Genesis 45:16 – 46:7 Faithfulness and open mindedness are keys to perceiving God’s perfect will

Genesis 45:16 – 46:7 Faithfulness and open mindedness are keys to perceiving God’s perfect will

Now when the news was heard in Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you will eat the fat of the land.’ 19 Now you are ordered, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come. 20 Do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

21 Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments. 23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and sustenance for his father on the journey.

24 So he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the journey.” 25 Then they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26 They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But he was stunned, for he did not believe them. 27 When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 Then Israel said, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

1 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 3 He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. 4 I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.”

5 Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him: 7 his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.


The Pharaoh gave his approval to the incoming immigrants from Canaan. Even as Jacob desires to see his long lost son, he remains apprehensive as it appears to go against the Abrahamic agenda. God appeared to Jacob in a night vision and reassured him of His providential protection. The Abrahamic covenant will continue to run its course and Israel will be a great nation albeit in a foreign land. Today’s devotion teaches us that faithfulness and open mindedness are keys to perceiving God’s perfect will. And even as God orchestrates the course of the nation, He does not overlook the needs of the individual.


Now when the news was heard in Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants.

When Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s brothers had come, he approved of them and was even more generous: I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you will eat the fat of the land. Both Joseph and Pharaoh were concerned that the family may be held back because they cannot bring all their possessions along. So the Pharaoh said, ”Do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.” To alleviate their logistic concerns Joseph gave them wagons. In a gesture of goodwill to his brothers, Joseph gave gifts of garments and to Benjamin 300 pieces of silver. Joseph is conscientious in making sure that his father is well provided for. He loaded 10 donkeys with the “best things” of Egypt and 10 female donkeys with food and sustenance for the journey.

In the light of the new beginning, Joseph admonished his brothers not to quarrel on the journey. For he anticipated some blame pushing when they endeavour to unravel before their father a 22 year lie.

Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.

When the truth about Joseph was told to Jacob, it seemed that even Benjamin could not convince him: for he did not believe them. However, the wagons and the gifts were undeniable evidences that Joseph was not only alive, but had become the ruler over all the land of Egypt. Here, Jacob’s spirit was revived for the news had given him a new lease of life. ”It is enough” may mean ”I now accept that God has allowed all things to happen for a reason.” To the brothers, it is a sign that their father has forgiven their transgression and will not recriminate them. Jacob journeyed to see Joseph, but not migrate to Egypt. Migration, to the patriarchs require divine sanction, to leave Canaan is considered as being unfaithful to the Abrahamic covenant. For Jacob had planned to tarry only for a moment in Egypt and perhaps to return to Canaan after the famine has ended. To Jacob, Joseph’s invitation to Egypt was for the purpose of escaping the famine.

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

Beersheba is considered the southern border of Canaan. In undertaking such a major journey, a sacrifice to God for blessing is appropriate. However, God had other plans and appeared to Jacob to settle his mind. ”Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt…” appeals to Jacob’s apprehension that arose from the conflict of desires to see Joseph and to remain faithful to the Abrahamic directive. Four points are gathered from the night vision: The Abrahamic promise of a great multitude will be fulfilled (For I will make you a great nation there.) God’s protective presence will continue in Egypt ( I will go down with you to Egypt.) God promised an eventual return of his body to the Canaan ( I will also surely bring you up again.) And the promise that Joseph, his son will never be separated from him until the day he dies ( Joseph will close your eyes.)

God assured Jacob that despite this apparent deviation from the divine plan, God’s providential presence remained unchanged. For the Abrahamic promise would continue to run its course albeit in a strange land. The promise that the patriarch would be buried together with the ancestors (Abraham and Isaac) held divine significance as it pointed to an eventual exodus of this great nation back to Canaan. However, at the back of great national concerns that dominated the vision, God did not neglect Jacob’s most intimate and pressing need. He granted this elderly patriarch his wish to remain close to his long lost son up until the day he dies.


Faithfulness and open mindedness are keys to understanding God’s perfect will.

Man’s faithfulness is the key to fulfilling God’s perfect will. Without the virtue of faithfulness and trust, we cannot traverse the significant milestones to complete our journey. And regrettably, many will passed up on God’s perfect plans and regret the day to see what their lives could have been. At the same time, we must be open minded should things run contrary to our expectations. Being open minded is to acknowledge our imperfections, and to subject our seemingly “water tight” beliefs and suppositions to scrutiny by things considered preposterous. Certain things we hold as sacred and immovable actually turn out as barriers to things we have always been seeking.

Jacob presupposed that he will die in Canaan. He agreed to go to Egypt to see Joseph and take refuge from the famine, not to migrate. However, not until God came to him in a vision, he remained in a state of trepidation wondering if he had transgressed the Abrahamic covenant. But by virtue of Jacob’s faithfulness and open mindedness, God spoke to him in a vision and approved of his migration to Egypt. Jacob, when confronted with God’s word, never held onto his opinions or sacred cows. At the revelation of the word, Jacob promptly discarded his age-old paradigms and did the unthinkable.

That said, why have so many remained in a state of stagnancy? Such prefer to die in the famine stricken Canaan than to move to the abundance of Egypt. These have claimed to be experts in the spiritual word, even though they have never experienced the realities of the spirit world. When they hear testimonies of some extraordinary encounters, they immediately reject them as superfluous while jealously wondering why they are not chosen to experience them. These constantly struggled with the notion of supernatural healing let alone working and conversing with angels. Many of such derive their convictions from teachings of prominent men. They prefer to be associated with big guns than to decipher the word for themselves. God’s word in itself is divine and inerrant, but teachings of men are not. The word is perfect, but human understanding is still evolving. Therefore, it is important that believers spend more time studying the word for themselves and less time listening to teachers no matter how gifted they may be. Ultimately, the word must work for us, if it does not, it is a sign that our understanding may be flawed. Some held onto their pet beliefs contrary to the works of Jesus insisting that age of the power gifts have passed. Knowledge, regrettably did not lead to greater experiences of power and abundance.

Therefore, believers must direct their focus towards God and His word while staying wide open to God’s unsearchable wisdom. Be ready to make changes to our belief system. God’s word is perfect, but our understanding of Him is constantly evolving in the light of His perfection.

God cares not only for the concerns of the nation, but the seeming trivial needs of the individual.

The way Jacob’s concerns are being addressed displays God’s sensitivity towards human affairs both at the national and at the personal level. While God reassured Jacob that the Abrahamic promise of a great nation will run its course albeit in a foreign land, He grants Jacob his dearest wish. God has the capacity to orchestrate world events without losing sight of the needs and aspirations of every single person. In fact, the thrust of the national agenda is the wellbeing of its citizens. Likewise, all prophecies of the bible must ultimately lead to the wellbeing of the believer.

That said, one who prioritises the kingdom’s agenda above his personal concerns will invariably have his wishes and desires fulfilled. Therefore, it pays to be single-minded in the pursuit of God’s kingdom agenda and His righteous virtues. In so doing, all things that pertain to abundant living and a glorious afterlife shall be freely given to us. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The palmist said,

Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalms 37:3-5


Do you have difficulties accepting the promise: that it is more blessed to give than to receive (see Acts 20:35)? While you have no problems recognising that God is love and who desires to bless liberally, you still could not surrender yourself fully to Him. The issue lies in the fact that you have yet to recognise God as One who can be trusted to provide for you and your family. Even though some give their tithes consistently, there is no joy in the act of giving but rather a sense of obligation and loss. Their trust remains in earthly wealth and resources, not in the unseen God who created all things. Rebuke the spirit of unbelief and ask God to enlighten the eyes of your heart so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-19). Jacob accomplished his calling as patriarch while having his dearest wish fulfilled because he trusted in God’s promises. Read every word of the bible fully believing that each word applies to you without doubting. Go against every thought that vilifies the faithfulness of God and cast them out.

Do you depend on earthly experiences to ascertain if God’s word is true or false? If you do, your faith is built on human arguments rather than on the Spirit. It is likely that doubts often fill your mind when the word is read. And you cannot trust in God’s promises much less experience them. You constantly feel that the word is too complex and is seldom relevant. Much of this comes from the spirit of unbelief. As a result, many turn to testimonies and Christian motivational talks to help them cope with the stress of life. If you are in such a situation, start by reading the gospel of John slowly and conscientiously. The aim is to understand for yourself who Jesus is and His purpose in coming into the world. Look for believers who love the word and be in constant fellowship with them. Share your difficulties with them and hear how they overcome theirs.

Do you have problems accepting extraordinary and supernatural experiences as the norm? Humble yourself and acknowledge your error in using the wisdom of this age to decipher the word. God is about to reveal to you things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man (1 Corinthians 2:9). Paul spoke about the wisdom of the Spirit that will be progressively revealed. That which the well learned have yet to hear or understand. But God will reveal divine wisdom to those who seek to be perfect and complete (mature). And to be perfect is to be humble and child like at heart. Paul said,

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; 1 Corinthians 2:6-8

Therefore, do not think you have known everything there is to be known or have experienced everything there is to be experienced. But as a child, learn from the Spirit and from one another’s experiences. Some insist that the canon of the bible is already concluded and nothing more will be revealed. Hence, such reject everything that are not explicitly recorded in the bible and cage themselves in the prison they have created.

Dear Lord, I acknowledge my foolishness and immaturity in the things of the Spirit. I endeavour to be open to learn from the Spirit and from others of different background. Give me wisdom to discern in the light of your word. By the anointing of the Spirit within me, I am confident that I will not be led astray. Help me to be slow in coming to conclusions and to be sensitive to your directives. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

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