When starting out on a trip, we need directions. Whether we rely on a GPS, a phone app, or a map that we hold in our hands, usually one glance won’t do. We keep looking or listening to the prompts for reassurance that we’re on the right road. But no matter how reliable the directions, we have to be willing to follow them. The best GPS is of no use if we decide to go in another direction. In today’s passage, Israel received needed confirmation that he was going the right way and doing the right thing.
- Have you ever decided to go in another direction than what the map told you? What was the result?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 46:1-7 (ESV)
46:1 So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, 7 his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- As excited as Israel must have been to get to Egypt to see his son, Joseph, he stopped in Beersheba. Why did he do that (vs. 1)?
- What was Israel’s response when God spoke to him during the night (vs. 2)? What did that show about his attitude toward God?
- In what ways did God reassure Israel that he was doing the right thing by going to Egypt (vss. 3-4)? What do you learn about God from this?
- Is there some area of your life where you need to stop and ask God for direction or reassurance? How might doing so change your heart, your perspective, or the outcome?
RESPOND TO GOD
In obedience to God’s will, Israel set out on a journey to Egypt with his family, beginning the trip with worship. In the past, Israel’s family had done many things that disappointed God, but God did not wash his hands of them. Instead, he came to Israel in a kind, gracious way, giving him reassurance of his presence and direction for the future. Israel’s actions and God’s loving response are a picture of Proverbs 3:6:“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
- Stop what you are doing today and pray. Acknowledge and worship God for who he is—your loving, wise, kind, and gracious God. Ask him to direct your path, and commit to obey.