Friday, January 16, 2009

WOW! Let me say that again, WOW!

Excerpts from "One Big, Happy Family" (Genesis 46-47)
By: Keith Krell BA Th.; M Div (Bio)

Scene 4: God provides Jacob land and food (46:31-47:12).15 Moses writes, “Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, ‘I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ ‘When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.’” Joseph encouraged his family to be completely honest with Pharaoh (46:34). Dishonesty has long plagued Jacob’s family, but now Joseph led them out of this destructive behavior. Believers should respond to divine providence by making their decisions in response to the initiative of His wise leaders. They should do so with confidence in His promises and dependence on His continuing guidance and provision.16

Why did Joseph place such emphasis on having his family live in Goshen? Goshen had some of the best pastureland in all of Egypt. Goshen was located near to Joseph’s place of residence (45:10). Goshen would keep the Hebrews isolated and insulated from the culture and religion of Egypt since the Egyptians considered sheep unclean and Hebrews detestable (43:32). One of the greatest dangers to the covenant promises of God was intermarriage between the Hebrews and the Egyptians. Why was this a danger? Because intermarriage would inevitably lead to spiritual compromise and the worship of the false gods of the Egyptians. Hidden in this text is the wisdom of God! If God had allowed the Israelites to remain in Canaan, they would have inevitably intermarried with the Canaanites and become ethically, morally, and spiritually corrupt. So God places them in one of the most racist societies on earth at that time, thereby protecting them from spiritual adultery and allowing them the time and opportunity to multiply into the millions. (NOW WHO SAYS GOD IS UNREASONABLE? HE HAS HIS OWN REASONS. AND LOOK HIS ARE ALWAYS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. ISN'T THIS GREAT?! ANGGALING NIYA DI BA?)

God is an amazing God! He continually reminds me that He is my protector and provider. Often, this means that He protects me and provides for me despite myself. That’s how gracious our God is. He often delivers us from our flesh and the evil one even when we desire to sin and live for ourselves. Even when He doesn’t directly deliver us Himself, He provides us with a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13)

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