16th January: Genesis 46-48 – The nations are waiting for us …

Genesis

46:1-34

Jacob goes to Egypt. There were three factors in Jacob’s guidance: Inner desire – He wanted to see Joseph;  Circumstances – Joseph wanted to see him and his sons were going to take him;  God’s Word – God told him to go.  With God’s command, there was also His promise – ‘I will there make of you a great nation’. There was no need for fear because God would be with him (3-4). Life would not be easy in Egypt – ‘every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians’ (34). We live in a world which does not honour Christ as ‘the Good Shepherd’ (John 10:11,14), ‘the Great Shepherd’ (Hebrews 13:20-21), ‘the Chief Shepherd’ (1 Peter 5:4). In Christ, we are ‘a holy nation’. Why has God made us His ‘own people’? – ‘that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him… ’ (1 Peter 2:9). ‘The nations are waiting for us, waiting for the gospel we will bring’ (Songs of Fellowship, 539). 
47:1-26
Jacob and Joseph – the two stories are one. Christ and the Christian – our story is bound up with His story. Jacob reflects on his life – ‘What has it all amounted to?’. He does not sing his own praises (8-9). Let the glory be given to God and not kept for ourselves. Joseph provided food for his family (12). Jesus has provided for us something better than food (Matthew 4:4) – ‘an eternal redemption’ (Hebrews 9:12). Grateful to Joseph for what he had done for them, the people said, ‘You have saved our lives… we will be slaves’ (25). Saved by Christ, we are to be ‘slaves’ of Christ (Romans 6:17-18). We belong to Christ. We are to serve Him. We look to Him to ‘give us seed (His Word)… that the land may not be desolate’ (19; Mark 4:14; Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 126:5-6). We ‘sow’. We ‘reap’. ‘God gives the growth’ (1 Corinthians 3:6-7) !
47:27-48:22
No more fear (46:3). No more pride (47:9). Now, no more doubt – God will bless (15-16, 19-21). Let it be confidence (Philippians 1:6), humility (John 15:5) and faith (Hebrews 11:1;  Philippians 3:14). Man’s way is set aside – ‘his younger brother shall be greater than he’ (19). We are ‘saved by grace’ (Ephesians 2:8). There is one way of salvation – God’s way (John 14:6). Israel was promised a ‘land’ (21). In Christ, we are being led on to ‘a better country… a heavenly one’ (Hebrews 11:16). Jacob said, ‘I am about to die’ (21). Jesus says, ‘I died and… I am alive for evermore’ (Revelation 1:18). He says, ‘I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also’ (John 14:3). No more fear, pride, doubt – Christ saves ‘to the uttermost’ (Hebrews 7:25).
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