Life of Joseph – Part 35 – Big Changes for Israel

A little over a year ago, I gave away a lot of my belongings, packed and shipped several boxes of items I wanted to keep, loaded everything else in my car and drove for two days (with a puppy!) across the country.

I was moving back home. And I was extremely happy about it.

In addition to that, when I arrived, I continued a reinvention of myself (career-wise) — a metamorphosis I had started about a year earlier.

Now I’m no spring chicken. But I’m not ready for a rocking chair on the front porch either.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

I’m not sure which was the most daring: reinventing myself and my career at this age . . . or driving 2 days across country with a puppy!?!?!

But still . . .

What I did is NOTHING compared to what Israel and his family do in today’s passage!

They packed up their entire family (70 people plus the in-laws) and their cattle and their belongings and left their HOME! I was coming back home . . . so at least I had that going for me. The Israelites were leaving home and moving into a foreign country, where they would be the strangers.

And although they had Joseph waiting to take care of them in Egypt, I’m sure they had more than a few misgivings about leaving their home.

I love how God meets us right where we are. He knows we’re afraid. He knows we have why’s and how’s and what if’s and He wants to remind us that where He guides, He provides. Today He wants us to remember that if we’re following Him, that means He’s going ahead of us.

It doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles to be overcome and problems to be solved and enemies to be defeated. What it means is that He KNOWS about all of that and He will give us exactly what we need when we need it so we can inhabit and enjoy the land He’s bringing us into.

And even if He has us in a foreign land for a time, we can trust Him to take care of us there, too. And to eventually bring us HOME.

TRUTHS:

– Our age does not prevent God from making big changes in our lives! (Jacob/Israel is 130 years old when he moves to Egypt!)

– Sometimes God asks us to leave our home and move to a place where we’ll be strangers and where we’ll have to establish a new home, new friendships, new routines . . . new everything!

– God knows how big a part fear plays in our lives when changes are happening, but He reminds us that our fear is not necessary.

– When God leads us to a new home, it’s because He has plans to bless us there.

APPLICATION QUESTIONS:

– When have I used my age as an excuse to ignore God’s asking me to make a major change in my life?

– When has God asked me to leave my “home” — whether that was a physical house, a hometown, a job, a church, a relationship, a position?

– What am I afraid of right now? And what is that fear keeping me from doing that I believe God’s leading me to do?

– What blessings have I enjoyed because I was willing to step out in faith and follow God to a new “home”?

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Genesis 46:1-7, 26-27 / Amplified Bible (AMP)

46 So Israel made his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba [a place hallowed by sacred memories] and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, Jacob! Jacob! And he said, Here am I.

And He said, I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will there make of you a great nation.

I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you [your people Israel] up again; and Joseph will put his hand upon your eyes [when they are about to close in death].

So Jacob arose and set out from Beersheba, and Israel’s sons conveyed their father, their little ones, and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

And they took their cattle and the gains which they had acquired in the land of Canaan and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him:

His sons and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters and his sons’ daughters—all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

26 All the persons who came with Jacob into Egypt—who were his own offspring, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons—were sixty-six persons all told.

27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob [including Joseph and Jacob himself], who came into Egypt, were seventy.

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