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Genesis 46:1-39 - No Fear! - Part 2
- Read part one here.
Last week we saw Jacob’s family on their way to Egypt. We now pick in verse 8.
As we roll into vs. 8 here and on through vs. 27, we’re not going to go through all this - it's a listing of the names of all those who make their way down to Egypt. You can go and mispronounce these names on your own as well as I can. Some interesting names for real! But what we have is 12 sons, 1 daughter, 52 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and Jacob.
Then in vs. 27 that’s where we get the number that came down to Egypt, there were 70 of them.
Vs. 28-34 - “Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.
Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”
Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”
What an overpowering emotional experience this must have been for Jacob, right!? Imagine this son you thought was dead, the son that you loved so dearly that is just about killed ya - suddenly reunited with him 22 years later! No doubt there’s just laughter and tears and just a real outpouring there. And of course vs. 29 told us that went on for some time!
And quickly, a nice little snapshot of Christ therein vs. 28, “Judah was sent before the family.”
Christ would come from the line of Judah, even as Christ goes before you and me into death by the way of the cross. The picture gets even clearer here in the rest of the narrative.
Understand that in this culture these guys really are the Beverly Hillbillies, and really on 2 levels. On the one hand, the Egyptians would look down on their non-Egyptiadness. And secondly, these guys were shepherds, which was an abomination to these guys.
So just a double downer for these guys going in there. But again, here Joseph is giving us a picture of Christ in that he is not ashamed of them!
But the bigger picture here - Pharaoh is accepting these lowly brothers, these non-Egyptian shepherds - Pharaoh is accepting them THROUGH Joseph. Joseph is able to lay one hand on his low-life brothers, his kinsman, and at the same time, he’s able to lay his other hand upon Pharaoh, the Lord of the land.
So Joseph is what? Able to be a bridge between the two! Are ya seeing that? So here we are, fallen humanity, an abomination to the Kingdom of God in our sin, but Jesus Christ has come and He’s able to be our kinsman redeemer, He’s able to be our bridge - He is able on the one hand, lay His one hand upon you and to lay His other hand upon God the Father at the same time - being that bridge (1 Tim. 2:5). The only way they could get to Pharaoh was through Joseph, even as you and I, the only way we can get to God the Father is through Jesus Christ.
So yet again, another wonderful picture of the Gospel! No doubt really awesome stuff, but once again we have to drag this application down to us.
So here they are - Joseph is preparing them for an interview with the lord of the land, Pharaoh, even as the Bible tells us that you and I will one day have to give an account before the Lord.
And of course, Christ, through the agency of the H.S., and we call this sanctification, is preparing you and I for that day as well (Rom. 14:11-12).
Now Joseph is telling these guys, “Look man, it’s gonna be tough, you guys are an abomination, but look, just be honest with who you are and where you're at. Just tell him that you are shepherds.”
Solomon says if you hide who you are you're not going to prosper (Prov. 28:13).
If you want to prosper, if you want to come into that human flourishing we talked about last time, if you want to come into that spiritual prosperity - that ALWAYS, ALWAYS begins with a confession. An honest confession of who you are.
(1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6-8). God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble... that humility, that honesty, being in that place of confession, THAT’S where that journey into flourishing always begins. I’m NOT saying that we all need to go to our various churches with all of our sins on a big sign. What I am talking about is that you are honest with your heavenly Father, that you are honest with God about who you are. Hey, He already knows!
So this week, if you have a struggle, if you have a stronghold that is beginning or has taken root in your life... man, just be honest before God, just bring that to the foot of the cross. Because one of the greatest underpinnings, one of the great things that girds really the entire N.T. is this posture of humility. That is the very posture of confession and humility and repentance that allows God to come and lift you up and take that guilt and deal with your heart and root whatever that is out of your life to His glory! So just like the brothers in our story today, there is no condemnation in any of that.
God is gonna come and He’s going to take that confession and He’s going to take that honesty and lift ALL that guilt and ALL sin, and He’s gonna take it up off you and just set you on the path of just delighting in Him - in who He is and what He has done - what He desires to accomplish in your life to His glory.
We’re always so worried about how we get victory over sin, and I’ve got all these sins I’m dealing with, and we’re always looking at all these problems that we wanna solve, and looking at ourselves - INSTEAD of just getting our eyes OFF OURSELVES and delighting in who HE IS! And we just delight in that and we’re going to discover those things just diminishing. Coming to that place of who you are before God, honest about where you’re at before God, is the beginning of Him pulling you into delight, which is then going to allow you to shed all this garbage.
So one of the things we ought to be praying about this week is that we would develop a real seed of honesty between us and the Lord, that He would then come and call us up into that delight.
Join us next week as we conclude this chapter. Blessings to you all.