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October 18, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Jacob arose from Beersheba . . . and went to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him.”—Genesis 46:5-6 (NKJV)
Bolstered by the assurance of God’s voice, Jacob rises up and leads his entire family forward into Egypt. Let’s stop and really consider all that this means.
Back in the land he had come from, Jacob had established roots. It was a land that was familiar to him. He knew the lay of the land. He understood the patterns of the year and how they affected his environment. His family, his herds, and his wealth continued to grow. The trajectory seemed to be trending in an upward direction. Life’s unexpected surprises seemed to come fewer and farther between. His younger years were willed with change and transition, but all that seemed to be behind him as he settled into the comforts of Canaan. It was a good place to end his journey.
There’s a ring of relatability to all of this. We strive in our youth to gain some security in this world. We work hard and plan to ensure that we eventually get to the place Jacob found himself . . . a place of establishment and ease. Some of us actually seem to arrive there and we start to view our lives through the same lens that Jacob did.
And then a famine happens, and everything changes. For Jacob, it meant the trajectory changed and the day to day questions shifted from, “How much?” to “How much is left?” It became clear he had to send wealth and his sons to a faraway foreign land to obtain the food needed to feed his family. This wasn’t just inconvenient, it was humbling.
And as the future unfolds, it becomes clear that Canaan wouldn’t be the terminus of his journey. What had been unthinkable a few years before was now the reality, an entirely new thing was happening, a new land, a new homestead, a new set of sights, a new everything. But with God’s Word as his guide, he went forward towards it.
What happens when the figurative famine hits your life, when a lifetime of plans get suddenly shredded? Now we can appreciate Jacob’s faith a bit more, can’t we? But don’t miss the fact that it was Jacob’s knowledge that the Lord was doing a new thing, and that was the substance of his faith.
If you find yourself at a similar threshold, trust that the new thing God is doing is going to be better than the present thing you’ve grown accustomed to and comfortable in. Step into the new thing God has for you, and don’t look back, just as Jacob did!
“Behold, I will do a new thing . . .”—Isaiah 43:19 (NKJV)
DIG: How does Jacob’s move to Egypt relate to our lives?
DISCOVER: When have you been challenged to accept or reject a “new thing” of God?
DO: What would you tell someone who’s being faced with this challenge? Consider what the Lord would have you say.