‘…And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.’ Genesis 45:26 KJV
A Word for Today
It had long seemed impossible. You conceived, after several years of trying.
Finances were tight. You received a bonus or an increase. The promotion came that you were not expecting.
Your life turned around when that door opened that you thought had been permanently shut. You were able to make a ‘360’ when all you could see was a ‘180!’
They showed up after the thought of a union was banished.
That visa came through after several rejections. You can now travel to pursue the education and career of your dreams.
After what seemed like futile intercessory prayer, your prodigal children returned to God. They now witness to others.
The doctor said you had but a few months to live. Then your cancer disappeared. Your life was extended as it were.
Could some things be too good to be true?
No matter what:
- Keep praying for the desire of your heart.
- Be diligent while you improve your skills and expand in knowledge of your field.
- Continue to be faithful in little things.
- Continue to take care of yourself whether you desire any one to take notice or not.
- Continue to grow your social network as you prepare to take the next step in your academic and professional life. Save for your future needs.
- Keep praying. Never give up on your children. Claim God’s promise.
- Continue to take care of your health and well-being. Stay connected to God despite challenges.
Could you picture Jacob fainting? What a sight that must have been. In Genesis 45, Joseph could not keep up the charade any longer. He revealed his identity to his brothers. Then he bawled like a baby. He said, ‘I am Joseph.’ Then he asked, ‘is my father still alive?’ Gen 45:3. His brothers were dumbstruck.
Joseph told them, ‘God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’ Gen 45:7. Then he sent for his father. His brothers returned to Canaan. And Jacob fainted as he got the news. He had long given up on finding Joseph. It was too good to be true.
Jacob later revived and after he saw the wagons, the donkeys, and the fine raiment that Joseph sent, he decided, I will go see Joseph and then die (Gen 45:28).
In Genesis 46, God told Jacob that he would continue to be with him and that his family would be blessed. Every man, woman, and child within Jacob’s family left Canaan and went to Egypt. Joseph identified where they would live. Goshen, a fertile land suitable for crops and livestock. Joseph had found favor in the eyes of the Pharaoh. God blessed him and his family as the famine raged throughout the land.
What can we learn from this part of Joseph’s life? Here are three takeaways.
1. Stay hopeful
Life after Joseph’s ‘disappearance’ must have been difficult particularly for Jacob. However, no matter how dismal life gets, ‘keep hope alive.’
2. Enjoy life today without forgetting tomorrow
Jacob knew his life was coming to an end and that he may never return to Canaan. God confirmed this (Gen 46:4). ‘It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.’ Hebrews 9:27. We will all die if we are not translated. ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 6:23).
Solomon gives counsel that is instructive as we have life and breath:
“The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth. So, go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne! Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 NLT
While we enjoy life, we must remember the eternity Jesus has promised upon his return. This must also be kept in focus.
3. Seek direction from God
When Jacob left Canaan, it seemed he was unsure that he was making the right move. However, before he got to Egypt, God reassured him of His promise and told him not to be afraid.
Making a life altering decision should not be taken lightly. It is a blessing to receive good counsel and communication from God. Sometimes He speaks to us directly through his Word, or through a friend. His Word provides instruction in many areas:
- God gives specific instructions regarding choosing a spouse. See Proverbs 31: 30; 2nd Corinthians 6: 14; Psalm 37: 4-5; Amos 3:3; 1 Timothy 3:2; Proverbs 15:22.
- God gives wisdom regarding your career and obtaining money honestly. See Proverbs 13:11; Matt 25: 14-30; Romans 12: 6-8; Proverbs 19:2; Proverbs 12:15.
- God encourages us to plan, to diversify our investments, and to use our resources wisely. See Proverbs 13:16; Luke 14:28-30; Proverbs 6:6-8; Proverbs 21:20; Ecclesiastes 11:2.
God is interested in our well-being and in every aspect of our lives. There may be other important and significant decisions in your life: taking a new job, determining where to live, or what school to attend. He wants the best for us, and He promises to be with us as we go through life’s ups and downs. Let us continue to seek Him.
A Prayer for Today
Lord, keep us hopeful, and trusting in your love. Help us to maintain joy in living and to grasp opportunities to grow, to share and to love. Open our hearts and minds to receive your Word daily, to accept your guidance and instruction. Thank you for your sacrifice and for your shed blood. We accept your gift of salvation. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.