“I Will Be with You”
“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.” Genesis 46:3-4
When the famine became severe, Jacob’s sons went to Egypt to get food. They returned, not only with food but also with an incredible story that they had seen their brother Joseph. Impossible! Jacob thought Joseph had died many years earlier. But Joseph’s older brothers confirmed that he was not only alive but ruling in Egypt alongside Pharaoh.
The brothers showed Jacob many wagons and donkeys loaded with food, clothing, money, and provisions. These had been sent by Joseph and Pharaoh for the journey back to Egypt (Genesis 45:17-23). Yes, The whole family had been invited to come and live in the best part of Egypt.
But surely God did not want them to go live there! Jacob remembered how his grandfather had gone to Egypt in unbelief and had gotten into trouble (Genesis 12:10-20). Jacob’s father, Isaac, had wanted to go there when there was a famine in Canaan, but God had told him not to go (Genesis 26:2).
That night, God appeared to Jacob in a vision identifying himself as the God of his father, Isaac. God told Jacob not to be afraid to go to Egypt. God would make him into a great nation, fulfilling the promises made to his grandfather, Abraham, and to his father, Isaac (Genesis 13:16 and Genesis 26:1-4). God also promised he would go with Jacob and bring him back to the Canaan. Best of all, God revealed that Joseph was indeed alive. Jacob would live out his life in Joseph’s presence.
Jacob’s family in Egypt would grow from about eighty people to the many thousands Moses led out of Egypt 400 years later (Exodus 12:37-38).
God is making his people into a great nation of believers too large to be counted (Revelation 7:9-10). He’ll bring us to the Promised land of a new heavens and a new earth to live eternally with our Savior, Jesus Christ, who was dead, arose, and lives forevermore (Revelation 1:17-18).
Is God bringing you into unknown territory, for an unknown time, amid unknown circumstances? He’s provided you with all you need for the journey, including the indwelling Holy Spirit. Go in faith, knowing he goes with you.
Do not be afraid to go with God today wherever he leads.
What had God told Abraham would happen to his descendants in a land not theirs? Read Genesis 15:13. Would remembering this encourage Jacob as he went there to live? What prophecies of the Bible help you fight fear as you journey into new experiences?
How can our faith be strengthened by studying the lives of people in the Old Testament? See Hebrews 11, especially verses 12, 16, and 39. Which of these people of God encourage you?
Nancy J. Baker
This devotion is part of our series, “Do Not Be Afraid.”