Good Shepherd, I thank You for Your presence and guidance with me today. Truly, Your caring presence, does comfort me.
Read GENESIS 47:1-12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“In any given situation, what you are determines what you see; what you see determines what you do” (Haddon Robinson). So let us be all Christ wants us to be.
Pharaoh was expecting the new arrivals. He and his officials were so appreciative of Joseph’s contribution to their nation that they had generously assisted his family’s journey and had promised them favored status in Egypt. Joseph, however, astutely suggested arrangements that would provide extra security for them. They were currently in favor, but in reality they were aliens: a different race, culture, language, religion, social class. They were a minority group with the potential to multiply rapidly. Their stay was expected to be short-term, but we know what happened to their descendants when they were no longer in favor four centuries later (Exod. 1:8-14). So, settling independently beyond the main hub of Egyptian life was to their advantage. Joseph’s five unnamed brothers handled the negotiations successfully. They were granted permission to move to the northeastern delta region and inconspicuously continue their lowly role of shepherds.
Jacob’s encounter with Pharaoh is brief and cryptic. We know much about his “difficult” years: his conflicts at home and his enforced escape north, his years enduring trickery to gain his choice of wife, and his own trickery in retaliation. We also know of his anxious flight back home to greet the brother he had cheated, and of his deliberate action to live far from him. Yes, we know of his complicated paternity arrangements and bad behavior of his children and the loss of his favored wife and favorite son. Even the joy of reunion with Joseph could not change the past. His interpretation of his years as “few” was relative to the longevity of his father and grandfather whose life-spans were both about forty years longer than his. The 17 years he was to live in Egypt brought some contentment.
Pray for refugees who don’t have the protection and favor that your family does and Jacob’s family did.
Lord, today is a brand new day filled with opportunities to be Your servant. Help me serve any who may be displaced and marginalized by life.