March 12, 2019

Trust Along the Way, Even When There's a Delay

Genesis 46

11 Comments | Listen | Print

Joseph Brings His Family to Egypt

So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes.”

Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

Now these are the names of the descendants of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons. Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Yob, and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; altogether his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.

16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, with Serah their sister. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob—sixteen persons.

19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, bore to him. 21 And the sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob—fourteen persons in all.

23 The son1 of Dan: Hushim. 24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and these she bore to Jacob—seven persons in all.

26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own descendants, not including Jacob's sons' wives, were sixty-six persons in all. 27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two. All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.

Jacob and Joseph Reunited

28 He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. 29 Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” 31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 And the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”


[1] 46:23 Hebrew sons

Trust Along the Way, Even When There's a Delay

Key Verse | Genesis 46:30

Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive."


Bio | James Jenkins

Hey, JTJ family! Glad to be with you. My wife Alison and I attend the Plano campus, and I serve in re:generation, Watermark's 12-step biblical recovery discipleship. By the time you read this, our son Charlie will have just celebrated his second birthday.

As I think about legacy and leaving a lasting impact on this world, I can't help but focus on Charlie and how my role as his dad should follow right behind God and Alison in my priorities.

In our crazy busy lives, Alison and I get to experience God's faithfulness daily. I hope and pray you are encouraged by today's devotional.

Central Truth

We can depend on God to keep His promises. Even when the fulfillment is delayed or seems that it may not come at all, we can trust that God is faithful.

Devotional | Genesis 46

Genesis is one of my very favorite books of the whole Bible. The story of Abraham and his three generations of patriarchs of the Jewish faith who came after him is central to understanding much of the Old Testament...

Genesis is one of my very favorite books of the whole Bible. The story of Abraham and his three generations of patriarchs of the Jewish faith who came after him is central to understanding much of the Old Testament and how God's love and commitment to His chosen people is played out throughout all of Scripture.

Genesis 46 tells us of Jacob's rescue from the great famine in the land of Canaan and of his reuniting with his son, Joseph. Over half of the chapter is taken up with telling us of all of the people who came to Goshen with Jacob. It's a total of 70 people. The listing of each person who made the journey to Egypt is very important because it points to another step of God fulfilling the promise He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3. Jacob was Abraham's grandson, and I expect that Jacob was quite familiar with the promises that God had made to his family.

Although Jacob had several reasons to lose heart and give up hope that God would keep His promises, we see that he kept worshiping God and expecting to see God's faithfulness delivered. For me, it is a regular battle to remain faithful to the biblical worldview and trust God with my daily life. Anxiety, fear, and a desire to control processes and outcomes are all things that I struggle with.

In the last five years of regularly attending re:generation, I have seen God's faithfulness displayed in the lives of countless people in many different ways. My faith is encouraged when God's work is evident in someone else.

Lastly, with the benefit of hindsight and the rest of Scripture, we now know what Jacob didn't back then—the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise to his family would come exactly 40 generations after Jacob in his family line (Matthew 1:2-17). A man named Joseph, a direct descendent of Jacob, would marry a lady named Mary, and together they would welcome our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into the world.

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1.  How has God shown His faithfulness and kindness to you? Write down at least two things you are thankful for to remind you of His work during hard times.

2. We see plenty of evidence that Jacob never lost his faith in God. What can you learn from his story to apply in your own life when it seems that God is slow in fulfilling His promises?

3. Jacob acted on his faith in God's promises, even by making the long and difficult journey to Egypt. What action can you take today to display your trust in God and faith in His promises?

11 Comments available

Jay Caruso 2 months ago

Thanks James When I continue to learn as I take this journey as faithful our God is and it’s just keep me wanting to read more and more thank you for offering this Medium to take a journey with so many different people

Sharhonda Conner 2 months ago
Reply right arrow

@Lindsey congratulations!!!

Julie Newmeyer 2 months ago
Reply right arrow


Michael Scaman 2 months ago

And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob" Repeating the name is a sign of deep familiarity

With the promise of going into Egypt and becoming a great nation, Jacob gets more a glimpse of God talking care of the big picture.

It seems a bit strange the 70 people of the house of Jacob may not have included his son’s wives… but there are often unmentioned uncounted women in these acounts

greg jones 2 months ago

The first covenant is all about being a great nation and possessing land. At the end of his life Isreal walks out of the land with his family into Egypt. Jacob will die in peace, his family is united, they’re living among their neighbors, it’s not your typical first testament story. From here out occupying the land will represent being blessed by God. Not occupying the land will be represented as being cursed by God. The struggle will be what must we do and not do to avoid the wrath of our God and possess His promises. We won’t see reconciled relationships and peace associated with each other for awhile.

Congratulations on a devotional in a family way.

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

Hey James, thank you for your devo! And Lindsey, so happy for you guys!

It’s interesting that there doesn’t seem to be any shame in the way Joseph explains to his family that Egyptians considered shepherds an abomination. He let Yahweh so deeply soak his thinking and analysis that I wonder if he saw, even in the day the Israelites moved to Goshen, that their separation from the rest of the country was God’s protection for their identity as God’s chosen people. As in the word of wisdom, “Rejection is protection.” Just like the man who was not allowed on the Ethiopian flight that tragically crashed this week. Apparently a security guard (I wonder if it was an angel) told him to give thanks to God that he was prevented from boarding the doomed flight.

Hope Harris 2 months ago

@Lindsey Driscoll Congrats!

Hope Harris 2 months ago

GM JTJ Sojourners!

I too am taken by God’s promise that “Joesph’s hand will close your eyes.” and this “He (Joesph) presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.”

Tender moments between the lost son and his father. I wonder what my first moments with Jesus will be like when I see Him face to face?

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

I am reflecting on two verses:

God promises “…and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”.

“Now let me die, since I have seen your face…”

What was Jacob thinking at this point in his life after all the travels, family chaos, losing Joseph and fearing for Judah and Benjamin?

Reconciliation, I’m guessing. The last thing he would see would be Joseph’s face as he sat next to him, maybe holding his hand. Then he saw God’s face.

Reconciliation. It’s what God promises in Genesis 3:15. It’s the work of Prodigal and step 12 in re:gen. For believers, it’s what we long for. Going Home. There are many days when my heart aches for it.

On 11/18/99 my father was dying. He sat up in bed, called my mother’s name and reached for her. Then he died. We closed his eyes. We sensed when his soul left his body. So peaceful.

Lindsey Driscoll 2 months ago

Q3 - what action can you take today to trust God and his promises. Well, being newly pregnant is a great time to walk with God and trust his promises. What a blessing it is today to look at verse 46:3 where God says “I am God, …do not be afraid, … I will go with you.” This is our Loving God who calls us to trust him.

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

“every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians” God uses things the world doesn’t think much of

View More Comments

Download The App

  • Jointhejourney app store
  • Jointhejourney play store