary.

    • Rebekah

      My thoughts exactly Jess! Very appropriate since yesterday I just went on a tirade (in my own head) about why does everything have to be so hard? “Hard” being defined by my selfish human nature wanting everything to go my way. This morning I am also praying for perspective and trusting that God will use it all for His Glory!!

    • Beverly

      To trust in His perspective. Yes! I’m praying right along with you, Jess.
      And what a comfort to know that He sees the whole picture of my life, of my future. Because if I’m honest with myself and lay aside my ideals of how things should go, I know that He is faithful. Always faithful, and His ways and plans are best.

  • Away from home today…as I was traveling last night I was reminded of God’s direction. I had several unexpected stops along the way, only to drive past an accident at my exit. Praising the Lord for keeping me safe. So thankful for detours in my plan. God is good all the time. Thankful for victory over a rotten attitude and discouragement with the delays in traveling. Love it when God tells me “I got this!” Have a blessed day!

  • I am worn today. I know you know the type of day. Exhausted from an array of emotions that seem to permeate even your waking moments. This season in Genesis is proving to speak directly to my eldest and I right now. This poor kid is such a good kid. She has endured much in life, and it seems that she is ongoingly asked to endure. To sit back as mom and not be able to do anything is pretty excruciating at times. Like most seniors in high school she has been anxiously awaiting college acceptance letters. She has worked really hard and achieved so much at a top nation college prep school. The girl has run circles around my own abilities in those days. Her number one school of choice has a unique program that is world renowned for her course of study and limited in space. Knowing this, she made sure to apply in the early deadlines so that upon acceptance she could be admitted to the program. Because we moved in the middle of her 9th grade year, her transcripts appeared wily on the online application and we called several times to confirm it was rec’d well. Each time being told it was. Still no letter. Upon calling this week, it was revealed that there was an error on the college’s part and her application has gone untouched, which pushes back everything making her future very uncertain there and making her chances of receiving necessary scholarships lower. Hurt is a word that doesn’t cover this for her. I kid you not, she has been dealt so much in life and just once it would be wonderful if things went naturally for her….like she could’ve received confirmation like all of the kids around her. But she presses one. I’ve been reminding her of Joseph’s story, been sharing with her the dysfunction of the family, reminded her of Jacob’s journey and they have served to calm her spirit because in these days of trusting that whether or not she gets into this program or school all together, her heart hurts. She knows that God has great plans for her, she knows that journies can be rough and long, she is ready for whatever the walk with look like, but she looks forward to her Egypt and a few beautiful stops on the way. Remembering, this morning, your words Vivian, for myself and my daughter, “We are always en route” …

    • Kristi

      We are going through a very similar situation with our son right now and my heart hurt along with you for your daughter as I read your words. Prayers for your daughter and for you.

    • Emily

      It wasn’t too long ago that I was in a similar situation, B. I know how frustrating and draining it can be to know you’ve done the work on your end, only to find out there was an error on the college’s end. I’ll be praying for a positive outcome!

    • Taylor

      I think Shauna Niequist said, “sometimes the happiest ending isn’t the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.” What a timely story you have in Joseph right now, too. I’m sending love and prayers your way. God’s purpose always prevails. Xx

    • SusieT

      Oh, B, what a disappointment! And I know what pressure kids can put on themselves, too. You are a wise mama to share with her the story of Joseph! When, years from now, she looks back at this situation, she will remember how that was intertwined in her experience. Be assured, our Lord not only will direct your sweet daughter exactly where she should attend, but will also provide a way! …Praying for you both!

    • Churchmouse

      I’m praying for your daughter to trust that God has her on His way to her Canaan. Egypt was not the final stop God had in mind for Israel, though they thought being there was saving them from the famine and so was a good place. Egypt was merely a ‘lay over stop’ for them. Canaan was their true destination. God knows your daughter’s Canaan, her promised land – He will get her there. So grateful she has you to encourage her along the way. God’s will. God’s way. God’s timing. All good.

    • Beverly

      Keeping your daughter in prayer, B. (What strength she must have from enduring!) Praying she have peace and continued guidance as God’s plans come to fruition in her life.

    • candacejo

      I am so sorry to hear she is hurting in this way. My prayers are also with the both of you today. ♥

    • heather (MNmomma)

      Lifting you both up today <3 hugs!!!

  • My husband moved us a few years ago and, like Vivian, I came kicking and screaming. This–“We are always en route, never really arriving until Glory.” My hope and faith must be in God, not any place or circumstance. I can make an idol out of a city, a group of friends, a church, a job, even my family. If I have things like I like them, I get ruffled when God asks me to change them. The take-home message for me today is GOD is my home. Wherever He is, I am home.

    • candacejo

      Kelly, I was beginning to write the same thing when I saw yours pop up! I’ve had a couple of moves like that, to pastor different churches in different cities and they were not always happy times, of course! But God truly “brings us back” and uses those difficult times as stepping stones and testimonies not just for us but for others as well.

      You said it so much better, thank you ♥

      • Andrea

        GOD is my home… I like that. I have also moved several times growing up & never felt I had roots enough to call any place “home”. Praying to find rest & belonging in my Father no matter where I am.

  • I visited my older son and his family on Sunday…it was lovely to see all and good laughter and play seem to be the way…
    Well, until my granddaughter who had been playing very happily with her friend, making up dance moves, drawing, playing with her American dolls…dressing up…down…ahhh they didn’t sit still…well until…her friend put on her ‘Belle’ dress from the Disney store…oh my goodness, all the wars together could not have made a noise as loud as she did… the best bit has to be when she said…” I don’t like her anyway, because she ruined my third birthday….” My granddaughter is now 7!!!!…talk about holding a grudge…!
    The girl in question was 18 months old at the time of the 3rd bitrhday party…and had no idea, I’m sure, that the yummy looking cake was not to be eaten yet…ooops!
    I have to say I am fearful for my granddaughter and her future dealings with others…but thank God for reads like this, because we sure do need them, from time to time…a reminder that though we cannot see too far ahead God walks with us, and when all is done He brings us back…He brings us back to HOPE and the safety of his Word and promises…
    My granddaughter, has a lot of years ahead of her, and I pray she will be able to forgive ‘the sin’ of an 18 month old toddler, one day…but that as she grows into the beautiful person God intends her to be, she will also look back and realise that God was with her through the thick and thin…and that there have been many more ‘beautiful cake’ moments since …
    Trusting your days’ Will be absolutely Blessed dearest heart s…xxx

    • candacejo

      Beautiful story!! With examples like you, your granddaughter will grow into the beautiful person God intends her to be. Thank you for sharing! ♥

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