I never cease to be amazed at the relevance of the Bible. Each time I read a particular portion of it, I see different things. The Holy Spirit is always faithful to make the written Word real to my heart, and to help me see ways I can apply the words to my current life situations.
As I'm continuing to slowly make my way through Genesis, today I read Genesis 47. This passage is about when Joseph's family (Jacob and his other sons and their families) accepted Joseph's invitation and came to Egypt and settled in Goshen. As I was reading this passage I was wondering how Jacob felt.
I'm sure he was grateful that he and his sons and their families could all come to Egypt where they could be safe from the famine. I'll bet he was ecstatic to be with his son Joseph again. But I can't help but think he was far from being pleased about being in Egypt. Genesis 43:32 provides a glimpse into the racial prejudice that was common in Egypt; the Egyptians found the Hebrews so detestable that they would not even eat at the same table . Then there's the fact that God had cut covenant with Jacob's grandfather Abraham and had promised to make his decendents a mighty nation, yet here Jacob and his family were in Eygpt, far away from their promised land. I wonder if he was confused about why God was doing things that way?
I was captivated by Genesis 47:27 as I read it this morning:
Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.
As I read those words today it was as if the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart the fact that God can cause His children to prosper in the midst of terrible circumstances far from their Canaan. I was encouraged to see that God blessed the Israelites in Egypt because He sent them there to fulfill His good purposes; I thought about how, once His purposes were accomplished, God provoked circumstances to move them.
This was especially encouraging to me today because of some situations I'm currently encountering. Not long ago, over on Kingdom Bloggers, I posted about some of my struggles with regard to my job and career. After being out of work for close to 18 months, I went ahead and accepted a job that is a "step down" from what I've done for the past 11 years, makes 58% less than I was making, and that is an hour (in decent traffic) commute from my home. To be candid, I'm struggling with this situation on an emotional level.
I wish I could tell you that I knew, that I knew, that I knew that it was God's will that I accept this job. But, due to my own intense emotions regarding the entire situation, I found it difficult to hear God's voice. So I prayed for as long as possible, and then "gave it my best shot". I think God wanted me to accept the job. Now that I am working there, I know that God wants me to give my absolute best each and every day and to be faithful right where I am at.
I don't really know why God would want me to go backwards in my career and to deal with all this, but I know that God has plans for my life. I am confident in the fact that He will use every situation to bring about good in my life.
I was encouraged by those words in Genesis 47:27 this morning, that God can cause me to prosper right where I am.
What about you, has God spoken anything to your heart recently through His word? Has God has put you someplace that doesn't seem to be part of the plan that you expected?