Exodus 3 Part 1–The Call of Moses

It had been a lot of years.  Moses had become quite the shepherd.  He could move a flock of hardheaded and stubborn sheep as well as any.  As Moses was leading the sheep on this day, God had a bigger job than He could ever imagine.  He was going to make Moses the ultimate shepherd of a very stubborn flock.  All Moses had to do was go back to Egypt where he was a wanted man and tell Pharaoh to let Egypt’s work force leave.  No big deal, Right?

It was at that moment Moses asked the big question, “When I approach these folks and they ask who this God is that you represent, what is your name?”  It is then that God says I AM.  What a big statement.  God did not need to be named, He simply is the God, the master of the universe.  I AM would make His presence known and His authority obvious.  He did not need a bunch of marketing or press build up; God was confident in HIs place in the universe.

I AM was telling Moses he did not have to vouch for God.  He simply had to go and be an advocate and a shepherd of Israel.  Make no mistake, this was no small task.  Moses would find over the next generation that this was the biggest and most difficult mission Moses could have received.  Still, God had prepared Moses for this mission and as Mordecai told Esther, “Perhaps God has prepared you for such a time as this.”

God takes His time developing His leaders to complete the missions He has laid out.  There is never a question of God’s ability or timing, The only question is our willingness to trust the Lord, and follow along.  If we trust God, He will develop us from where we are to where He needs us to be.  It will take time and not ever proceed as we would plan.  In the end, however, the Lord’s way will be right, and we will be blessed for following Him and His plan.

God Bless You

 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am!” Moses replied.

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

14 God replied to Moses, “I am who i am.[d] Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh,[e] the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name,

Exodus 2 Part 2–An Unorthodox Beginning to an Adventure

How does one get a cocky young prince to a place where he can lead people? I am sure that if you would have asked God that question, Moses’ story would have been the source of information.  Moses knew he was an Israelite.  He was a part of the family of Pharaoh and was offered all the benefits of being a prince.  But to show his loyalty to Israel, he killed an Egyptian who was mistreating one of the Israelites.  Sadly, that did not end well.  Pharaoh now wanted Moses’ head and Moses had to flee Egypt.  He ended up in Midian.

In Midian he came across a group of female shepherds and protected and served them.  This led to a dinner, that led to a marriage, that led to making Moses a Shepherd…go figure.  There is no other way that a young cocky Egyptian prince would have ever learned to lead and shepherd.  Egyptian hated sheep and shepherds, after all.

Moses began his adventure in a very unorthodox way.  It would carry on through his entire life.  God had heard the cry of HIs people and now began the preparation for their taking their lands.  It was not a predictable path.  but it was effective.  The people had to be prepared, Moses had to be prepared, and the enemies of God had to be set up to be taken down.  It is a complex plan, but God does those plans the best of all.

We make choices.  Those choices impact our lives in ways we can never imagine.  It is only when we can trust and follow Him that we see the execution of the Lord’s glorious plan in our lives.  We can never give up or give in while God is in charge.  He will do things and arrange lives to produce results that are astounding.  Get ready, keep your eyes peeled.  God hears your prayers and is ready to make His plan work in our lives.

God Bless You

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[c] saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Exodus 2 Part 1–God’s Providence Trumps all Men’s Plans

There is no gentle way to say it, Pharaoh was killing all the Israelite male children he could get his hands on.  He truly feared they would rise and defeat him.  He feared that a leader would arise that would sway the hearts of the people away from slavery.

In all frankness, it was a legitimate fear.  The irony was that if Pharaoh had only treated Israel with a little kindness and empathy, he probably could have kept them as slaves for generations.  fortunately, God’s providence prevailed.  Out of the inhuman treatment of Israel, male child arose.  He was from the tribe of Levi, and his mom but him in a basket and hid him among the reeds.

It was quite the coincidence that Pharaoh’s own daughter would find and adopt him into the royal family.  He would know Egyptian culture and receive the best education.  He would be trained to lead and to do battle.  He would know the strengths and weaknesses of Egypt.  All the while, he would also know his heritage and be taught Hebrew tradition and learn of Adonai.

God does not accidentally do anything.  There are no coincidences. It is his providence, plan, and timing that literally makes the world move forward.  Our Lord knows the past from the beginning and the future to eternity.  If we could ever really grasp the enormity of that we would have true peace.  God even knows the boneheaded moves we are going to make.  He knows the unfortunate accidents.  He sees the victories, defeats, fears, and challenges we face and will face in the days ahead.

We can never underestimate God’s hand in our lives.  We may not be the next Moses; but we do have a purpose and a legacy to leave.  We must trust that God will use us and simply needs our availability and obedience to change our corner of the world. It not only takes a Moses, but it also takes a Meriam–Moses’ sister, a Pharaoh’s daughter and a mom that makes baskets.  It is all about His providence.

God Bless You

About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.

Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said.

Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked.

“Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.

“Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.

10 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses,[a] for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

Exodus 1–Israel, Once a Nation Blessed; Now a Nation Enslaved

The story of Israel’s liberation has its beginning in the salvation of the known world.  Joseph manages Egypt through the most life-threatening famine the world had experienced.  Seven years of famine without any major plagues or starvation.  Israel and his family (70 in all) settled in Egypt and began to prosper.  They grew so well and so large that as the years passed, they became a threat to Pharaoh.  Pharaoh and his people forgot that without Joseph they would have all starved and died. 

Now Egypt was strong and prosperous.  Cities were being built and labor was needed.  So, a later Pharaoh, one who did not remember Joseph and his contribution, converted Israel’s life from partners to slaves.  As the relationship changed, God continued to prepare Israel for their liberation.  He worked in the lives of critical people like midwives to preserve the nation.

Vintage engraving of Ancient Egyptians building a Pyramid

All that being said, Israel was moving into one of its dark periods and it needed God’s man to bring them through.  The good news was that, as always, God had a plan.  What is more, God’s plan would launch Israel to a place they now are enjoying thousands of years later.  Israel’s history is filled with great and awful moments.  Through them all, one constant remains; God’s hand leading, guiding and directing His chosen people.

That same God loves us as his adopted children, and He offers to walk with us through our life battles and struggles.  We simply need to trust and obey the Lord and allow Him to lead.  If we will, we will see God’s plan take shape, and we will be able to live full and meaningful lives.  The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us.  He loves us way too much for that.

God Bless You

In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.

Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. 10 We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.[b]

11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. 13 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. 14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.

15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver.[c] If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?” he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?”

19 “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,” the midwives replied. “They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.”

20 So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”

Genesis 50–The Ending of a Hero’s Story

And so ends the story of Joseph.  He began his service to the Pharaoh at age 30.  He had his family with him by age 37,  He served and lived another 70 years in Egypt, and was loved and honored to the end.  His brothers were cared for and he saw his family grow to 4 generations.  The great part of Joseph’s story was that there was no sad ending or stupid choice.  He lived and died serving God.

He prospered in Egypt and helped Egypt to lead the world through the famine.  After that, there was no family drama nor was there political intrigue.  Joseph was as committed to the mission God placed him on as he had been at the beginning.  He lived and died a true hero.

We need to live the same way.  Our goal needs to be to serve the Lord and Him only.  As we do that, we can endure the trials life gives us and we can love others as Christ loved us.  When we do that, we will experience peace and joy seeing him work in our lives and the lives of our family.  We will also encourage a legacy of faith that may be critical in causing revival in generations to come.

Joseph’s story teaches us that faith and faithfulness is a long-term life plan.  As we journey with God, we can only control ourselves and our choices.  God has got the rest.  We are not to focus on the why of our circumstances, we are to focus on who we are and Whose we are in God.  If we will, the Lord Himself will provide peace and joy in our lives no matter what group of circumstances we face.

God Bless You

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.[c]

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Genesis 48–God Doing What God Does

God is simply free from usual convention. The old joke put it this way–God created man in his image, and men have been trying to return the favor ever since! God will not be put in a box. His ways are not our ways.  

When Joseph brought his sons to be blessed by Israel, Israel blessed the younger brother ahead of the older.  God’s plan sees ahead, much farther and wider than we could imagine. So, he could lead Israel to bless Joseph and his sons in a way consistent with his plan.  

That is why we spend a great deal of time confused by what God does in our lives. We can only see from our limited perspective. God, conversely, sees and knows all things. While it is difficult, God asks us to trust him.  

When we do trust him, he navigates life’s twists and turns–and prepares and leads us through the seemingly impossible course into a full and purposeful life here and an eternity with him in Heaven. That is why our faith is the most important gift to God.  

Be prepared–we will probably never fully understand why God does what he does, but, if we trust him–we will be blessed beyond our wildest dreams.  

God Bless You 

When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers
    Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
    all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
    —may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
    and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
    on the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said,

“In your[c] name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
    ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

Genesis 47 Part 2–Joseph Completes the Hard Work

Joseph prepared for and managed the famine for the entire 14 years of its history.  When one reads the story, it is clear he did so with the wisdom and grace that only God could have provided him.  He was careful to collect the food in the prosperous years. He then was equally careful to distribute the food carefully and according to the law. 

But Joseph was also practical as he would never leave his nation feeling entitled.  He did want them to know they would be fed. They remained grateful even as they handed over their possessions, livestock, and lands.  

Even as Egypt fed the world, it had to carefully manage its people and property.  Failure to do so would have set them up for civil unrest and ultimate cultural breakdown.  Under Joseph’s leadership, that never happened. Pharaoh prospered, and the famine eventually passed with little death, destruction, or devastation.

Genesis clearly sets out that God would lead differently than how men would lead.  Joseph never became greedy, prideful, or selfish.  He followed God’s lead and literally saved the known world. 

If our culture of today could do the same, imagine the brokenness that could be repaired.  Authority respected, families reunited, no homeless no hungry only peace and unity.  Egypt was not living on unicorn kisses and rainbows.  All their property and possessions were lost to Pharaoh so that they could survive.  But the selflessness of leadership was contagious, and the people were able to band together and endure the devastation.

It needs to be our prayer and our mission to honor God as a country, as a church, as families, and as individuals.  We must remember that we can be “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL!” But it takes selfless leaders, selfless citizens, and a selfless commitment to unite and weather the storm.  For that to work, our nation needs revival.  Our nation needs a Joseph and our nation needs to change.

God Bless You

 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

Genesis 47 Part 1–Settling the Family

There are some important things to remember, Joseph served Pharaoh, and as such, he would do nothing to dishonor his king.  So, when Pharaoh told Joseph to settle His family in Goshen at the mouth of the Nile River, Joseph was pleased to do so.  He made his family safe and productive as the Pharaoh’s livestock husbandmen. 

This was year 3 of the famine and year 10 of Joseph’s leadership.  He was loved by Pharaoh and trusted by all.  He was literally feeding all the known world.

In verse 11 we learn the family is settled in the District of Rameses.  I was confused, but studying further, I was reminded that Moses wrote this text long after his liberation of Israel when Rameses was the ruler and enemy of Israel. Goshen became his city and where he exploited Israel.  But that was long after Joseph settled them there.

God settled His people in their place to make them a great nation.  It was to be a hard drive to prepare them for that responsibility.  For now, they would be blessed, prosper, and enjoy the fruit of the sacrifice of those who had gone before.It is great to see Jacob blessed.

It is also amazing to know he had an additional 17 years with Joseph.  Such a gift for both men.  One must treasure all the time we have.  We can never know when we will be called home.  Until that time, like Jacob, we must make the most of every opportunity to love our own and share the Gospel with any and everyone we can.

God Bless You

Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”

“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed[a] Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”

And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed[b] Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.

Genesis 46–Together at Last

So, the big day had finally arrived.  Joseph welcomed His family to Egypt.  As the entire region was experiencing famine, His family would be in the nicest area of Egypt.  Israel heard from the Lord, this is all part of the plan and Israel need not worry but celebrate Israel would become a great nation, and Joseph was waiting for him, and Joseph would be closing his eyes in death.  

The entire clan, 66 in all safely traveled to Goshen, in Egypt, and were welcomed by Joseph to their new home. They would become Pharaoh’s personal husbandmen.  This was a great deal of good news while the remainder of the world was suffering in a great famine. 

When Joseph and Israel met, It was a dream come true for both men.  No matter how desperate Israel’s situation had become, Having Joseph back simply erased a huge mountain of pain and regret.  For Joseph, all the success and all the power simply did not compare to being reunited with His father and his brothers. He ran Egypt, but now he also had his family.  His sons would meet their Grandfather.  They would hear and know of the chosen people and nation Israel. They would be a part of God’s plan.  

I am sure that as Joseph and Israel hugged and cried, they knew that God had this planned from the beginning of time.  God revealed Himself in countless ways over the years to give hope and faith to these men.  He does the same for us.  God reveals His plan as we walk with HIm.  It is often in ways we would never expect.  But, the Lord always shows He has things well in hand.  If we can continue to trust and follow the Lord, He will lead us through His plan and to a great life.  Not only a full and meaningful life here but eternity with God in Heaven.

God Bless You

 So, Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“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. 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.”

Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring…

Genesis 45 Part 2–Jacob’s Life Restored

There was probably never a morning over the last 20+ years that Jacob did not dread waking up.  The loss of Joseph, the struggles of the other kids and the growing famine were all things that made living a chore.  On this day, however, Jacob would see his entire perspective on life change.  I am sure he was sitting by his tent when the precession of camels and donkeys came into view.  He was probably asking himself what in the heck are all the carts and livestock?  Then as his sons, all his sons, including Simeon and Benjamin came close he was at least relieved to know he had not lost more sons.

What happened next was unbelievable. The brothers presented Jacob with the news that Joseph was alive and ruler over all of Egypt.  I am sure that had to rattle Jacob.  It says he was stunned and in complete disbelief.  But then the reality of what was before him set in and for the first time in nearly 30 years he felt joy and elation.  He literally was revived.

There would be a lot to deal with in the days ahead, but God was giving Jacob his very heart’s desire at the end of his days. Jacob was glad to leave Canaan and go see Joseph before he died.  He was glad to have his entire family together and live in peace and without struggle. Jacob would truly see and sense God’s honoring their covenant and Jacob would again walk in trust and faith as he had when he returned to Canaan.

It is a great thing to have hope restored.  We see in our daily lives a great number of days with struggles and troubles.  Sometimes it hardly seems worth it to continue.  The Word reminds us, however, that as we continue to follow the Lord, He will give us the faith, hope and love that we need to continue the journey.  He also sprinkles in days of restoration so that we never lose our hope trust in Him. 

We can never give up, never give in, and always remained focused on God and His plan for our lives.  If we will, we will have days that he reveals Himself and restores all the world and our enemy attempts to take away!

God Bless You

17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”

21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels[b] of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”