Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Genesis 45:25-28 Revisited

So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” (Gen 45:25-28)

Before we leave this chapter, I just wanted to revisit Jacob’s reaction to the news that his sons brought him. Like Thomas with the resurrected Jesus, Jacob would not believe the truth that Joseph was alive until he had seen tangible evidence. And even as he was doubting, the evidence was coming toward him in the wagons that Joseph had sent. Jon Courson, in his Application Commentary: Old Testament, has fun comparing these “wagons” with the ones God has provided with us. He writes:

“Like Jacob, many times we don’t believe the Word we heard. But the good news is that Jacob’s disbelief did not derail the wagon train Joseph had sent his way to pick him up and bring him to Goshen. You might be going through dry times right now in which you are spiritually famished. But I have good news for you: The wagon train has been sent your way. What wagon?” (Courson, P.197)

And then Courson lists the five wagons that God has provided for us: the lunch wagon; the station wagon; the welcome wagon; the bandwagon; and the covered wagon. The lunch wagon is the one that brings complete satisfaction for our spiritual hunger and thirst - for FREE!

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. (Isaiah 55:1)

Jesus affirmed that he is the bread of life, and that all who come to Him will never again be hungry or thirsty (John 6:35). Nothing satisfies like Jesus!

The station wagon is the promise that your family will carry both you and your family:

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Courson writes, “Your kids may have wandered away, but even if you’re pessimistic or full of doubt about them God promised that He will keep that which is committed to Him (2 Timothy 1:12), and will finish the work He began (Philippians 1:6) “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and not only you, but your family will eventually be saved as well,” declared Paul (see Acts 11:!4). The promises of God are intact gang. And even if you don’t believe it, the station wagon is headed in your direction to scoop up you and your family.” (Courson, P. 198)

Courson describes the welcome wagon as the amazing promise of I Corinthians 2:9.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Add to that the promise of John 14:2 in which Jesus promises that He is preparing a place for you and will, in fact, come to take you there, and you get the idea that we will truly be welcomed to our heavenly home, and that home will be beyond anything we could ever imagine!

The final two wagons Courson mentions are the band wagon (the one that guarantees we will all have a place in the heavenly choir that will be forever praising the LORD), and the covered wagon, that promises that ALL of our sins, past, present, and future, have been completely covered by the blood of the Lamb (Romans 5:1,2; Romans 6:14, and Romans 8:1-3).

My pastor often says, “The truest thing about you is what GOD says about you!” Jacob had believed a lie for more than 20 years. What lies have you been believing about yourself? That you are not good enough for God? That He would never accept you? Or maybe you believe that you ARE good enough on your own merits; that you deserve to be loved by God because you are such a righteous person?? We need to study God’s Word to know what is true about us. It is that truth that sets us free! God understands our doubts, and it amazes me that He so accommodates us! He sends in the wagons, or He allows a doubter to touch Him - whatever it takes! I love Jesus’ response to Thomas: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) That’s us folks! We have not seen Him with our own eyes, but we have believed Him by faith.

Tomorrow we’ll see Jacob and his family load up the moving vans and head down to Egypt. Great stuff!

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