Good afternoon, we are very late today and most of the Bin Men have already come and gone! I’ve had various Zoom meetings all morning, and so been unable to send this earlier, many apologies.
So, our reading today is Genesis Chapter 46.
After yesterday’s Big Reveal and the Big Reconciliation, here is the Big Reunion, as Joseph the son meets his father Jacob again after 13 years, again much hugging, weeping and probably lots of violins!
– God again graciously at a key moment in Jacob’s life intervenes directly via a vision/dream to assure Jacob that it is alright in this instance to leave the Promised Land, the land where they are meant to be, to go away for a period of time to Egypt (vs.2-3).
– Do note that at the beginning Jacob is also called Israel, which was a new name given to him by the Lord back in Ch.35, but unlike Abraham and Sarah, who were also given new names and were then known by them, it seems that Jacob still remains his more common name.
– Actually Israel becomes less the name of a person but more the name of a nation, and so when the whole family travel to Egypt, the 66 all named in great detail plus unnamed spouses, actually this is the whole nation/people of Israel upping sticks and travelling to another country. It is quite a thing. This is a whole church pilgrimage with everyone involved/included.
– Israel/Jacob’s words in v.30 that having seen Joseph his life is now complete and he is ready to die, reminds me of the words of old man Simeon saying a similar thing when he saw the baby Jesus, who he recognised through the Spirit as the long-awaited Messiah in Luke Ch.2 vs.29-32. As we shall see in the next chapter Jacob actually lived for another 17 years in Egypt.
– Finally note Joseph’s wisdom in ensuring that his family who would become a nation would be allowed to live separately and apart from the Egyptians to keep their distinctiveness, allowing them their own religion, customs etc (vs.31-34). It could be so easy to have got lost/intermarried etc, in a much larger nation.
Praying through our church address list, we remember today especially,
– Shirley and family