Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
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Chapter 46:1-34Last week we read of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers. Also Joseph’s brothers went back home and told their father that Joseph was alive.We also read of Pharaoh telling Joseph that his family could come to Egypt and live there, with Pharaoh supplying for them, and that land would also be given to them to live in.So let’s get started in this weeks study.Gen 46:1-7 1So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.2Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob!" And he said, "Here I am."3So He said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of 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 put his hand on your eyes."5Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.6So they took their livestock and their goods, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him.7His sons and his sons' sons, his daughters and his sons' daughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.By this time the famine had been upon the earth for two years.Gen 45:6 "For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. The world had to come to Egypt for food, because God had made the provision for them through His servant, Joseph in Egypt. For Israel (Jacob) to go to Egypt seemed like a good idea, after all they would be provided for and have their own homes and land in a town outside of Egypt. But Israel doesn’t just get up and go to Egypt. Notice he stopped in Beersheba and offered sacrifices to the Lord God.So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.Beersheba was on the edge of what we now know as Israel, so even though it seemed that Israel had left his home, he stopped to inquire of the Lord whether this was the right thing to do or not before he entered Egypt.Today we have the “NOW” mentality. I want it now and if I can’t get it NOW, I will find someone who can give it to me NOW. This happens through the Internet where people don’t even have to leave their home to get what they want; you don’t even have to leave your home to listen to the bible being taught. You can sit there in the comfort of your home and listen to various pastors teach the bible on the Internet. This isn’t a bad thing and I would hope you are doing this, but also you need to attend a church in your area. Why?1 Cor 12:26-27 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. If someone is hurting or in need, or if someone is rejoicing, how can you minister to them or rejoice with them if you aren’t there? What if you have a need, if you don’t go to church, how will people know or even know who you are?1 Cor 12:14-17 (NLT)14Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.15If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body.16And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body?17Suppose the whole body were an eye--then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? Yes, you are a very important part of the church, whether you think so or not. God has a plan for you in the church. You may not be an eye or a hand or even a foot, but you may be the blood vessel or muscle to help other parts in the body do their job. Unseen but very important!Israel (Jacob) sought the Lord on whether it was right to go to Egypt or not, and the Lords response wasSo He said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. "Or simply put. Yes go to Egypt, but not even that, but the most important part isI will go down with you to Egypt. It may seem good to do something but if the Lord is not with you then what good is it really. I teach the bible on the Internet through these studies and the daily devotionals. But if God is not with me, then it’s all for nothing and it’s just me and my thoughts not what the Lord wants to speak to others or even myself. My heart has been that if just one person learns from these studies then it’s worth it all. That’s the mentality we should have as servants of God, not the number of people that we minister to, but the results of God touching at least one persons life through us.So I can minister to one or one million, as long as the Lord is with me speaking through me to minister to others, He will draw those to this web site who He wants to speak to through these studies.Maybe you are thinking of moving or purchasing a home, or changing jobs. Maybe you are thinking of getting married or even dating a certain person. Have you asked the Lord, or are you just going on with what looks good? What may look good right now may be a terrible thing in the future. God knows this and God may want to intervene to stop you from having problems in the future.God has intervened for me in the past where I thought a job was a perfect job for me. But I left it in the Lord’s hands and He said no, and I know God knows what’s best for me and that is where my comfort is. Yes, God does say no at times, and just because God said yes to Israel in today's chapter doesn’t mean God is saying yes to you about something. With the example I gave for myself, God said no, and throughout the bible God has said no to many people, even though some may have seemed that yes was right.Acts 16:6-7 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. But God knew and knows what He’s doing, just trust God not your feelings. In all things seek the Lord and His knowledge, because God knows what’s best for you, your family and those whose lives you may touch each day.Prov 3:6 (NLT)Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. This is what Jacob did; he sought the Lord and God’s direction in his life. Going to Egypt sounded good with free food, and homes and land. But no matter how good it sounded Israel asked the Lord if it was the right thing to do.Even though soon afterwards the Children of Israel were to be held in bondage to the Egyptians, yet it was still the Lords will for them to be there. God would show his people His power and might as He delivers them out of a new Pharaoh’s hand, into the Promised Land which we know as Israel. Just something to think about as the Lord gives you an OK on something. There may be times of trial and temptations, but as the Lord was, and is with the Children of Israel, so is God with us as His children.4b and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes. What does this mean?God is telling Israel that he will return to the Land that he now dwells in. The land that God promised to his father and grandfather, which we now know as Israel. To put his hands on your eyes means that Joseph will be there when he dies. Joseph will bury his father, although they didn’t bury people as we do today. They would put them in a cave or some memorial; remember as they did with Sarah and Abraham. We see this happening as we look ahead in chapter 50.Gen 50:13 For his sons carried him (Speaking of Israel) to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place. Next we will read of the genealogy of Israel at this time. Gen 46:8-27 8Now these were the names of the children of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob's firstborn.9The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.10The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.11The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.12The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.13The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puvah, Job, and Shimron.14The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.15These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Padan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the persons, his sons and his daughters, were thirty-three.16The sons of Gad were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.17The sons of Asher were Jimnah, Ishuah, Isui, Beriah, and Serah, their sister. And the sons of Beriah were Heber and Malchiel.18These were the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob: sixteen persons.19The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife, were Joseph and Benjamin.20And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him.21The sons of Benjamin were Belah, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.22These were the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob: fourteen persons in all.23The son of Dan was Hushim.24The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.25These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and she bore these to Jacob: seven persons in all.26All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, besides Jacob's sons' wives, were sixty-six persons in all.27And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy. Here we are now with seventy people who are the descendants of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. Remember way back in chapter 12 that God made a promise to Abraham.Gen 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. At this point it’s about 215 years later with only 70 people. Doesn’t sound like a great nation to me, but God is just beginning here. By the time the children of Israel are lead out of Egypt, it is believed that there are at least three million people of Israel. In Numbers 1:46-47 it says that there were over 600,000 men over 20 years of age. This did not include the women and children. So the children of Israel went from 70 to 3 million in four hundred years. It may sound like a crazy number but not if you think about it. Think of the USA that now has over 100 million, which started with a small amount maybe 400 – 500 years ago.When you read the number of people as 70 here in Genesis, you may be asking how come Stephen says in the book of Acts that there were 75 and not 70?Acts 7:14 Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people. The estimate includes the five sons of Ephraim and Manasseh 1Ch 7:14-20, born in Egypt, therefore the two accounts do coincide.Gen 46:28 Then he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen. This is a very cool verse. I say this because Israel sent his fourth son, Judah to lead the way. So what you may be thinking.Do you remember what Judah’s name means? The praise of the Lord or Praise.If you read through the bible the Lord has the singers and worshippers go first preparing the way for battle or wherever they are going.2 Chron 20:21-22 21And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever."22Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. Even in prayer, Jesus instructed His disciples how to pray with the first words being words of praise unto our Father in heaven.Matt 6:9-10 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Think about that next time you don’t think your prayers are being answered or you are going through a trial. Start out each day praising the Lord, lifting up His name in song and worship. Even if it’s just in your head, let your first thoughts of the day be of praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our Father God. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts at night before you go to bed and ask Him to give you a Spirit of Praise unto out Lord each day.I know personally that there is no better way to start the day then to have a song of praise in your heart remembering God’s goodness towards us. Praise is such a mighty thing in God’s army. It is believed that Satan was in charge of the worship in heaven, therefore he hates us to worship, praise and sing to the Lord.But God loves our praise and worship to Him. Luke 24:52-53 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. Psalms 150:1-6 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! Praise Him because you want to, not because you think you have to. For our God and Father is worthy of ALL praise glory and honor, in heaven and here on the earth!Gen 46:29-30 29So Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.30And Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive." Reading verse 29 Joseph just didn’t give his dad a big hug with a few tears, it says that Joseph wept on his neck a good while. Which means a long time or over and over again.Israel says that he is now ready to die because he knows his son Joseph is safe and alive.But as we read on, we never read of Joseph saying to his father what his brothers did this to him. No Joseph has forgiven and forgotten, just as the Lord does with our sins.Just another way we see Joseph as a type of Jesus in the Old Testament.I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I returned to the Lord. I was in church on a Saturday night (which was the same as Sunday mornings.), and before I went, the Lord had been speaking to me wanting me to return to Him after a few years of walking away. (I am so thankful that God did call me back and that I was obedient to His calling.) So I was in my old church where I used to go to, and after the message, there was an altar call for the lost to be saved and the backslider to return. I decided not to go forward, and just drove off after church. Before I got half way home (Several miles away), I could hear the Lord speaking to my heart asking me why I didn’t go forward? My reply was that I would make a fool of myself if I did (Which was a lie of Satan). God’s response to me was, “Haven’t you been making a fool of Me all these years?”Wow. I had to stop and turn around and go back to church. As I returned there were still many people there along with the pastor, I walked up to him and just feel into his arms crying my eyes out. I told my pastor the story and his response was, “When I saw you walk in I thanked the Lord for your return.” He also told me that he had been praying for me (Thank you pastor Ricky). After a few years I figured he had forgotten me, but he didn’t. Neither did God!I tell you this because maybe you have left the Lord and you are afraid to return. God wants you to come home. Will You?Gen 46:31-34 31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and say to him, 'My brothers and those of my father's house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.32'And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been to feed livestock; and they have brought their flocks, their herds, and all that they have.'33"So it shall be, when Pharaoh calls you and says, 'What is your occupation?'34"that you shall say, 'Your servants' occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,' that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians." To end this week’s study, Joseph tells everyone that he will go tell his boss (Pharaoh) that this family is here. He will also tell them that they are shepherds or keepers of the livestock. The Egyptians considered this a dirty job and they looked down on such a person. Kind of like us with a garbage man or tax collector. We don’t think very highly of such people until we need them. But no matter what your occupation is, we all serve a purpose in our jobs. Maybe they aren’t fancy jobs, but as they say, “Someone’s got to do it”. But there is another reason why Joseph said this. It was because he wanted his family to be separate from the Egyptians and not to take on their customs. With the Egyptians knowing they were shepherds, they wouldn’t have anything to do with them as far as marrying their daughters or including them in their religious rituals.So it is with us. Just because we have jobs in the world and are here doesn’t mean we have to be like the world. We need to come out and be separate from the world.2 Cor 6:17a Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord."Today, have you been a Christian and living like hell or like the world?Today, the Lord is calling you out from among the world and the life you have been living.The question is, will you?Three more chapters and we are finished with the book of Genesis.Are you excited for the next study? I know I am.May God richly bless you in His love, grace and mercy for now and forever more! AMEN!!!