In the Bible, Egypt is presented as a picture of the world Israel is to avoid.
Over and over God exhorts His people to “not go back to Egypt” as it is a return to slavery and the false gods of the pagan nations.
It was considered a lack of faith for Abraham to not trust in God’s protection and leave the promised land for Egypt when the famine struck.
God also expressly forbade Isaac to go there.
Yet, in His divine will, it appears that God engineered events that will force Jacob’s descent into Egypt.
Why would God knowingly send His children into Egypt and as we’ll see later into brutal oppression?
Here we encounter a paradox that holds the key to understanding God’s relationship to Israel as well as our relationship to God.
God loves His people, yet He allows them to undergo deep suffering.
The answer is that in order to prepare the people of Israel to become what God has destined them to be, He must send them into Egypt.
In Canaan lurked the dangers of intermingling and absorption with the surrounding nations.
In Goshen, there would be isolation and segregation.
This would be the much needed fertile soil crucial to the development of Israel’s national characteristics.
And if oppression was to be part of the experience, this would be the price to pay.
Think about how much you have grown in your relationship with HASHEM.
Your character and present faith is due in large part to the adversities and temptations you endured and then triumphed over.
So if God sends you into Egypt (or some other country or experience), be of good cheer and know that when you when come through, you will be one step closer to becoming what God has destined you to be.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith
Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”