Genesis: Transitions

Genesis 46:1–34

I’m convinced the best way to read Genesis is to sit with the children of Israel at the close of Deuteronomy, asking, “What are we doing here? Who are we? And how did we get here?”

In the context of the whole story from Genesis to Deuteronomy, the meat of the story is the rescue from Egypt and the desert wanderings. And that’s why the story of Joseph takes up more than quarter of the space in Genesis. It explains how we got to Egypt in the first place. Pay attention today that Jacob represents 70 people. That each one gets named tells us that detail is important.

We’re on a trajectory of multiplication. Back in chapter 12, we started the The Redemption Story with just one—Abraham. God promised him a nation of descendants. Now we have 70. By the end of Deuteronomy, there will be a whole lot more than that.

Sometimes the work of God is a slow build.

Notice, too, that we have in this chapter the first direct appearance of God since chapter 35. God has been silent a long time. This is the fourth time in Jacob/Israel’s life that God has appeared and spoken to him. Each time God appears to him in a transitional point of life.

And now there is the move to Egypt.

Each and every time God reminds Jacob that he is the same God who knew his father and grandfather and that he is the God who is with him.

When life around you is in upheaval, it’s always good to be reminded that God is on your side and up to a plan bigger than you.

What about you? What did you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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