Where’s Jesus? Jacob reunited to Joseph (Genesis 46:1-47:12)

A father and son reunited after many years.  A family relocated from the dust bowl to the fertile plains.  A son able to provide abundantly for the family in terms of land and food, when previously they have been living in great need.  This sounds like the synopsis to a great novel, and it is.  It is the synopsis to the greatest story ever told in human history.  The story of God’s love for humanity.  God the Father, Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the Christian church all star in this story in many ways similar to the story relayed in our reading in Genesis this week.

In Genesis 46:4, God tells Jacob,

“I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.”

This promise from God to be with Jacob and never to leave him, is reiterated by the author of Hebrews as,

 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 

Jesus himself promised, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).  Wherever we go, wether it is to the darkest hour of our trial, as the nation of Israel faced as the entered Egypt only to become its slaves later on, or in receiving the blessing of God as the nation leaves captivity entering into a land flowing with milk and honey, God is there.  He goes with his people by the presence of his Holy Spirit who lives in us.  We are not alone, just as God promised Jacob that he would not be alone.
But the next beautiful promises of Christ comes to us in the reaction of Jacob.  Jacob takes all his wealth and all his children and follows the Lord’s leading.  So it is with Christ, he takes his entire church with him into the grave and out again.  He takes his entire church with him into suffering and then into glory.  he takes his entire church into his glorious reign and ensures that they are safe and sound in the fold of his garments of holiness.  The Scriptures for this would be way to numerous to show, but even a cursory reading of Romans will reveal that this is true.
Next, Joseph acts as a mediator in verse 31 between Pharaoh and the brothers.  He says,

“I will go and speak to Pharaoh…”

In his mediation he seeks the best land in Egypt for the family and he secures it, just as Christ is the sole mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5) and seeks our best interest.  He prays for us, he asks for the best land in the promised kingdom for each of us and he brings us into the Promised Land, making sure that we have all we need to thrive just as Joseph did for Jacob and his family.  

This is such a wonderful passage which directs us toward Jesus and his ministry.  May you always be encouraged as you see Christ in the writings that testify to him.  Amen.

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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