God’s Word Goes Forth: Tell of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 46:1-27: On the way to Egypt, God encourages Jacob not to be afraid, promising that he will one day have so many descendants that they will become a nation. Indeed, his descendants in Egypt number seventy. Seventy was considered an ideal and complete number.
Today's Scripture: Genesis 46:3
“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go to Egypt; I will make your descendants a great nation there.”
1 Jacob packed up all he had and went to Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to him in a vision at night and called, “Jacob, Jacob!” “Yes, here I am,” he answered. 3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go to Egypt; I will make your descendants a great nation there. 4 I will go with you to Egypt, and I will bring your descendants back to this land. Joseph will be with you when you die. ” 5 Jacob set out from Beersheba. His sons put him, their small children, and their wives in the wagons which the king of Egypt had sent. 6 They took their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan and went to Egypt. Jacob took all his descendants with him: 7 his sons, his grandsons, his daughters, and his granddaughters. 8 The members of Jacob's family who went to Egypt with him were his oldest son Reuben 9 and Reuben's sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 Simeon and his sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 Levi and his sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 Judah and his sons: Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. (Judah's other sons, Er and Onan, had died in Canaan.) Perez' sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13 Issachar and his sons: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron. 14 Zebulun and his sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons that Leah had borne to Jacob in Mesopotamia, besides his daughter Dinah. In all, his descendants by Leah numbered thirty-three. 16 Gad and his sons: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli. 17 Asher and his sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah's sons were Heber and Malchiel. 18 These sixteen are the descendants of Jacob by Zilpah, the slave woman whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. 19 Jacob's wife Rachel bore him two sons: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 In Egypt Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in Heliopolis. 21 Benjamin's sons were Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These fourteen are the descendants of Jacob by Rachel. 23 Dan and his son Hushim. 24 Naphtali and his sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These seven are the descendants of Jacob by Bilhah, the slave woman whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. 26 The total number of the direct descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt was sixty-six, not including his sons' wives. 27 Two sons were born to Joseph in Egypt, bringing to seventy the total number of Jacob's family who went there.
Imagine relocating a family as large as Jacob’s in the midst of the social and political turmoil of his day. What challenges might he have faced in leading them to Egypt? What might his fears have been? How might God’s encouragement have given him strength? Do you seek God’s encouragement and strength when you are facing difficult challenges? Why or why not?
God of strength, comfort and encourage me in the challenges I face today. I feel like I have so much to do, so many pressing concerns to address, and so little time. Empower me to stand strong, sustained by the knowledge that you are with me through all things. Amen.