Saturday, April 4, 2009

Joseph: Genesis 46:1-34 "Humor and Assurance"

Read Genesis 46:1-34.

"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." NIV

Okay, there are a couple good lessons from this passage, but I have to get out of my system the humorous portions before I can look at the serious.

1) Can you hear Levi's son saying, "I'm Gershon from Goshen."
2) So were Benjamin's sons twins? Seriously, Muppim, and Huppim? Sounds like Sesame Street.
3) Was Dan's son a noisy child and Dan just couldn't take it any more? ("Hushim," say it out loud.)
4) So Jacob brings his household of 66 to a foreign land because his son, who he thought was dead, said so. He gets to Goshen and his son instructs his father on how to talk to Pharaoh and tell his occupation ending with this statement, "Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians." Oh, wow, so glad you brought us here, son. Couldn't have said something before now about the whole detestable thing? .... Is it me, or does God have a great sense of humor?

Alright, now back to the real lessons here. I always find it so comforting when God affirms our decisions. God totally puts Jacob, an old man by now and probably not interested in change, especially if it means leaving the land of his fathers, at ease about this move. He assures him that He will be with them; they will be made into a great nation; they will come back to Canaan; and that Joseph will be with him when he dies. He allayed all of Jacob's fears and promised him everything Jacob would want. But notice that God's assurances came after Jacob worshipped God and offered sacrifices. He always wants us to acknowledge Him and His sovereignty first. Priorities. Jacob knew that God was the Almighty -- God had revealed Himself many times before to Jacob. He was not about to make this big a change in his life without bowing before the Master first. And God rewards his faithfulness by giving him a peace.

I also love the reunion between Joseph and Jacob. If you have seen any "Joseph" movie, this is such a dramatic, emotional scene. Every time I see it, I think of Jesus welcoming us into heaven. Jesus has left our home here and gone to another place to prepare a new home. When we leave this home, we will be welcomed into our new one with open arms and held with an amazing embrace. The difference is that the ones who had been "detestable" in their previous home, are now right where they belong and given a place of honor beside the king.

Further Thoughts:
  1. No matter what is happening in our lives -- big changes or small ones -- God wants us to seek Him in worship. Do you need to spend some time with the Father? If you go to Him, He will always show up.
  2. Look for other passages where God requires worship before His assurances.
  3. Look up the phrase, "aliens and strangers" in the concordance. What is that referring to? How do you see that as true?
  4. Where is our true home? Support with Scripture.

1 comment:

  1. "I'm Gershon from Goshen."