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Week 6 – Concluding Thoughts on Genesis Chapter 46
Verse 27 tells us that all of the souls of Jacobs family that went into Egypt were threescore and ten. This means there were 70 of them in total. When they left Egypt in Exodus chapter 12, the Bible tells us that there were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. What we see here is a family going in, and a great nation coming out.
As I read this chapter, I got to wondering why God brought them to Egypt, and why He brought them through the pain and suffering in the way that He did. Remember that further on in the Bible we discover that as this family grew they became a threat to Pharaoh. As a result, they were enslaved and afflicted for hundreds of years under the oppression of the Egyptians.
Here’s the interesting part: it was God’s plan all along:
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.'” (Genesis 15:13, NIV)
Why? Because everything God brought them through was pointing to the saving grace of salvation. Slavery taught them what it meant to be in bondage to sin, but more importantly, it showed them their deliverance from slavery by the saving power of God.
One of the other reasons I believe that they went through this time of affliction was to draw them closer to God. Ezekiel 20:7-8 talks about their idol worship in Egypt and how they rebelled against Him. Reading that, I’m reminded of the life of these 12 brothers. How God allowed them to be tested and tried, that they might come to a place of repentance.
Week 6 – Concluding Thoughts on Genesis Chapter 47
As we come to a close on this study, I want to recap some of the lessons I’ve learned from the life of these 12 brothers:
I learned that jealousy is a dangerous thing, and that I must control my thoughts before they control me.
I learned that a sacrificial life is a conscious decision to deny sinful thoughts before they lead to destruction. It’s resisting temptation before it takes root.
I learned that it’s tough to trust God when we don’t know His plan, but in doing so we grow in our faith.
I’ve learned a big lesson when it comes to the Lord: not to question His wisdom, which is far greater than mine. Even when I think that He’s not at work in my life, He is—just not the way I might expect Him to be.
I saw that regardless of where Joseph was in his life, God was always at work behind the scenes to fulfill His plan. He never abandoned Joseph, and in fact, we’re reminded through the story that God was with him. Whether he was imprisoned or exalted to a high place in Pharaoh’s kingdom, God was walking by His side.
I learned that forgiveness can be difficult at times, but that we must be willing to forgive others if we expect God to forgive us.
I’ve learned that we won’t understand the depth of God’s grace until we truly accept the depth of our sin.
I learned that grace is a free gift–even the grace we extend to others. It’s not merely something that we receive, it’s something we give. It’s not earned by good behavior, for if it was we’d all fall short of God’s loving kindness and grace.
I learned that what is meant for evil, God uses for good. Therefore I need to trust in His wisdom and power.
I learned that trials may be God’s way of drawing me closer to Him. They may be a stepping stone to where He is taking me next, or they may be His way of teaching me and helping me grow.
I’ve created some 8.5 x 11 high res images for you with some of the thoughts and verses from this study. As our study comes to an end, these are the last two of twelve.
Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife