Genesis 46:3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make thee a great nation. (KJV)
The King James Version is the Bible I cut my spiritual teeth on. I happen to love it. It’s archaic style gives a reverence to this book above other books and forces the reader to ponder what is written with a bit more scrutiny. I too get out other versions to lend clarity and understanding but I personally like that the LORD’s book is elevated by thees and thous. I admit I am in the minority! I like Shakespeare, some opera, classical music, and Victorian dresses too.
So far, we’ve read not to fear God’s presence, the future, time, death, surprise gifts, past failures, and today the journey into the unknown.
I like certainty. I keep struggling to get that to NO avail. It is easier to stay where you are miserable, than to journey into the unknown because we are FEARFUL.
Jacob, the son of Isaac is now called Israel. When we have an encounter with God that happens. Our name changes because we change. The LORD is telling Jacob to go down to Egypt (where his long lost son Joseph is). And He repeats the promise–I will make you a great nation. There is a thread being pulled from the fabric of the story. This is the promise made to Abraham. I will bless you and make you a great nation and here God tells Jacob he is going to make that happen in EGYPT! Jacob wants to stay on the land God has given him but to stay is to starve. Read a little further into verse 4. God promises to go with him and bring him home again. Just one slight problem with that. HE IS OLD! What God will bring back are his bones. Not exactly what I would have in mind as a reasonable plan. Who wants to die in a foreign country?
But look again, God promises to go with him. What has Jacob to fear if God goes where He is sending him? What have I to fear if God goes with me where He sends me? Love addressed Jacob’s fear and God promises to walk through the fear with him to wherever he is sent. The same is true for me and you!
Jacob recognizes that he has nothing to fear when the Lord tells him who He is: I AM reminds Jacob of the relationship he has with him is binding. The Lord is reminding Jacob of all he has seen, heard, and experienced in his lifetime. History, his family history is witness to all that God has done. These experiences yield trust and where there is trust there is NO DOUBT.
We sing, or use to sing a hymn and the chorus is “Wherever He leads I’ll go.” I pray that you will look back over your family history and see how God has moved and cared for you even during the times you thought he was AWOL. He wasn’t. Our experiences should give us courage to do what seems ill-advised because we know this: His ways are not our ways, His thoughts, not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Fear not the journey!