Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Monday, March 01, 2021

2021.03.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 46:31–47:12

Read Genesis 46:31–47:12

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speaks to whom (Genesis 46:31)? What does Joseph tell them he’s going to do? What will he tell Pharaoh is their occupation (Genesis 46:32)? What will Pharaoh ask them (Genesis 46:33)? What are they to say (Genesis 46:34)? Where will Pharaoh give them to dwell (verse 34)? Why? What does Joseph go and tell Pharaoh in Genesis 47:1? How many brothers did he select (Genesis 47:2)? To do what? What does Pharaoh ask (Genesis 47:3)? What did they ask (Genesis 47:4)? To whom does Pharaoh speak in Genesis 47:5? What does he say has happened? What does Pharaoh call Goshen in Genesis 47:6? Where does he say for the brothers to live? What does he say for them to do? Whom does Joseph now bring in (Genesis 47:7)? Who blesses whom? What does Pharaoh ask Jacob (Genesis 47:8)? What does Jacob do (Genesis 47:9)? How does he describe his life? As compared to whose? What does Jacob do in Genesis 47:10? Then what? Where did Joseph situate them (Genesis 47:11)? With what did he provide them (Genesis 47:12)? According to what?

The bulk of the passage is focused upon the plan to get the family assigned to Goshen (Genesis 46:31–34) and the successful execution of that plan (Genesis 47:1–6Genesis 47:11–12). We’ve been anticipating this ever since Genesis 45:10Genesis 45:18-19. Joseph knows how to leverage both their skill (Genesis 46:32) and their stink (end of Genesis 46:34), and even which brothers should make the presentation (Genesis 47:2). It goes off without a hitch (Genesis 47:6), even landing them some extra duties (and probably perks, which Joseph probably anticipated). 

But the bulk of the passage is not the heart of the passage. The heart of the passage is Pharaoh’s interview with Jacob. The greater blesses the lesser (cf. Hebrews 7:7), so if we’re thinking in fleshly terms then we might be surprised that rather than falling on his face (cf. Genesis 43:26, Genesis 44:14), Jacob’s opening move is to bless Pharaoh (Genesis 47:7). 

It may also have surprised Pharaoh, since his first words are, “how old are you?!” (Genesis 47:8). It’s tempting to hear complaint in Jacob’s response—especially since we know him so well, but the word “evil” can just mean difficult and uncomfortable, and indeed the earthly ease and prosperity of Abraham and Isaac were great by comparison (end of Genesis 47:9). And there’s a clue here, when he says “the days of the years of my sojourning” that Jacob has become more mindful of resurrection (cf. “I will also surely bring you up again,” Genesis 46:4) and eternal life. This life is, by comparison, just a pilgrimage, just a sojourning. 

And it is part of Jacob’s blessedness unto Pharaoh that he would teach him this. How great is the danger to our souls of wealth and comfort and power; and therefore, how great the danger to Pharaoh’s soul (as we discover in the hardness of heart of the subsequent Pharaoh in the opening chapters of Exodus). So it is with even more richness that Jacob follows this with another blessing in Genesis 47:10. Strikingly, the end of verse 10 implies that this was the entire interview!

Strikingly, but ultimately not surprisingly. For, this is the purpose of the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—now called, “Israel.” It is a family of sinners, but a family through which will come a Savior. A Savior whose salvation and blessing dwarf any length of earthly life or any hardness of earthly life! A Savior who is not just for Jacob but for Pharaoh, not just for Israel but for Egypt, not just for the family of Abraham, but in Whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:3, Genesis 28:14) and all the nations of the earth blessed in him (Genesis 18:18, Genesis 22:18, Genesis 26:4).

Indeed, all who come into God’s Israel are to be a blessing. They are to be salt and light. They are to make disciples. God may use the Egypts of the world to preserve and prosper them, earthly speaking; but, their ultimate purpose is to be a blessing of Christ to them! If you are in Christ, that is the purpose of your sojourn in this world, too!

Through what unbelievers does the Lord preserve and prosper you, earthly speaking? To whom are you a blessing by what various actions of obedience and service unto the Lord? 

Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH424 “All Authority and Power”


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