God’s Promise to Jacob

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Placeholder4 tractor Bill Vriesema

"I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. But you will die in Egypt with Joseph attending to you."

Genesis 46:4

As Jacob offered sacrifices to God in preparation for his journey to Egypt, God appeared to him in a vision. God reassured Jacob, promising to be with him, to make his family into a great nation, and to bring them back from Egypt. Though Jacob himself would die in Egypt, according to God's promise, his family would prosper before they returned to the Promised Land.

If we know the story of what happened to Jacob's family in Egypt, we can see that God spoke truly, though leaving out some rather weighty details. He did not mention centuries of slavery, for example, or the extraordinary way in which the descendants of Jacob would ultimately be delivered through the Exodus.

We know that God fulfilled his promise to Jacob, but we can see clearly in this case how easy it would be for Jacob to misunderstand God's promise and to envision only a short season of blessing in Egypt followed by a painless return to Canaan. In fact, in the years following Jacob's death, it may well have seemed to his family that God hadn't been truthful.

God is always faithful to fulfill his promises. But his timetable is not the same as ours, and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever doubted God's faithfulness to you, only to see in retrospect how God was working all things together for good? When it seems as if God is not fulfilling his promises to you, what do you do?

PRAYER: Gracious God, you are faithful in all things. When you make a promise, you fulfill it. I know this and believe it. But there have been many times when my heart was been wracked with doubt. How hard it is when your timetable is different from mine! How hard it is to wait and trust!

Help me, dear Lord, to hang onto you no matter what. When times are hard, may I rest in your faithfulness. When I can't see what you're doing in life, give me patience and discernment.

Above all, may I live my whole life in light of the promise of the future, when you will remake heaven and earth and when you will dwell forever with your people, including me. May this vision motivate me, encourage me, and give me hopeful confidence in you. Amen.