Jacob Comes to Egypt

Open Your Bible

Genesis 46:1-34, Genesis 47:1-31, Genesis 48:1-22, Psalm 31:19

Sometimes the language of Scripture is so tender, I’m tempted to look away. We find such a moment in Genesis 48. When Jacob sent his favorite son on a simple errand to check the family pasture, that son, Joseph, was barely out of boyhood. Scripture tells us he was just seventeen years old (Genesis 37:2). But Joseph never came home. Jacob believed the story his other sons told him, that his favorite boy was dead. He must have mentally buried all of his hopes for Joseph’s future.

In the unbelievable providence of God, Jacob was reunited with his boy. But Joseph wasn’t a teenager anymore. The son Israel lost now had sons of his own, and Israel’s hopes for his boy were suddenly resurrected. You can almost hear the wonder and surprise in his voice when he looked at his grandsons for the first time and asked, “Who are these?” (Genesis 48:8).

Israel wasted no time on icebreakers. Seeing your children taken and returned has a way of cutting through the trivial. “Bring them to me and I will bless them,” he said (v.9). Scripture describes Jacob as a tired old man, with eyes that didn’t work like they used to (v.11), but he had seen enough in his life to know to hold his blessings close. Knowing this, these words in particular from this interaction put a lump in my throat:

“Then Joseph took them from his father’s knees
and bowed with his face to the ground… then [Jacob] blessed Joseph and said…
‘the angel who has redeemed me from all harm—
may he bless these boys’” (vv.12,15–16).

The image of Ephraim and Manassah sitting on their grandfather’s knee pulls every string in my heart. There’s such tenderness in this moment. Such precious, paternal prayer. The words of blessing Jacob spoke over his grandsons weren’t grandiose. Though Jacob wrestled with God to secure his own blessing (Genesis 32:22–32), for the next generation, he sweetly whispered “bless these boys.” It was a prayer God certainly answered—a prayer God is answering still.

You don’t have to strongarm God to get Him to listen. Brute force is not the secret to praying with power. Lift your babies onto your knee. Grab a friend. Pull her close. Simply ask God to bless the ones you love.

(27) Comments

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27 thoughts on "Jacob Comes to Egypt"

  1. Tina says:

    Nancy Singleton… singing an Hallelujah right there into your story… God is so so good..
    Hugs and love from across the pond..❤

  2. Mari V says:

    Last night I got the opportunity to pour into my daughter. She was trying to help a friend and was asking advice. I took the opportunity to mindfully (while asking God) to give me the right words. I love these moments. I may not have all the answers but I know WHO does. I pointed my daughter back to Jesus. I told her to ask HIM and HE will make it known to her. And as her mom I also cautioned her regarding relationships. I carefully advised that if in any way these relationships could cause her to compromise her faith (while her intentions are to help a friend) I advised her to not continue with those relationships. Or at least set her boundaries. And thankfully she told me she has. She wants to be the light of Jesus and that’s wonderful but I told her do it wisely and to be carefully.
    I love my daughter very much! And just as Churchmouse mentioned this morning, we want the best for our kids. The better clothes, the better house, the better everything. But most importantly the relationship with God.

  3. Maura says:

    So Amazing is our God. Thank you for sharing sisters. I am always blessed by your words. Tina what a beautiful tribite to your Dad. My own Dad, now in his late eighties has always been there for me. He forgets now that he is older and his memory is failing. He feels he failed us. And, I have to remind him that this is not true. He always loved us unconditionally. And I was so blessed. I always see in your words sisters Jesus. Praying He is in my words and to be a blessing this day. Hugs and love to you all.

  4. Erin Barth says:

    Sisters! The devotional today was so touching, but the comments almost equally as much! How wonderful to read Joseph’s reuniting with his earthly father and then hear it echoed over and over here below. God is so good to give us families to love us. Mine is so very far away in this season, but I pray to be reunited someday (like Jacob, Joseph and his grandsons).

  5. Lindsey Bailey says:

    Tenderness. Gentleness. He is near when our hearts are low. No grandiose performance needed. Just knees that can pull little ones onto them and speak God’s sincere blessing. Knees that know how to bend to the ground in a full heart surrender. We can over complicate and overthink, but when we bow in a glad surrender, our hearts are near to Him and blessing can flow through us.

  6. Angie says:

    Genesis reads somewhat like a biography.
    Generations of lives.
    Generations of peoples, formed by the hand of God, given a soul, kissed with the breath of life.
    Placed in families. They recognized the gift of family lineage. Do we? Do I?
    I pray for my husband, sons, their wives, and my precious, precious grandchildren.
    I pray for our parents, that are still earth-bound, and our siblings.
    I pray, we pray for these gifts from God.
    What blessing do I pray over them?
    Simple-Singular, Jesus as Lord, Master, King of their lives.
    Resting in His love and peace. Centered in Truth.
    Married or single,
    God places people in our lives.
    God places us in people’s lives.
    We are His hands and feet, today-through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    I pray that the singular priority of Jesus will be the blessing to those He gives me/us-by birth, adoption, or in heart alone. Family and friends, brothers and sisters in the kingdom
    We have earth-bound families, and a much larger heavenly one.
    Hallelujah. May we, and the generations that follow praise our great God.

  7. Tina says:

    Erin, I feel you are talking about my life in a way here..!
    As a 3year old child, my parents went their separate ways. My brother and I went with daddy. He was my hero. My bestfriend. My protector. My Dad.

    What an idyllic life we lived under the African skies.. but there was something missing for me, I wanted to know my mother, and so one day I asked dad if I could meet her… he bought me a ticket when I was 16.. to come visit her..

    I stayed..

    Dad came looking for me, found me with a child, a daughter, asked no questions, just extended his visit to help look after her and me!
    The next time he saw me, was when my grandma died,14 years later! Then 10years after that when my daughter passed away and I just needed my dad! On that visit, as he took me to the airport, he began telling me the provisions of his will, what he was leaving to my brother and what he was leaving to me.. I told him, I didnt want to hear, and that he would see me again, I promised I would return the following year.. which I did.. but heres the thing that I understand now, daddy, did not hold out that he would see us again, as our visits were so infrequent, my brother and I had been his life, and though he did the right thing for us, in letting us come visit our mother, we selfishly stayed leaving this man, this wonderful father alone.., I understand Jacob’s heart in this devotional!

    I spoke to my dad all the time, funds just didnt stretch to frequent visits.. but on one of my last visits, I took my youngest son.. the delight and joy it brought my dad shall stay with me forever.. inseparable they were.. went everywhere together, they talked for hours!

    God, knows the plans HE has for our lives, He knows and hears the cries of our hearts, and He goes ahead of plans to make them work for his glory.. I absolutely know that my life has had its ups and downs… there have been deep deep valleys and pits that at the time, I could see no way out..

    But God..

    My Dear Dear Wonderful God.. has, when I look back, has NEVER EVER failed me.. I knew my earthly father for 17 years plus the however many 2 week visits, but those were enough, to forge and cement a lasting loving relationship that held up against the test of time and distance.. God always always made a way..

    Thank you Lord God, that you know the beginning, the middle and the end of our lives, our journeys, and Lord, I especially thank you that you make a way where ways need to be made, for your love, grace, mercy and hope to shine through for your glory.. I truly want to thank you for my story and my wonderful earthly father whose love was always evident.. thank you Lord God for family, ahh, for family.. ❤


    Just as,an aside, my wonderful fathers name was Joseph..❤

    Thankful for you my Sisters, with love.❤

    1. Bernadette BeckstedPerry says:

      Oh Tina, just recently losing my Dad, your post hit me. I have been wrestling with guilt, and God spoke to me through you. As I sit here with years running down my cheeks, a thousand thanks and a huge virtual hug from Florida.

    2. Joyce Smith says:

      Tina, thank you so much for sharing you life to all of us. Yes, God was and is all over your story. What a wonderful loving father you have. His effect not only was on you but also with your children. God is so very good, He will never leave us nor forsake us!!!!
      So very Blessed!❤️❤️❤️❤️

    3. Jennifer Cummings says:

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful story ❤️

    4. Jane K says:

      Thank you Tina for sharing your story with us. I’m learning how to trust God through it all and I thank you for sharing your journey.

    5. Jen Ryan says:

      Tina,your beautiful story brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your gift of love and family memories with us. What treasures.

    6. Nancy Singleton says:

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful life story. I was a very rebellious teenager/young adult, & did many things that broke my parent’s hearts. And yet their love persisted, even to the point of praying me right into the kingdom! God gave me many years to restore a beautiful relationship with both of them & to care for them through illness & death, even to the point of singing & praying them right to Heaven’s gates! God is so good!

    7. Jennifer Wing says:


  8. Churchmouse says:

    We strive to give our children more than we ourselves had. We want them to have the better clothes, the nicer house, the better education, the better job, better opportunities. Oh that we would also want them to have a better relationship with God. We know our own struggles with belief and trust. May we desire for them a better, deeper faith in, and reliance on, God than we have had. May we be diligent to share Truth in the light of our experiences. May we bless the next generation with a clearer vision of God and His plan for them. Is that gift not only better but the best?

    1. Lynn S says:

      Amen and amen!!

    2. Mari V says:

      Yes, it’s the better gift. Thank you Churchmouse.