Joseph Makes a Promise

As we continue our series Joseph: A Life With Many Colors, Jacob’s family is prospering even in the famine. 

Genesis 47:27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

Genesis 47:28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven.  29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” “I will do as you say,” he said. 31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

Think about it:

  • God had promised that all nations would be blessed and that included Jacob’s family.  But they were in Goshen.  In what ways does the fruitfulness of Israel display that blessing would not be confined to the national boundaries of Canaan?
  • Recall Genesis 46:1 “So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he replied. 3 “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. 4 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.”
  • God was with Jacob even in Egypt.  That was the place specified for God’s making Jacob a great nation.   What might this say about God’s being with us, even in unpleasant places or in our present difficulties? 
  • Egypt?  The place of God’s work of blessing Israel?  Read Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” How does this remind us of the sovereignty of God, our limited vision, and our tiny comprehension of what God is doing?
  • God had promised that Joseph would close Jacob’s eyes after death, and Jacob would be brought back to be buried with his fathers and his beloved Rachel.  Why did Jacob communicate this to Joseph?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 24, 2019

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