Genesis 46:1-4,31-34 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 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. “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes”… 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.”

Finally Israel and his large family, 75 in all, move to Goshen to go to live with his son, Joseph. A fitting end to a harsh and painful journey that Joseph was subjected to for no fault of his.

What joy Israel (Jacob) must have felt knowing that his son that he once lost is now found and not just found but is well and has made such a name for himself. Also, what a joy it must have been for Israel to know that his God, the God of his fathers was confirming to him that he was to go down to Egypt and God would make him a great nation there!

God certainly has wonderful ways of bringing about His will but is that what today’s passage is about?

Have you not wondered, as I have, why God did not establish Abraham’s family in Israel rather than keeping them as nomads in their own lands?

Everyone outside of Abraham’s family including Ishmael and Lot established themselves and were now ruling and trading but Israel’s family were still wandering the great vast in search of permanency.

In the 46 chapters of the first book of the Bible, it is easy for us to get lost in the intricacies of each character’s lives that we tend to miss the big picture.

This great migration of peoples was not without reason as we will see in the chapters and books ahead and even today is the reality of the children of God as we wait for our permanency with God in heaven for eternity.

This wonderful story of reconciliation is not the end all because they now face a new battle, one of establishing themselves in a foreign land where people look down upon their very occupation.

Obviously shepherding was not the career choice of the Egyptians and was left to the poor. Joseph, the overseer of Egypt, was from a family of shepherds and this was going to be a bitter pill for Pharaoh to swallow as they came to live in Goshen.

Joseph could have got them good positions in the army or whatever was reputable but he knew that their shepherd origins would eventually be brought out and they could face the consequence of their heritage.

He therefore decided to inform Pharaoh and knew God would provide a way for his family to live in the land and be a part of the blessing.

As we walk in our new selves transformed by Jesus Christ and live in the hostile world around us, are we holding onto our faith or living dual lives? Are we ashamed of our shepherding heritage and calling or proud of it and willing to live to honor our shepherd, Jesus Christ, the lover of our souls?

God’s transformation is not just in our soul but our entire being. When we submit to Him, we need to submit our all and then walk in faith knowing that the one who loves us is able to do far more than we can imagine, has control over everything He created and choses to bless us as His will is done. Are we willing to be a part of His will or will we rebel to be a part of the pits of hell?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Numbers 14:9 Only don’t rebel against Yahweh, neither fear the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is removed from over them, and Yahweh is with us. Don’t fear them.”

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Comments
  1. Debbie says:

    I really appreciate you taking the time to go through Genesis like this and not just look at the obvious, looking at it all from a little different angle. From a Jesus direction. 🙂
    I didn’t think about Joseph having the option to get his family into other jobs, other work. This way, as shepherds, they all got to stay together. As they grew and did well in Goshen, it was easy to see they were blessed by God.
    I also needed to think about the dual lives part. That came up in a way on a fellow blogger’s post. May He permeate all that I am and all that I do.
    God bless you and your life that you live for Him!

    • ServantBoy says:

      Hi Deb,
      Thank you as always for taking time to read these posts. I do feel bad that my posts have gone from short to lengthy but I also feel there is much to be said. Praying that I continue to operate in God’s wisdom and not my own and that I obediently continue to respond to Him. About Shepherding, I just though it was amazing that it is our heritage and so often we go about hiding our spiritual beliefs in public forums when that is where we are called to witness to what God has done in our lives. These posts are often God’s words to me for my personal conviction and beg me to change and so please don’t feel like they are directed to you. English is not my first language and my tone might come across as different from my intention.
      In Christ,
      Vineet

      • Debbie says:

        Dear Vineet . . .there is nothing wrong with the length of your posts or your language and intents! 🙂 Whenever I read something, I ask God to use it in my life. I have so much to learn, and so much more changing to be done. Constantly under construction! ha! But . . .it’s good. 🙂 And your heart and words here . . .they are good too. 🙂 Thank you!!!

  2. I want to tell you again that I am glad that you have been studying this part of the book of Genesis that reveals so much about the Lord’s ways in dealing with mankind…especially the way he deals with his people who by God’s saving grace have entered the household of faith. You have helped me to see many things that I have overlooked at times when I have read this account.

    This post in particular had some important reminders. One of them is that we can easily get so caught up in our own situations and agendas that we lose sight of the big picture, and like I shared recently with Debbie, can consequently misplace our zeal. I really needed to hear that, because my flesh is prone to being self absorbed.

    The first time I read this post I was in a hurry and missed a lot of the great truth that you had here. Something else happened, too. The portion I am quoting here below made me a little uncomfortable, so I decided to come back later and read your entire post prayerfully and think about it some more…

    “As we walk in our new selves transformed by Jesus Christ and live in the hostile world around us, are we holding onto our faith or living dual lives? Are we ashamed of our shepherding heritage and calling or proud of it and willing to live to honor our shepherd, Jesus Christ, the lover of our souls?

    God’s transformation is not just in our soul but our entire being. When we submit to Him, we need to submit our all and then walk in faith knowing that the one who loves us is able to do far more than we can imagine, has control over everything He created and choses to bless us as His will is done. Are we willing to be a part of His will or will we rebel to be a part of the pits of hell?”

    The first paragraph alone was convicting, because we must be in the world but not conformed to its evil ways. Conviction is a good thing, so I am glad you wrote those words. We should never treat our heritage that the Lord has so graciously bestowed as something to be ashamed of and try to “hide it under a bushel” so we can avoid suffering for Christ.

    When the first paragraph was combined with the second paragraph I became a little uncomfortable. I hope it is okay if I look at that second paragraph one sentence at a time.

    “God’s transformation is not just in our soul but our entire being.”

    It is my understanding that those who have received Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord have been regenerated. Some might say that they have been “quickened” or born again. These terms are all ways of saying that believers have new life in Christ, and are “New Creatures”…but it is important to know that Christians also do indeed have a “two-fold” or “Dual” nature. Both the two-fold nature and our transformation (the way our transformation takes place are described and explained in Romans 7 and 8 and also in some other places in the New Testament. I am thinking about the parable of the wheat and the tares. Over the course of time (the time that starts at the moment of regeneration and continues on until the believer dies and goes to heaven) the “New Creature” contained in these earthen vessels will be mature enough to show fruit that can be easily seen in themselves and in other believers (fruit in due season), but up until that time they still can look an awful lot like those pesky weeds. I grow flowers and have done a lot of weeding in my flowerbeds, and have learned a lot from that.

    “When we submit to Him, we need to submit our all and then walk in faith knowing that the one who loves us is able to do far more than we can imagine, has control over everything He created and choses to bless us as His will is done.”

    I really appreciate these words. That is really trustworthy counsel. I might just add the thought that although we submitted to the Lord when we received Him as our Savior (Something that a person must only do once in order to be saved from an eternity spent in Hell) they daily will need to continue to submit…not to ensure that they are still new creatures…that they are “still saved”(regeneration is not reversible), but as their “reasonable service”.

    “Are we willing to be a part of His will or will we rebel to be a part of the pits of hell?”

    This question is a question that should “only be considered” by one who is “still not yet” saved, someone who has not yet placed their faith in Christ. From all that I have read so far over the years I have come to the belief that once a person has placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, they have come into possession of a faith that will “persevere”…they are “eternally secure”. They will stumble, but not be “utterly cast down”…

    The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24 KJV

    Some day I might come to a different understanding and decide that I was wrong for believing this concept that I am currently embracing, and if that happens I will clearly need to repent for both living by it and teaching it, but I feel strongly enough about it that I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

    I apologize for leaving such a long comment. I thank the Lord for the wonderful way he is using you to help people like me to come into increasing knowledge of God and the truth that has come to set us free.

    Theresa

    • ServantBoy says:

      Hi Theresa,

      You have really blessed me with a beautiful comment and I’m going to try and respond to you but I suspect I might not do justice. Thank you again for being an encouragement to me and also for feeling comfortable to share your thoughts and challenging me to consider mine too. It is important that we as one family have this freedom and in the course of our interactions sharpen ourselves and each other in the wisdom of God.

      Forgive me for jumping straight to your well explained points. When I suggested that God’s transformation is not just in our soul but in our entire being, my hope was to clarify to those christians among us who compartmentalize our faith into a spiritual body and live daily lives as though not connected to that self. This was me and I see if often among those around me. To a believer, what you explained as transformation is what I believe and accept completely unless the Lord wants to change that understanding in me.

      After I was saved by Christ, my transformation began with the holy spirit entering me and starting to cleanse me, a process that will go on until my last breath here on earth or till the Lord’s coming. I just love how Jesus is transforming me although my sin nature still is in me and I am constantly in need of cleansing but I can see change, gradual but permanent change and I just keep praising Him for that change in me. This is in line with what you mentioned about continuing to submit and I will not be complete till I am before Him.

      “Are we willing to be a part of His will or will we rebel to be a part of the pits of ****?”

      Knowing that these posts are geared towards non-christians and christians alike, I try to ask questions to both audience. Yes, you are absolutely right about our salvation. Once saved, our salvation is certainly secured by the blood of Jesus Christ which is all-sufficient, paid once and for all times and is complete.

      Thank you again for taking the time and putting the effort into clarifying some of my statements which certainly needed more insight. I praise God for you and how you have so beautifully clarified His word to me and to anyone who reads these posts. I pray that God will continue to use you to preach His word in truth and as you do so, many will come to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      In Him,
      Vineet

      • Vineet,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my comment and to clarify those portions of your post that I quoted. I had a feeling that your thoughts on salvation were the same as what you have shared in your reply to my comment, but it was good to have the opportunity to hear more of your thoughts.

        You really do have a great ministry. You bring out so much treasure from the riches of the word, and the way you speak to people through your comments here and in other blogs is always so gracious and kind.You have a wonderful witness. Thanks again.

        Theresa

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