Jacob’s final years were to be spent in Egypt, and this was a surprise to Jacob. So we see the Lord appearing to Jacob yet one more time, issuing instructions for His servant to take his journey.
“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again”
GOD’S PRESENCE PROMISED: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
THE SURETY OF GOD’S PROMISE: “Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”
Jacob was led by God all his life, even though in some instances he was not aware of God leading him. He stumbled and fell many times but was able to return to the place of God’s blessings. Now in his final years on earth God leads him in paths he never expected to travel, but to his credit he followed God’s leading.
May we learn to be faithful in following God’s leading in our individual lives.
THE BLESSEDNESS OF GOD’S LEADING
1. FOR TESTING: “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”
2. FOR TEACHING: “like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.”
3. ALWAYS WITHIN REACH: “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
4. INTO AREAS THAT ARE CLEAR TO HIM – ALTHOUGH UNCLEAR TO US: “When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.”
Such were the promises to Jacob; he lived by them and died clinging to them. “When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him … promise … me Do not bury me in Egypt, but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried” “Then Israel said to Joseph. “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers.” “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers ….. in Canaan..” “So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him”