Genesis 46:3
"I am God," He said, "the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.
Sermons
Emigrate, But not Without GodW. M. Taylor, D. D.Genesis 46:1-7
God Speaking in the Visions of the NightR.A. Redford Genesis 46:1-7
Israel's Journey into EgyptH. T. Holmes.Genesis 46:1-7
The Family MigrationW. S. Smith, B. D.Genesis 46:1-7
The Migration of Jacob's House to EgyptT. H. Leale.Genesis 46:1-7
The Three MeetingsW. Roberts Genesis 46:1-4; 46:28-30; 47:7-10
Divine Assurance Vouchsafed to JacobA. M. Symington, D. D.Genesis 46:3-4
GuidanceJ.F. Montgomery Genesis 46:3, 4


Convinced that Joseph really lived, Jacob's first impulse was to hasten to him. But at Beersheba, ere he left the land of Canaan, he sought guidance of God. The promise made him reminds of that at Bethel. Each on the occasion of leaving the land; each revealing God's protecting care. His presence is the only pledge of safety (cf. Exodus 33:14, 15). It was not a word for Jacob only. Had it been so it would have failed, for Jacob never returned to Canaan. It was like the promise to Abraham (Genesis 17:8; cf. Hebrews 11:9, 10). It was the assurance that God's word would not fail. Though he seemed to be leaving his inheritance, he was being led in the way appointed for its more complete possession. God was with him in all This fully made known to us in Immanuel, without whom we can do nothing, but who by the Holy Spirit abides in his people (John 15:4; John 16:14).

I. JACOB'S EXAMPLE. Before taking a step of importance he solemnly drew near to God (cf. Nehemiah 2:4; 2 Corinthians 12:8). Not even to see Joseph would he go without inquiring of the Lord. Christ by his Holy Spirit is to his people wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). The habit of prayer for guidance, or for wisdom to discern the right way, rests on sure promises (Isaiah 30:21; Luke 11:13), and is a thoroughly practical resource. We look not for visions or direct manifestations. But guidance is given through channels infinitely varied, though our way may seem strange; and it may be long ere we find that our prayer has been all along answered in the course of events. Why so much neglect of this? so much uncertainty? Because often men do not really seek to be guided by God. Their real wish is to be led as they themselves wish.

II. They who would be sure of God's promises MUST LEAN ON HIS GUIDANCE. They may seem to be led far from what they hoped for. They would fain have great spiritual elevation, and are kept low. They would like to do great work, and are led through homely duties; to have great powers for God's service, and are made weak. The cross must be borne (Revelation 3:19), and it is sure to take a form they do not like. Otherwise it would not be really a cross. Many would willingly endure pain or poverty if they might thereby gain fame.

III. GOD'S CARE FOR INDIVIDUALS. "I will go down with thee." The universe in its laws shows power, wisdom, and love. But what inspires trust is the confidence that each one is remembered and cared for by God, a confidence called forth by the human sympathy of Christ (Matthew 9:36; Luke 7:13; John 11:35). - M.







And He said, I am God, the God of thy father, fear not to go down into Egypt.
Not the invitation of Pharaoh, not the urgent message of Joseph, not even the warmth of his own love alone, carried Jacob out of Canaan. These furnished the occasion and the impulse, but the head of the covenant people did not leave the Land of Promise without the warrant of his covenant God. There were four promises.

1. "I will make of thee a great nation," a promise which ran far into the future. A people great in numbers, greater in their influence on all the earth to the end of time, should be formed of his seed, and formed in Egypt.

2. "I will go down with thee." Over every circumstance of the future, nearer and more remote, the Living and Almighty. God would watch.

3. "I will also surely bring thee up again." The old promise of the land would not be changed. For the purpose of forming the nation which should possess the land, were they now being taken into Egypt; when the nation had been formed according to God's promise, He would bring them back.

4. "And Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes." Long before the nation was formed, Jacob's time to die should come; but when it came it would be accompanied with this tender consolation, the loving touch of Joseph's hand on the eyelids he could no longer move. That was to be his last sensation. And it would convey to him far more than the joy of his son's love; it would be the pledge that his soul was passing into the hands of the faithful Redeemer who had given this promise so long before. Thus it was by faith that Israel went into Egypt, consciously led by the hand of God.

(A. M. Symington, D. D.)

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