Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Genesis 46:1-4 comments: God speaks to Jacob

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.

There, at Beersheba, the scene of encounters between these patriarchs and God in the past, Jacob, Israel, honored God as did Abraham and Isaac.

Genesis 21:33  And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

Genesis 26:25  And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.

These were animal sacrifices. We have a different sacrifice in this dispensation. If you want to honor God, as a Christian, this is the prescription from Paul.

Romans 12:1 ¶  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

No amount of ritual or animal sacrifice today does the worship of God justice nor is it what He requires. Even under the Law God made it ever so clear what He really wants from man.

Micah 6:7  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

God calms Jacob’s heart about going down into Egypt comforting him with the promise that God will be with him. He then promises to bring Jacob back from Egypt although there are two clear meanings there as we know today. One, Jacob will be returned for burial as God, in stating that Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes as a euphemism for death where someone covers the eyes of the dead person, tells him he will die there, and, two, his descendants will be brought back into the land that is promised.

Jacob’s response to God, Here am I, is used several times by people answering that they are ready to hear and obey God, most notably in 1Samuel 3 for the child, Samuel.

God reminds Jacob that it is promised that he will make of him a great nation. The word nation in the Bible is a reference to a people, not a modern nation-state, the likes of which did not really exist like we know it today beyond 500 years ago.

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