MEET THE PARENT
Mighty Lord, You are the God of wisdom, power, and love. I am grateful for all that You are to me.
Read Genesis 47:1–12
47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed[a] Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”
9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed[b] Pharaoh and went out from his presence.
11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre there people in whose presence you feel that you shrink? What is it that makes you feel inadequate?
Jacob experienced several dramatic encounters in his life. Meeting his brother Esau (Genesis 33) and his encounter with the angel of God are among them. Here, having been reunited with Joseph, he now meets Pharaoh (7). Just as Jacob had sent his children and flocks ahead of him to make his meeting with his brother more acceptable, he is now preceded by five of his sons, carefully selected by Joseph (2).
And so, an old shepherd, totally dependent on the charity of his son and the Egyptian state, meets the most powerful monarch of his day, who was revered as a god by his subjects. Other than his sons, all that Jacob has to commend himself is his age, a source of honor in his culture, which he modestly plays down before Pharaoh. As he refers to his ancestors (9), we are reminded of God’s promise to Abraham that through his family all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:2–3). So, Jacob blesses Pharaoh (10).
Today, this Pharaoh has become just one of many leaders of a culture which has disappeared. By contrast, Jacob became the patriarch, father of the Messiah, the One to whom every knee will bow.
Think back to those who make you feel inferior. As a child of God, you have a blessing to offer them. How can you shine God’s light in their presence?
Loving Father, the old hymn says it so well, “Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray; Make me a blessing to someone today.” That is my prayer for today.