Assurance and Guidance

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 45:24-46:2724So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way. 25And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, 26And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. 27And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die. 1And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. 5And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: 7His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt. 8And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn. 9And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. 10And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. 11And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul. 13And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron. 14And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. 15These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padan-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three. 16And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. 17And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel. 18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. 19The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife; Joseph, and Benjamin. 20And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him. 21And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen. 23And the sons of Dan; Hushim. 24And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. 25These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven. 26All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six; 27And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. (Genesis 45:24‑46:27)
Once again Joseph’s brothers started for home, but this time they had happier hearts than ever before. Their sin had been con­fessed, and they knew that Joseph was alive, but above all they knew Joseph’s heart. We can imagine the surprise of poor Jacob when he heard the wonderful tidings, and saw all the provision for the journey. How often we, like Jacob, are inclined to faint under the difficulties of the way, but as we learn our own weakness, we learn that the Lord never changes. Jacob, or rather Israel (his new name), exclaimed, “It is enough!” It is a grand thing to meditate upon all the Lord has done for us, and then we, like Jacob, can rest satisfied in His abundant provision for our journey to glory.
Remembering God’s Promises
Then Jacob went to Beersheba (the well of the oath), and there he remembered God’s wonderful promises in con­nection with the land of Canaan. There the Lord appeared to Jacob, calling him by name, and giving him the assurance that He would go down into Egypt with him. This settled everything. If the Lord was going to be with him, he need not worry, for the sense of His presence always gives rest and peace.
Dear young reader, perhaps you are being called upon to make some im­portant decision, and you wonder what you should do. Why not do as Jacob did? The first thing he did was to go to the place where the Lord had made His promises to Abraham long before. We, too, need to get to the place where we realize all the Lord has done for us and own His claims over us. Then, like Jacob, we can worship there. Next, we should await the word from the Lord telling us what to do and promis­ing that He will be with us in it. Some­times we would like to have guidance, but we are not in the place, or state of soul, where we can get it. There is a good word for us in Psalm 36:99For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalm 36:9), “In Thy light shall we see light.” Too often we are like the Jews of old who asked Jeremiah to enquire of the Lord for them, but when he told them what the Lord had said, they refused to hearken (Jeremiah 42-43). God will not guide us unless our wills are broken in His presence, and we are ready to say, “Teach me to do Thy will” (Psalm 143:1010Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10)).
Bringing All to the Lord
On the previous occasion when Joseph’s brothers had come into Egypt, they had brought a little balm, a little honey, and other things for Joseph. At that time they had not known Joseph or his heart toward them, but now in the fullest confidence they brought all they had to him. Oh dear young believer, do not be afraid to bring all to the Lord, for you will never regret it. The little hymn expresses it so beautifully:
Were the whole realm of nature ours,
That were an offering far too small;
Love that transcends our highest powers,
Demands our soul, our life, our all.
They brought their little ones too, and it is a fine thing when a family sets out all together to seek the Lord, as these men were seeking the face of Joseph. Joseph prepared his chariot, and went out to meet Jacob his father, and it surely was a happy meeting after those many years. It reminds one of the time when the Lord will appear and make Himself known to His people Israel in a coming day.
Further Meditation
1. Why did Joseph’s brothers have happy hearts as they returned home?
2. Being filled with the promises of God is a wonderful way to fill our minds and hearts. What does the Apostle Paul say about the subject in Philippians 4?
3. In the pamphlet Making Room for God’s Blessings in Your Life: The Right Way and the Wrong Way by B. Anstey, you’ll find some wonderful instruction for joining with Joseph’s brothers’ happy hearts.