Faith leads to action


Genesis 46

Jacob’s decision to believe in the good news that his sons had told him led him to move to Egypt. The right faith is a condition for salvation. Here, it was salvation from the famine. However, it was also salvation from a certain death in grief and bitterness. It was salvation from dying without seeing the restoration of a life of peace together with Joseph in Egypt. Without faith, Jacob would have missed all of that. How many blessings that God has in store for us do we miss because of lack of faith in His Word or we believe that His Word is true and we understand the clear instruction but we just don’t do it and miss the blessing.

Jacob believed and moved accordingly with his whole family, 70 people (45:27) and all their belongings (45:6) to go to Goshen (45:28). His life was restored by the Spirit. On the way God spoke to him and Jacob answered, ready to do everything God told him to do (45:2). God reassures Jacob so that his fear would not stop him to continue to walk the right path (45:3). Even after having believed and moved, how easy it is to be discouraged on the way and to stop and to go back from where we come from. The Holy Spirit continuously speaks to us, encourages us, strengthens us, takes away the fear that would hinder us to do the right thing for God.

God promises Jacob that Joseph shall be there when the moment of his departure from earth had come (45:4). Even before arriving in Egypt, Jacob had already been blessed by God who enjoyed using Pharaoh to provide for the travel with food and wagons to facilitate the trip (45:5).

Joseph went in his chariot to encounter Jacob on the way. It was a touching encounter after so many years. Having seen now his son Joseph back, the one that was used by God to save the whole family, he was ready to depart to his eternal dwelling (45:30). Luke uses this text to have Simeon pronounce the same words when he saw Jesus the Messiah after having waited his whole life for that moment (Luke 2:29-32). Joseph’s tactic was to convince Pharaoh to give them the region of Goshen based on the fact that they were shepherds and, due to the Egyptians’ abomination of shepherds, they would like to have them live separated in that case. This would play an important role in God’s plan of salvation for the time of the exodus. It would allow the people to remain one people in one region in Egypt and to live next to their country of Canaan and facilitate their flight from Pharao’s army.

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