“Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.”
In his old age Jacob now begins one more journey. Many years earlier, Jacob had fled his homeland in fear; now he leaves in the hope of a joyful reunion with a son he had thought was dead. But this journey also requires him to leave the land God has promised to him (Genesis 35:12). This journey will take him to Egypt, a place of danger for his father and grandfather (Genesis 12:10-20; 26:2). Can God be involved in this unexpected change of plans?
It is to Jacob’s credit that he begins this journey with worship—for even if a plan seems appealing to us, it will not succeed if it does not honor God. Though his own son had invited him to come and stay in Egypt, Jacob also surely knew of God’s warning that his descendants would be mistreated in a foreign land (Genesis 15:13). For this reason, God’s assurance is vital to his journey.
Perhaps it seems that God has placed you on a journey you did not expect: a new career, a new home, a challenging situation that stretches your faith. Hear today the great assurance that Jacob heard: “Do not be afraid. . . . I will go . . . with you.” God, who lived among us and journeyed with us in the flesh of his Son (John 1:14), will redeem and bless even the unexpected journeys of all who trust in him.
Lord, sometimes you send us to unexpected places in life. Give us wisdom to discern your leading in our journeys, and give us courage in knowing you are always with us, through Jesus, our Savior. Amen.
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