August 23rd, 2018 | Genesis 46:8-34
“I like Jesus, I’m just not a fan of the church.” “I’m very spiritual but I’m not religious.” “I’d rather worship God by myself in nature rather than go to church.” All these statements reflect a misunderstanding of what it means to be one of the children of God. Our salvation is not intended for us to be Lone Ranger Christian; rather, we are part of Christ’s body, the church. We are formed into the community of believers.
Our study has focused on Joseph, but our passage today reminds us that the Joseph story is about more than simply the experience of one individual. This is the story of a family, a community in relationship with God. God had made a covenant with Abraham that necessitated the creation of a family. Several generations later, we can see how God’s promise is being fulfilled.
The Israelites take up Pharaoh on his offer to resettle them in Egypt, with God’s assurance that He would continue to be with them. The extended family includes Jacob, his sons, their wives, and their children—dozens of people who will now move from the Promised Land to Egypt to ensure their survival. The fact that they all moved together no doubt helped them retain their identity as Israelites in the land of Egypt.
After twenty-two years of assuming Joseph was dead, Jacob was finally reunited with his beloved son. Jacob had often stated that because of the loss of Joseph, and potential loss of Benjamin, he would go to the grave because of sorrow (37:35; 44:29). Now he declared that he could die in peace. His eyes have seen the salvation from famine God provided through Joseph and God’s faithfulness to preserve his family.
APPLY THE WORD
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.” Christians are the church! God is using the community of the redeemed to proclaim His salvation to the ends of the earth. Rejoice that you can be a part of that in Christ.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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