Another famine… and another opportunity for God’s people to be an example to the world of the Blessing in operation! This time we have seen Jacob and his 11 sons come to the amazing realization that their brother Joseph is indeed alive and well – not just well, but has risen to second in command over all of Egypt! Beyond that – the Wisdom and Blessing of the Lord has aided Joseph in setting up Egypt into a position of power in the known world. They control the food – when the world around them is starving. That is how the Blessing works!
Eventually Joseph reveals who he really is to his brothers… and they all come to realize that God has been working behind the scenes on their behalf. What Satan meant for evil (through the actions of his brothers) – God turned around for good for Joseph (and through him to his family).
In chapter 47 we see an elderly Jacob and the other sons finally reunited with Joseph in Egypt. Joseph uses his power and influence to fully provide for Jacob and the rest of the family during what is again referred to as a “severe” famine. Because of the Blessing at work in the lives of God’s people – what was set up as a disaster and defeat by the enemy has turned into the exact means of escape and provision from the Lord. Did God cause Joseph to be sold and imprisoned? No – his brothers and Potiphar’s wife did. Did God cause Jacob to go through those years of grief and heartache at the thought that his beloved son Joseph was dead? No again. But God DID orchestrate the circumstances which led to Joseph being elevated into 2nd in command and then Jacob and his family finding themselves safe and sound in Egypt. The Blessing always works for our good!
Notice near the end of the chapter – verse 27. “And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they gained possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly.” I have yet to hear many teachings on the land of Goshen… but it is a key detail in Scripture! Goshen was located in the fertile Upper Region of the Nile River – in the extreme northwest corner of Egypt. Going a bit further north would find one in Canaan (eventually Israel). Joseph encouraged his family to settle there for several reasons… one of which is that it’s soil is very rich (constantly fed by the Nile floods). As well – it is off the beaten path of the majority of the Egyptian population – hence the reference to the Egyptians distaste for shepherding. Jacob and his family would settle in one of the most valuable areas of Egypt – yet removed enough from the rest of the population to prevent them from adopting too much of the surrounding culture (and forgetting who they were!).
Also, look again at Gen 47:27 – notice what happens to the Israelites during the famine? Things are so bad that the Egyptian people were selling off everything they owned to survive… yet God’s people are “growing and multiplying exceedingly”. What was the Blessing spoken over Abraham – Issac – and Jacob? To “Be Fruitful and Multiply!”. Even in Egypt – a foreign land – during a severe famine… God is providing for His people. The Blessing is at work and they are living as an example to the world.
There is no reason why you and I cannot live in the land of Goshen during the worst economic times the world faces. We are under the same Blessing that Jacob and his 12 sons were under. As always – the choice to live there in obedience or not is up to us. Obey like Joseph and be rescued – or disobey like the brothers and find ourselves starving.
Be Fruitful & Multiply,