Day 28

Jacob Travels to Egypt

from the Genesis reading plan


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

BY Vivian Mabuni

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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52 thoughts on "Jacob Travels to Egypt"

  1. Sarah Yetter says:

    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.

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

    1. Frannie says:

      Amen. Me too, Father

  3. Sara says:

    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

  4. Bethany says:

    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! :)

  5. Ann Marie says:

    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!

  6. Jessie says:

    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!

    1. Tamara B says:

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

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