So this is where it all begins…for Moses. Yes, Moses. Okay, he hasn’t been born yet, but Chapter Forty Six is where his story takes root.
While it is a grand celebration of Israel (Jacob) being reunited with the son he had presumed dead for decades, it is also the first step into Israelite captivity. Jacob’s family is the beginning of a prosperous population explosion in Egypt, and they are the grandparents of those who are eventually enslaved by Pharaoh. Because Joseph brings his family to Egypt, the stage is set for captivity, bondage, and eventual exodus.
Joseph and the Pharaoh he serves genuinely welcome Jacob and his family. Great provisions and land are provided…along with great kindness and sincere love. It’s the making of a fairytale, really.
But in verse 34 there is a small glimpse of trouble. Joseph meets with his father and coaches him how to get-along with their new neighbors and what to say to Pharaoh in order to gain favor, reminding him that all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.
Though their oppression won’t come for nearly a hundred years, it was this migration of Jacob’s family that gets the Israelites to Egypt in the first place. It is their migration that allows a set of tremendous circumstances that point to the power and presence of God.
Fate is a funny thing. Who knows where the dot on my timeline will lead. I certainly don’t. I have dreams and high-hopes for how it all turns out. But in the end, it’s in God’s hands. He ordained my days before any of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).
So this is my prayer for today and every day. Use me. Take my little dot and fill it to overflowing with evidence of you. I can’t control the future any more than Joseph could, but I can control this moment. I can control my attitude and my priorities. My life can point to you, through celebration and tragedy. Thank you for the security of knowing that you are in complete control of the future, so I can let go of it and focus on today.