Monday, February 15, 2021

2021.02.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 45:16–46:4

Read Genesis 45:16–46:4

Questions from the Scripture text: Who heard what in Genesis 45:16? How do they respond? What does Pharaoh tell Joseph to do (Genesis 45:17)? What are the brothers to bring (Genesis 45:18)? What will Pharaoh give them? What will they eat? What is Joseph to command the brothers take, for what purpose (Genesis 45:19)? About what does he say not to be concerned (Genesis 45:20)? Why? What is the response in Genesis 45:21? What provision for each man does Genesis 45:22 specifically mention? Who is singled out how? Whose provision does Genesis 45:23 single out? What is it? With what additional instruction does Joseph send them (Genesis 45:24)? When they arrive back (Genesis 45:25), and tell Jacob (Genesis 45:26), how does he respond and why? What does he hear, and what does he see, in Genesis 45:27? With what result? What is Jacob now called in Genesis 45:28? What is the first thing that he says? What is enough? What does he say that he will go do? What does he seem to think will immediately follow? What does he bring (Genesis 46:1)? Where does he arrive in verse 1? What does he do there? To Whom (what Name does verse 1 use)? Who speaks in Genesis 46:2? How (in what)? How does He address him—with what name, how many times? What does Jacob say? What two things does God say about Himself (Genesis 46:3)? What does God tell him not to do? Why—what does God promise that He will do? Who will go where with whom (Genesis 46:4)? What else will He do (cf. Genesis 50:24–25)? Who else will do what (Genesis 46:4)?

Pharaoh gives Jacob’s family royal authorization and protection (“Now you are commanded,” Genesis 45:19), as well as provision (Genesis 45:18Genesis 45:20).  And Joseph follows the instruction (Genesis 45:21, 23), adding the family’s love-language of garments (Genesis 45:22, cf. Genesis 37:3). If these things hadn’t have come along, Jacob wouldn’t have come, since he didn’t trust his sons (Genesis 45:26), for which we can hardly blame him. The detailed report (Genesis 45:27a) helped a bit, and Jacob does trust his eyes (verse 27b), so he resolves to leap into action (Genesis 45:28), with the text notably switching back to the use of “Israel” at this point.

The last stop in Canaan is Beersheba—an important place in God’s dealings with Abraham and Isaac. It is probably for that reason that Israel offers sacrifices there, even referring to God as “the God of his father Isaac” (Genesis 46:1). But it is possibly for this reason that he is also afraid. Abraham had stumbled in going to Egypt (cf. Genesis 12:10–20). Isaac had been directly forbidden to go there (cf. Genesis 26:2). What if this was the wrong thing to do?

So the Lord appears to him, and commands him not to fear going down (Genesis 46:3). God assures him not only of his plan “I will make of you a great nation there” but also of his presence “I Myself will go down with you to Egypt, and returning, I will return you” (Genesis 46:4). He even gives him a physical action that will remind and reinforce to him these promises, “And Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.”

Should Jacob have believed God’s promises this whole time? Absolutely. Should he have been leading his family continually in the kind of worship in Genesis 46:1? Yes! So we see God appearing to him to reinforce (even with new detail) the promise of His plan and of His presence, and we are to say, “What a patient and merciful God!” And He is our God, who has filled His Word with these promises, and added to it the physical signs of His sacraments!

In what ways has doubt and anxiety cropped up in your life? Where do God’s Word and sacrament meet you?

Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly, I Am with You” or TPH73C “In Sweet Communion, Lord, with Thee”

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