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In the last article we'd learnt, that Joseph had finally revealed his true identity to his brothers: "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing or reaping.
"But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
"So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of this entire household and ruler of all Egypt." -- Genesis 45:4-8
And after Joseph had finally revealed himself, he'd continued to give his brothers assurances, when it came to putting the past behind them and to their safety.
One of the ways Joseph would do this, is by telling his brothers, how they could all come and stay with him in Egypt. Now keep in mind, that the seven year famine that the Lord had unleashed upon the land, still had five years left, before God's judgment had completely run its course. And on top of this, Joseph had also promised his brothers, that he would allow them to reside in the region that was known as Goshen:
"You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me: you, your children, and grandchildren, your flocks, and herds and all that you have." -- Genesis 45:10
Now when it came to Goshen -- know that this wasn't just any region from within the Egyptian kingdom... being that Goshen was located both, near the Nile Delta and the Egyptian border. It was also a place, that pointed towards the land of Canaan. And the reasons why I think this is important to note -- deals with the notion, that this was an idea place for the Israelites? For the location of the Goshen region, would allow them to see their homeland from within in the distance.
I also like to think, the reason why this was important -- it helped, to enable the Israelites, to be constantly reminded from whence they came. Not only that, another advantage that the region brought, is that Goshen was known to be well watered. And obviously, this worked out well for the Israelites -- since Jacob still owned, a very large volume of flocks.
Another advantage the region brought, dealt with the possibility, that with Goshen being located near Egypt's borders -- the region probably had the least Egyptian inhabitants residing in it. And the reason why this worked out well, dealt with the idea, that the region was located far away, from the main Egyptian courts and the inward parts of the country, therefore providing little influence, when it came to the Egyptians pagan culture.
Now remember, that a report would eventually get back to Pharaoh -- a report that talked about, how Joseph had finally been reunited with his brothers. Know that Pharaoh and his servants were found to be pleased, when they'd heard the news. And Pharaoh would show his approval, by honoring Joseph's family, by showing them tremendous kindness. And then again, this type of behavior from the Egyptian ruler, shouldn't be too much of a surprise -- since Joseph had stayed obedient to God, and because of his obedience, Egypt benefited greatly.
Nonetheless, Pharaoh had provided Joseph's brothers with plenty of provisions. Provisions that included him, providing them with some carts for their journey back home, along with enough sets of new clothes, to where each brother would receive two sets a piece. But know, that when it came to Benjamin -- Joseph's little brother... he had received, five sets of new clothes, along with 300 shekels of sliver.
Pharaoh would also send, Joseph's father Jacob, some gifts as well. For the Egyptian ruler, had ten male donkeys loaded with the finest things that Egypt had to offer. He also had another ten donkeys (but these were female), loaded with items such as: grain, bread and other provisions.
It would also be at this time, that Pharaoh would warn Joseph's brothers? For he'd told them, to be careful not to quarrel with each other, while they were journeying on their way back home. For he knew, that they might play some type of blame game, between each other -- when it came to the topic, of who actually betrayed Joseph. For he also knew, that their troubled past, might shine an unexpected light on their deceitful ways (at the time) when it came to their father.
However that may have been, we now move forward...
And it's at this time, the Sacred Record reveals that Joseph's brothers had finally left Egypt, and they were now headed home to the land of Canaan to meet with their father. And as soon as they had came before Jacob -- they'd gave him the good news: "Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all of Egypt."
Now after Jacob had heard this, he was found to be stunned. For at first he didn't believe the report, that his sons were telling him: "[Jacob's sons] told him, 'Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.' Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them." -- Genesis 45:26
Nonetheless, his sons proceeded to tell him all that had happened, while they were down in Egypt. And Jacob listened to their story, and it's at this point he began to look around. And it would be at this moment, that he'd began to notice everything, that Joseph and Pharaoh had sent home with his sons. And after Jacob had saw all the valuable things that his sons had, his spirit was found to be revived: "I'm convinced! My son Joseph is still alive; I will go and see him before I die." -- Genesis 45:28
Now after Jacob had heard, and finally believed the report, that his sons were telling him -- his spirit was revived. I like to think, that his spirit was revived from from the state of sorrow, that he had fallen into, over the years, after he'd lost his wife Rachel and his eventually his son Joseph.
For we must remember, that after his wife Rachel (the woman that he'd loved with all of his heart) had passed away, while giving birth to Jacob's youngest son Benjamin -- Jacob would begin (little-by-little) to lose sight of God. And because of this, he became more focused on the children he had with Rachel -- Joseph and Benjamin.
For Jacob would make the mistake of placing complete hope, and trust (when it came to Israel's future) into the two boys -- instead of keeping his hope and trust, in the Most High God. Understand that Jacob had loved Rachel so much, that after she had died -- he began to use their children that they had together, to fill the tremendous void, that was created after she was taken from his life.
And although Jacob had became very sad after Rachel had died, he taught himself how to cope, by first, leaning on his son Joseph. For he would soon become his favorite son, from out of the twelve. But when he'd eventually lost Joseph, and was deceived (by his other sons) into thinking that he was dead -- Jacob would become saddened again. Now, it was at this time, that Jacob would become very protective of his youngest son Benjamin. For he found, that he couldn't lose the only person that was left, a person that had reminded him of late loving wife, Rachel.
And personally, I find that it's moments like these, that reminds us about the immense value, that the Sacred Scriptures constantly brings. For Jacob had lost sight of God, so-much-so, he could no longer see anything, when it came to the promises that the God of his forefathers, had constantly reassured him of. For he had fallen into an emotional state, a state, that had caused him to feel nothing, but heartache and sorrow.
For Jacob felt, that after losing what he had placed his hope in (his wife Rachel and his son Joseph -- instead of God), he began to feel, that he was all alone. And on top of that, Jacob began to think, that when it came to the overall future of his household (Israel) -- that it now rested solely on Benjamin shoulders.
But in spite of Jacob's ordeal, I like to think, that the Sacred Scriptures has given us the advantage, of giving us the ability, to see beyond Jacob's immediate situation. It also affords us the capability, to be able to see how God was moving in Jacob's life at that point, when Jacob himself, couldn't.
For we must know, from having access to such a record -- that it's these type of recorded experiences that are found from within its covers, that allows us the opportunity, to be able to recognize, how God is moving in our own lives this very day -- even though our season of chaos, prevents us, from being able to see Him. most of the times.
For we must not forget, that God moved for Jacob -- and so therefore, He will surely do the same for us -- for we must not forget -- God doesn't change. And although at times, we may make the mistake, by giving in to the idea, that God is unreachable. Know that the Sacred Record continues to teach us, that He is very reachable. And not only that, the Sacred Record provide us with the possibility, to be able to identify God's movements from within our daily lives as well.
And that's why, I hold true to the notion, that the Word of God -- makes it, to where our Heavenly Father can become very clear to us. For I also hold the belief, that the Sacred Record allows the presence of our Heavenly Father -- to be somewhat trackable from within our own, troubled, daily lives. Trackable in a sense, that reminds us, just how real God is.
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108) Jacob Becomes Ill
115) The Tribe of Kings