Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Genesis Chapters 45, 46, 47

Joseph and His Brethren Welcomed by Pharaoh, w...Image via Wikipedia

After Joseph dramatically revealed his identity to his brothers, he hurries to bring his entire family to Egypt so that he could provide for them during the remaining years of the famine.  Even though Joseph suffered as a slave, he was able to look at his life and see how God orchestrated everything so that now he was in charge of grain distribution.  By virtue of his position, he was able to provide for his entire family.  Though his brothers were terrified and distressed that he was still alive, Joseph assured them that it was really God’s doing to send him to Egypt so that they could be delivered.  That Joseph was able to understand that even the bad and cruel things of life were used by God, he was able to forgive his brothers; to love them; to seek ways to provide for their welfare.

Upon entering Egypt, Jacob (Israel) met the Pharaoh, who asked him about his age. (Genesis 47:7-9).  It is interesting to note that Israel replied that “The years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty”.  The Hebrew word for pilgrimage is magur  (Strong’s # 4033) which implies a temporary abode where strangers sojourn.  For various reasons such as fleeing his brother’s wrath, fleeing Laban’s treachery, fleeing possible retribution from the Shechemite allies, Israel saw his life in motion. I wonder if God had given him this type of life as an object lesson so that he would see that his only real anchor and real treasure was the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac.  This life is not, in and of itself, a destination rather it is a place in which we develop a relationship with God.  A chosen people, Israel, were given a chosen land, Canaan, in which to nurture their relationship with God, the Creator who chose them from all of the nations on earth, to be special for him.

For Israel, his age was a function of a temporary abode. It seems that age, in and of itself, was not an absolute concept to him.  Time is a function of this planet and eternity exists outside of our solar system.
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