Read Genesis 46:1-30
Did they have him sit down when they told him the news?
All those years Jacob had mourned Joseph’s loss. All those years of bitter sorrow and lifeless surviving. The Bible says Jacob’s spirit revived (presumably after 20-some years) when he heard the news that his treasured son Joseph was alive. (See 45:27.) What happened then? Did he faint with shock? Were they afraid his heart might give out for the excitement? Did they confess their crimes to him right then and there? How long did he take to pack his bags? Can’t you just imagine his excitement with each step he took towards Egypt and his beloved son?
As he walked, did Jacob recall the promises God had given? How long had it been since Jacob had worshiped the God of his father, Isaac, the Lord of his father Abraham? I wonder if, as his spirit revived, Jacob remembered the Presence of God, the promise that God had given him so long ago at Beersheba, when he’d fled from Esau. (See Genesis 28.) Did his gut feel that pang as he recalled the words God had spoken in that place?
“I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying” (Gen. 28:13).
Did Jacob wonder if by leaving this land, he was forsaking God’s promise? Did walking through Beersheba awaken his soul to remember God’s promise? When Jacob stopped in Beersheba, did he offer sacrifices akin to the sacrifice that his grandfather Abraham was ready to make when he bound up his beloved son Isaac? Did Jacob offer back to God the hope of seeing his own son again, even now after all these years of grief (v.1)?
Jacob’s willingness to follow God’s way even when it might have meant more loss for him paints a beautiful picture of trust. I believe that, after all these years, God had finally gotten Jacob to the place where he wanted the promise of God’s presence more than he wanted the return of Joseph.
Can you say the same? Maybe you’ve placed your hope in the promise of a new job, a spouse, a child. Are you willing, like Jacob was, to go through your own Beersheba and offer it to the One whose presence means more?