ISRAEL IS PLANTED IN GOSHEN

 

And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee:  The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.  Genesis 47:5-6

 

Israel and his 12 sons found a home to grow in.  They were promoted by God to be fed and to prosper.  They were to become a great nation.

 

PROMISE IS REAL, REALITY IS SLOWER

 

God made these promises to Abraham, but they were not granted instantly.  It would take time to produce this great work.  It fell to the coming generations to do the work.

 

ISRAEL BROUGHT TO GRIEF, THEN JOY IN HIS CHILDREN

 

And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,  And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.  And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.  Genesis 48:3-5

 

Israel thought he had lost Joseph, but instead gained him back, with his new family too.  Indeed Israel claimed his children as his own.  This would later manifest in an unexpected way.

 

WE ARE HERE GROWING, BUT NOT YET GROWN

 

The word says that we are seated in heavenly places.  There is a manifestation of our promise even during this time when the evidence is not visible.  But we have to complete our “entrance exam” in this life first.  But God already knows the outcome.

 

ANNOYING CHILDREN CAN BECOME GREAT

 

My experience in teaching indicates that the worst brats can be destined to greatness, going on to become preachers or missionaries.  We live in hope that these lessons will be remembered when the need is greatest in some distant battle.  Peter was a bit of a brat, being impulsive, but not evil.  He needed to be both corrected, and commended at times.

 

12 ALL SONS,  BUT NOT ALL WILL RISE

 

And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.  Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.  Genesis 49:1-2

 

Israel prepared his family for a preview of their calling in God.  We know that our promise includes salvation, and a possibility for still greater rewards.  Some will just be saved, and others will earn honors in heaven.

  

DAN AND JUDAS COME SHORT

 

Unfortunately, not all of the brothers will pass their tests.  One of the 12 is doomed.  This was also true of those who followed Jesus.  Jacob spoke this of him:

 

Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.  Genesis 49:17

 

Later we read about another son of Israel who falls away from leadership.

 

Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve  Luke 22:3

 

This is because God knows our choices in advance, not because he forces us to make bad choices.  We have free will to choose our path.  Dan was replaced by Manasseh even as Joseph claimed him as his own son in the earlier verses.  Dan is not sealed among the 144,000 in Revelation.

 

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.  Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.  Revelation 7:4-8

 

SMALL FOXES, SMALL SINS DO HARM

 

We have to remember that life rarely takes us by the major sins, the sin unto death.  Samson had failed long before he met Delilah.  He had compromised his testimony by taking honey from a dead animal.  Honey is good, but not if it is contaminated by sin.  Esau failed when he sold his birthright, long before he missed his father’s blessing.  God is the witness to our small sins.  These build up if not repented. 

 

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.  Song of Solomon 2:15

 

SOME BROTHERS HAVE SINED, YET WILL BE REDEEMED TO GREATNESS

 

Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.  Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.  Genesis 47:8-10

 

Judah had merciful intent towards Joseph, and was destined to be the house of David and the Messiah.

 

ALL WILL GROW TOGETHER, IF NOT ALWAYS IN HARMONY

 

Joseph’s brothers were fearful when their father Israel died.  Joseph was free to get revenge now, having the power of Egypt behind him.  He knew his calling was to help them, and he comforted them. 

 

And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.  Genesis 50:19-21

 

TIME OF REDEMPTION WILL BE NEEDED AS NURTURING BECOMES BONDAGE

 

This Pharaoh was generous, but a later one would forget the gift of Joseph.  Over time this comfort and feeding will become slavery.  When Israel is strong, they will also threaten their hosts.

 

TIME TO LEAVE THE CRADLE AND BECOME A NATION

 

Over time Israel’s tribes will mature and become a great nation.  We too need to grow in preparation to be a great kingdom.  We will mature in spiritual things to be ready for greater service.

 

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.  1 Corinthians 14:20

 

MATURE SONS OF GOD

 

We will be like God when we see him.  That implies that a joint-heir will have some of the power he lives in.  This requires obedience and purity that merits such a promotion.

 

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  1 John 3:2-5

 

Israel’s children are planted in Egypt to grow into a great nation.  At this point they are like toddlers, carnal in behavior and full of jealousy.  They are becoming a great nation by physical growth.  They are under God’s supervision and forced into obedience.  Famine closes the door of escape and forces them to stay here until they are strong enough to fight enemies in the Promised Land.  They still need wisdom and maturity.

 

THE LAW WILL BE A TEACHER FOR THE CHILDREN

 

Soon this family will need to learn some lessons.  God will bring them a law giver who will lead them to new discoveries.  Imperfect man will be measured by a perfect law.

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