Take a look at what Psalms 105:16-20 states about Joseph and most importantly GOD’s PREPARATIONS TO SAVE:
16 He called down famine on the land
and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
the ruler of peoples set him free.
Chapter 46: So the family, ALL of the family is headed to Egypt (the beginnings of the great nation promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Jacob/Israel needed to KNOW he was doing the right thing, that Joseph was really alive, and that he was right in moving his ENTIRE family OUT of Canaan (the land of the promise). Jacob/Israel stops in Beersheba to give an offering to the Lord. Beersheba has had a LOT of history with us so far. ”The well of the Oath”. Re-read Chapter 21, 22, 26 and 28 for all the things that happened there. (Have you ever been in a situation where you were fairly comfortable and believed you were where the Lord placed you? Then suddenly you feel or hear the “still small voice” saying … “do this or go here.” I have definitely been there and asked: “Lord, everything I am doing is outside of my comfort zone these days … will You let me know if this is truly what you want for me?) The Lord says to him in Verse 3-4:
“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “DO NOT BE AFRAID to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a GREAT NATION THERE. I will go down to Egypt WITH YOU, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”
Why is this important? Because it was part of God’s Covenant with Abraham. Gen 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make our name great, and you will be a blessing.” I could see his hesitation going into such a horrible place like Egypt, where Hebrews were not thought well of at all.
OK.. try not to go to snoozeville as the names are being listed. Pick up what you can. In verse 11 Kohath (that is Moses Family) and under Judah in verse 12 we already know what happened to at least two of them because they were so evil (remember the other day’s reading… Er –God killed him because he was SO evil.. Onan… God killed him because he refused to obey the law and God, by choosing to “spill his semen on the ground” in reference to Tamar, and then Judah gets his daughter-in-law pregnant (Tamar) while she is disguised as a prostitute because he has not given his youngest son to her as he should have.) Read and move to where God does have your heart.
They ALL go as the Lord directs them. Seventy in all (including Jacob/Israel, Joseph, and Joseph’s two sons). IMAGINE how many people were on the trip….. because this number does NOT count wives, or anyone else who may have been with them!! The famine was growing worse… there was no food. Israel KNEW he had to GO.
In verse 28, Jacob sent JUDAH ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. YEP.. you read that right… JUDAH!! Joseph has his chariot made ready for him and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. WHAT A REUNION!!! Their REUNION is only one of several great reunions mentioned in Scripture, EACH of which FORESHADOWS the GREATEST REUNION OF ALL when All believers will be gathered to Jesus to spend eternity with HIM!!! A few reunions are in Nehemiah 8 when the exiles are reunited in Jerusalem; Luke 15:11-24 with the prodigal son; and Acts 20:17-38 with Paul’s brief reunion with the Ephesian elders. AND THE ULTIMATE REUNION is discussed in 1 Thess 4:13-18 and Rev 21. This will be the EVERLASTING REUNION!!!
The last thing Joseph does is prepare his brothers in how to deal with THE PHARAOH. Joseph did not EXPECT the Pharaoh to DO anything. Joseph was not trying to call in any favors. However, he did want to “train” his brothers in what to say to Pharaoh so he would place them in the land of Goshen. Joseph had been living in this culture since he was 17, he KNEW these people, he KNEW their ways of thinking, and how they expected to be treated. He didn’t become a success because he was a slouch!! He was a man of integrity and wanted to be sure his family remained safe. So, he helped prepare his brothers to meet with THE PHARAOH. “Tell him you are SHEPHERDS… Tell him you have done this since you were young…. Tell him your father and his fathers before him were shepherds.”
Chapter 47 – Look at Joseph’s character in this chapter. The first thing we read is that Joseph went and told Pharaoh that his father, all his brothers, and all they possessed were in Goshen. Joseph was not trying to hide anything or pull a fast one. Joseph takes five of his brothers with him to meet with Pharaoh. What does Pharaoh ask them FIRST thing…. “What is your occupation?” They respond in the manner that Joseph had taught them. Pharaoh’s response in verse 6 was: “Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock!!” THAT is what I call DIVINE intervention!! WHAT is so important with telling (the truth) that they were SHEPHERDS??? Keep in mind that the Egyptians did NOT like the Hebrews AT ALL, they found them disgusting. In 46:34 it states: “all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.” THIS KNOWLEDGE that Joseph had would keep the Hebrews SEPARATE from the Egyptians!!! The Egyptians did NOT want to live near them. The fact that they were Shepherds would be a GREAT BLESSING for them because it meant they needed land to raise their animals and any crops they could. The Egyptians would want the Hebrews as far away from them as possible!!! They would NOT want the Hebrews within the city limits. Goshen was away from the educated, highly cultured, self-centered, worshipers of MANY gods– Egyptians!!! While living in Goshen they would be less tempted to live like the Egyptians and they would remain according to Abraham’s teachings and would be less polluted.
I can ONLY IMAGINE that Joseph had a very stressful job. After all he was IN CHARGE of ALL that was the Pharaoh’s. Joseph took this to heart and remained a man of integrity in handling all that was Pharaoh’s. Look at his character here:
- When there was NO food, Joseph collected ALL the money found in Egypt and Canaan to pay for the grain the people were buying from him that he has stored during the years of feasting. If he were not a man of integrity, he could have taken money for himself, given money to his family on the sly, etc. However, he truly had the people’s best in mind as well as doing what was right for Pharaoh.
- Once the people had no more money, Joseph has another way for them to get food that would be profitable for Pharaoh as well … they gave him their livestock. He wanted to the people to be able to maintain their dignity in knowing they paid for their food.
- When the food once again was gone, and the people returned, they offered up their land and their bodies to become slaves to Pharaoh. Joseph again works with them so they can be fed, considers how it will benefit Pharaoh, and makes a way so the people can again maintain their dignity by working for their food. Joseph also moves them into the cities so they can all be closer to the food and to Pharaoh to do what they had committed to do (serve him).
- The PRIESTS were the ONLY people Joseph did not buy the land from, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment. That is why they did not sell their land (verse 22.) KEEP this nugget in your mind …. It will come up again concerning the PRIESTS. The priests were also the ONLY ones who did not have to give a fifth of their seed to Pharaoh.
- Joseph had God’s favor resting upon him and because Joseph was used by God in a mighty way — God’s favor continued to rest upon the Hebrew Nation!!
We end Chapter 47 with verse 27: “Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.” ALL the Egyptians were losing all they had to buy food … yet the Israelites were PROSPERING. Goshen is said to have been on the Nile River’s eastern delta which means it would have been very fertile land with much water to live on. My mentor from the bible study last year stated that: “It is Drought proof. The family would be able to GROW a nation.”
Keep in mind that we are seeing a picture of how “slavery” became so big. People used all they had to get food. When things begin to ease up…. The Egyptians WILL notice that the Hebrews are prospering while they are in slavery. They will NOT like it.
Know that in God’s foreknowledge EVERY thing is set up for a REASON …. so stay tuned. Keep in mind that through all of this HE did keep the Hebrew nation SEPARATE and PROVIDED for…. HE SAVED HIS people. He is setting up the path for Jesus to come to SAVE ALL of HIS people… whew 🙂
Tomorrow, we will read our Last 3 chapters of Genesis…and they are packed with good stuff. Read them slow. Absorb all that God has for you today… tomorrow… and everyday. GOD speaks to each of us individually through HIS Word. I would LOVE to hear what HE is saying to you through all of this.
Sharing HIS love,