Genesis 46:1-4 – Restoration, Resolution, and Reliance5 min read
1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
Verse 1: We open up this chapter and see Jacob making a sacrifice, but if we look to previous sacrifices we see that this is the first one recorded of Jacob in 30 years! When we look at the most recent sacrifice, it was made when Jacob’s life was at a climax. After the sacrifice was made Rachel died, Joseph was sold, Judah was defiled, and Benjamin’s life was threatened. Jacob’s life was a disaster (he knew it), and he had no fellowship with God as he should have in those years.
Perhaps we, as Christians, have lost fellowship with our Father like we used to have. Perhaps it’s a time-span of a month or even a year since proper fellowship has been enjoyed. Perhaps life in our eyes has gone totally wrong, and we began to stray. We need restoration. And as Jacob sacrificed to God, we must recognize that life is better than we realize and that He is worth serving. We must make a sacrifice to Him in humble return. We must go to God and do something about our position before Him; we must make the first step. God will not force us to serve Him. We must return to Him and the things that He enjoys.
Verse 2: Immediately when Jacob turned to God, God spoke, saying, “Jacob Jacob!” God was eagerly waiting for Jacob to return to Him. He was joyed to see him take interest in Him again. Then Jacob said these crucial words: Here am I. Jacob was willing to submit to God as he saw that his life was more than ‘bad luck’. On his path to restoration, he made a resolution to serve God.
After God is acknowledged on our part, God acts. God speaks, perhaps through Scripture, through prayer, or through another person. He will call us out, telling us how greatly He longed for His sheep to return. And we will see that God genuinely does care for us. But, depending on how we respond, this voice could fade away as we fail to listen as He desires. This is why the response is so important. We must respond: Here am I Lord! I am willing to listen! We must completely submit to Him, making a resolution. This is the key. How do we respond? Our response dictates the results.
Verse 3: After Jacob showed that he was willing to serve God, God gave a command. Before that, however, God established the fact: I AM GOD. He showed His credibility and authority to show why Jacob should listen. Then He simply commanded: Fear not. Then He reminded Jacob of His promise. This is what Jacob needed to do at this level of restoration: to rest on God. He needed to simply trust Him.
When we listen to God speak, submitting our will to His, He says something to us. He first establishes the fact: He is God. In a way He is saying, “Listen to Me; I am God, not you. I am the One in control.” He wants us to know this before anything else: His supremacy. Then He says, “Fear not.” Sometimes we get caught up in the cares of this world, when we need to simply sit back and meditate on Him. Many times this is simply God’s will. When we need restoration, we must establish this fact in our lives: He is God. Sometimes we just need to be still, knowing that He is God and that we have a wonderful covenant of grace with Him. When we meditate on this, fears are relieved, and our walk with Him is enhanced greatly.
Verse 4: Egypt was a place that could be feared, but Jacob was promised security. He knew that he wouldn’t go alone, but rather rest in a God capable of leading. Not only that, but he could know that Egypt wasn’t the end; he would be brought up again. He didn’t know when; he didn’t know how. He just rested. And he could know that he would die peacefully with his well beloved son by his side. Through all this, Jacob was restored to God, resolved to serve Him, and relied on Him.
After all is said and done, when fellowship is restored, God wants us to know one more thing. There will be trials in the world. Jacob had to look forward to entering the pagan country, Egypt (a picture of the world). We have this same thing to look forward to. We, throughout our Christian walk, will experience trials; this is the truth. However, we know that we do not have to go through this alone, for He will be there with us. He has overcome the world, and He knows what true tribulations are. He has suffered more than we can imagine, making Him aptly capable to handle our problems. But that’s not all! We have a day to look forward to when the trials will ultimately be over. They will never be over on earth; but they will in Heaven. We don’t know when; we don’t know all the details; but we can rely on Him. Let’s be restored; let’s make a resolution; and let’s rely on Him.