July 28: The Legacy of Promises

Read Genesis 46:30-47:31

The famine went from bad to worse. The people of Canaan had moved to Egypt by God’s provision, His hand which had revealed the plans to Pharaoh and had put Joseph in charge. His hand which had allowed Jacob’s seed to survive and flourish and the nation of Israel to continue to grow in number. But now the children of Israel, God’s children, were forced to sell themselves into servitude for their own survival. The people of Egypt had to do it as well.

As Jacob neared death, no doubt he remembered God’s promise, the one He’d given him that last night in Beersheba. “I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes” (46:4).

So Jacob called Joseph to his bedside and made his request. As Joseph’s father, Jacob was compelled to direct his son in the ways of God’s promises. As Almighty God’s child, Jacob was compelled to believe His promise despite the circumstances that surrounded him. “Do not bury me in Egypt, but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried” (47:30).

In the middle of a terrible famine, Jacob probably had no idea how God was going to pull this one off. But he knew God would fulfill the promise, so he passed it down to Joseph. He needed to tell God’s promises to his son, to make sure his children knew what God had sworn. And so that is exactly what Jacob did. He instructed his son in the ways of God’s promises. He left the legacy of God’s promise.

Our job is no different. As children of God, we are compelled to leave a legacy filled with God’s promises, too. We must teach them to our children so they know what God has promised. We must pass them on to others who aren’t sure of what God has said so they can see God’s faithful hand at work and know what God is up to. So they trust God’s hand even when they can’t see it. Because God’s promises are as good as done. Oh, that we might leave such a legacy.


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