Just Pass'n Through
Summary of Genesis 47
Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen
Joseph previously prepared his father & brothers to meet Pharaoh telling them to make no pretense as to owho they were, shepherds and that they were sojourners, travelers in the land or nomads.
Joseph relates the story of the famine in Canaan to Pharaoh and presents five of his brothers to him so he might question them. Pharaoh asks them questions about their occupation and was satisfied with the response he received. He tells Joseph to settle his father and brothers in the “best of the land”, the land of Goshen. He also asks Joseph to select some able men from his family and put them in charge of his livestock. The family is welcomed, given a home and a position as some of Pharaoh’s servants.
Lest the new reader think this is favored treatment, you should understand that Goshen is an area separated geographically from the rest of Egypt. It would be natural for Pharaoh to send them there as the Egyptians thought shepherds to be people unworthy of their company or association. The Israelites on the other hand were instructed by God not to be part of any group that did not recognize Him as their God. Goshen therefore would be mutually agreeable.
Joseph also brought hid father, Jacob, before Pharaoh so that he might meet him also. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, an almost automatic action for a believer in God but probably unexpected by Pharaoh as he would have been used to having everything his way and in n need of blessings from herdsmen. But obviously he accepted Jacob’s blessing and proceeded to ask him about his age. When the meeting was over, Joseph took his family and settled them in the land of Rameses as he was directed.
Another word to the new reader. When God blessed Abraham and told him that He would make him the father of nations, He also told him that he and his people would be a blessing to others. For Jacob to bless those he came in contact with would be very natural. For Pharaoh to receive blessings from shepherds would not. Jacob had God in his life; Pharaoh thought the he was god.
Joseph & the Famine
A severe famine struck Egypt and the people were starving. Joseph used the wisdom God had given him to manage the dwindling supplies crops and herds and bought land, harvested crops, seed and servitude form the people in exchange for feeding them and supplying them with seed. The system he set in place worked so well that it was maintained after the famine. It provided a 20% tax owed to Pharaoh on everything the people produced and left them with 80% to supply them with food and supplies for the next season. But again a word to the now wise reader. Joseph’s wisdom was not shared by the subjects of Pharaoh. They evidently spent their money, crops and animals unwisely as each year of the famine found them in worse condition than the last and they finally sold themselves into slavery under Pharaoh.
Jacob settled in the land of Goshen and thrived, in contrast to his distant countrymen. His flocks increased as did his holding of land and his overall wealth. He lived there for 17 years and was 147 years old when it was his time to die. As he was dying, he asked Joseph to return him to the place where he had established a tomb for himself with his wife. Joseph agreed.
- This world is not our home and we are to remain separate from those who choose not to believe in God, their creator.
- We will not bow to the world nor look to its leaders as our savior from turmoil, the forces of nature or from unknown evil spirits that appear in our path.
- We will not be ashamed to acknowledge that without God, we are helpless in this world but with Him, no earthly force can keep us from Him. He will not desert us and all attempts to harm us will used for His glory and honor since, in the end, we will share an eternity with Him in our heavenly home not to be shared by those who made this world their home.
- Like Jacob’s sojourn of 147 years, we will trust in our God to bring us to a promised land that will be our eternal home in continuous contact with Him. If feel weak, afraid, tired, or lost, we will call on Him for strength to endure.
- Genesis 46:31-34
- Genesis 47:1-12
- John 17:15-16 & 18
- Hebrews 11:10 & 13-16
- Romans 1:16
- Philippians 4:19
- Psalm 121:1-2
One Couldn’t Help But Ask…
- Having learned that this world is not your home and that embracing as though it were could lead us to forget God, how will this alter the way you lead your life?
- To whom will you turn for your daily bread of life, your strength in time of trouble and your consolation in time of sorrow? How will you quench your thirst when all around seems parched and lifeless?
- Will you be ready for other’s lack of understanding as they compare their measurement of their wealth and status among friends and society to your concerns for humility, blessings, forgiveness to an invisible God and a promise that only materializes after you die?