Today we begin Genesis Chapter 46.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
“In a vision at night God called to Isra’el, “Jacob! Jacob!” He answered, “Here I am.” He said, “I am God, the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt. It is there that I will make you into a great nation.”–Genesis 46:2-3
Jacob is going to be reunited with his most beloved son, Joseph!
And any worries that his clan, the 12 tribes of Israel might perish due to the famine have now been completely dispelled.
For, as I mentioned in my last post, when your son is ruler of the most powerful nation in the world, what’s there to fear or worry about?
Yet God tells Jacob, “Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt.“
Why would Jacob be afraid?
Well, let’s recall some prophetic words that God gave to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham a long while back.
“Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.”-Genesis 15:13
Was this terrible prediction about to come true?
Jacob would have been very familiar with this prophecy.
He would have heard about it from his grandfather Abraham.
And also from his father Isaac.
Had the day of reckoning finally arrived?
Jacob was anxious and scared.
Jacob reckoned that if the fulfillment of what God had spoken to Abraham was at hand, then he would end up dying down in Egypt.
It would also mean he was removing his family from the promised land to have them enslaved in Egypt.
This was too much for the now old and feeble mind of Jacob to bear.
So God in his loving kindness addresses Jacob’s fear of what might lay ahead for him and his family.
In verse 3, God tells Jacob to not be afraid to take his family down into Egypt.
He comforts him by letting him know that he has prepared a good place for the Israelites to grow and mature into a great nation.
God also tells Jacob that while he will die in Egypt he will not forever be placed there to rest.
He will eventually be brought back to the promised land, the land of his ancestors.