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DON’T GO WITHOUT HIM

Besides those that are theists who believe in God, there are agnostics who claim neither faith nor disbelief in God, and there are polytheists who worship more than one God. I, however, using a saying from the Old testament, appreciate that I know and have a relationship with “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” I thank God I am not deceived into thinking I can function without Him in the difficult times in which we live.

Listen, Exodus 32 – 33, I believe, discloses a significant pattern to which fellow believers and I should subscribe. Prior to these chapters, as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness, Exodus 13:21-22 states, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” By His actions, the people knew God was with them.

When they arrived at Mount Sinai, God summons Moses up the mount to give him judgments, ordinances, and commandments that the children of Israel were to follow. When God finished Exodus 31:18, states, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

Unfortunately, chapter 32 shares the folly of Israel that occurred when Moses was absent. According to the scripture, Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days, and the children of Israel thought something had happened to him. Therefore, they requested Aaron, “Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” Aaron complied with their request and made a golden calf out of their golden earrings, after which the people offered burnt offerings, brought peace offerings, sat down, had a meal, and then rose up to play.

On the mount, God says to Moses, “Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.” When Moses gets back down to camp and sees what the people had done, he became so angry he threw down the two tables that contained the commandments. He grounded the calf into powder, mixed it with water, and made the people drink it. Then he instructed those on the Lord’s side to kill all who were not, which ended up being three thousand dead men.

On the next day, Moses communicates with God about the sinful act of the people, and God said to him.” Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.”

Moses knew not to accept this instruction willingly, so he replied, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses understood that they needed God to be with them to be successful in unknown territory. Though guidance from an angel was useful, and though they would inhabit the land of Canaan as God promised their forefathers, neither that occupation nor the angel accompaniment could compare to having the presence of the mighty I Am, God.

Moses interceded on behalf of Israel until God acquiesced and said, “I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” When we have a loving relationship with God, He will be actively involved in our lives. We need Him every moment; that is why it is crucial for us to pray without ceasing. Stay in contact with God, express your total dependency on Him to Him, and please don’t go without Him.

DON’T ACCEPT THE COUNTERFEIT

During His earthly ministry, Jesus taught kingdom principles, and many of them are found in Matthew 5-7, which is called His “Sermons on the Mount.” In this blog, I will share one of them located in Matthew 7, and I am sharing this one because of what is going on in America concerning our recent election and the prophetic words spoken about who would be our president.

I am going to share Matthew 7:15-23 using two different translations.

(King James Version) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(The Passion Translation) Constantly be on your guard against phony prophets. They come disguised as lambs, appearing to be genuine, but on the inside they are like wild, ravenous wolves!  You can spot them by their actions, for the fruits of their character will be obvious. You won’t find sweet grapes hanging on a thorn bush, and you’ll never pick good fruit from a tumbleweed. So if the tree is good, it will produce good fruit; but if the tree is bad, it will bear only rotten fruit and it deserves to be cut down and burned. Look at the obvious fruit of their lives and ministries, and then you’ll know whether they are true or false. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the realm of heaven’s kingdom. It is only those who persist in doing the will of my heavenly Father. On the day of judgment many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, don’t you remember us? Didn’t we prophesy[j] in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons and do many miracles for the sake of your name?’ But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!’

From these verses, I believe Jesus gave believers powerful insight into how to determine a counterfeit. According to the dictionary, the meaning of counterfeit: made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.

Synonyms:  fake · faked · copied · forged · feigned · simulated · sham · spurious · bogus · imitation · substitute · dummy · ersatz · knockoff · pirate · pirated · phony · pseud · pseudo · cod

Jesus tells us that we must be alert and on guard because everyone is not genuine or truthful. Also, a person’s appearance can be deceiving; so, don’t be fooled by outward appearance but watch actions and note character. That which that person produces will expose who they are. Moreover, just because a person says they communicate with God does not mean they are in the right relationship with Him. It is crucial that you know who is speaking to you and whether to accept their words because their words can be fatal and not helpful for your well-being. Watch what you accept, digest, and internalize.

Finally, Jesus gives assurance that God will judge those who are false and counterfeit, and in the end, they will be destroyed; therefore, my warning to you, be aware of counterfeits and please don’t be one.

AWAKE WITH PURPOSE

For most of my life, I have been a good sleeper. Unlike some when I went to bed, I usually was able to sleep at least eight hours. However, I noticed my sleep pattern has changed for the past year, and I find myself waking up anywhere between 1 and 3 a.m. no matter what time I go to bed.

I believe that this occurrence is happening in the lives of many believers. At first, many of us probably tossed and turned, trying to go back to sleep but failed. After a while, some of us gave up trying to go back to sleep, got up, and started doing chores. If you were like me when this event began to happen consistently, I realized, though I prefer to be sleeping, I am awake for a purpose. Yes, God is causing me to wake up because He wants me to pray. This, I am sure, is part of His kingdom assignment for believers to have dominion and subdue the earth. As I pray, watch, decree, declare, pull down strongholds and pray in the spirit (to name a few of the methods I utilize), I am advancing God’s kingdom.

In the past, when I woke up in the night, I prayed randomly; however, recently, I was reminded of the eight prayer watches about which people have written books and articles. If you are interested in more information on this topic, I recommend you google it, and you will receive a host of useful information and instructions. For now, I will share only a smidgen to whet your appetite, and since I am sharing the night watches, I will also include information on the day watches.

Initially, there were only three watches in Old Testament times: beginning watch, middle watch, and morning watch. Each watch covered a four-hour period, which started at 6.p.m. and ended at 6.a.m. In AD70, when the Roman Empire ended the Jewish occupation of Israel, times were changed to adhere to the Greco-Roman style, and the times were decreased to three-hour periods. Please note following God’s plan found in Genesis 1:6, “And the evening and the morning was the first day,” so the first watch starts in the evening with the sun setting.

The First Watch is from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This is a time to reflect on your day and thank God for what He did throughout the day. Also, pray for direction for tomorrow.

The Second Watch is from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. This is the time to discharge warring angels to set up ambushes against the enemy’s diabolic plans that he will orchestrate on the morrow.

The Third Watch is from 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. These are the hours of greatest spiritual activity and warfare. Pray against the plans of witches and warlocks, and the satanic cult, over people and places. Pray for exposure of their plans and the breaking of their strongholds. Furthermore, speak peace, guidance, and release for those that need deliverance from this cultic bondage. 

The Fourth Watch is from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. This is the last watch of the night, and it is believed that the demonic host is reporting back to their home base. In this time, pray and cancel all the weapons attempting to form. Also, pray to dismantle the enemies’ footholds.

The Fifth Watch is from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. This is the time of commanding, equipping, and strengthening people for the challenges of the day. Pray for traveling mercies and protection as adults and children leave their homes for work and school. Additionally, pray for guidance for the day and the seven spirits of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)  to rest on believers.

The Sixth Watch is from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. These hours are believed to be the brightest time of the day. It is time to pray for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our lives.

The Seventh Watch is from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. These hours represent rest. Thank God for His secret place, His banner over you of love, for His daily provisions, and the ability to cast your cares on him.

The Eighth Watch of the day is from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. This is a time of dying to self and praying for the deliverance of mind, spirit, and body. During this time, thank God for keeping you alive to begin another day.

Once again, I reiterate what I said above; for those who want more detailed information on the watches, google “The Eight Prayer Watches,” and you will receive many articles on this topic.

Finally, just in case you’ve forgotten, I must say it is so amazing that we all live in many different time zones in our world. Therefore, multitudes are praying in each one of these watches, hitting the necessary targets, all day long, and I say, “Hallelujah” to that. I recognize that this is God’s design to have believers as a corporate body praying without ceasing.

JOSEPH SERIES: THE PATH TOWARD LEADERSHIP

During the months of September, October, November, and December, I wrote a series on the life of Joseph. Since completing that series, I have reflected on some of the events that happened to Joseph, and in this blog, I am going to share a key point that all of us need to understand.

All of his youth Joseph was pampered by Jacob, his loving father. Jacob gave Joseph a special coat to wear and made him report his brother’s activities, which caused his brothers to react negatively to him. Also, Joseph shared two dreams with his family in which he was exalted over them. These dreams helped influence his brothers in their desire to rid themselves of him, and when the opportunity arose to do so, they sold Joseph into slavery,

Joseph was taken in chains down into Egypt, where he was sold to Potiphar. He lost his freedom and privilege lifestyle; however, I concluded Joseph adjusted to being a servant from reading about his time in Potiphar’s household. The spirit of excellence rested on him, and he found favor with Potiphar, who elevated him to the position of overseer.

Unfortunately, he was falsely accused of assault by Potiphar’s wife, and he ended up in prison. While there, he displayed that same spirit of excellence he had in Potiphar’s house, which resulted in him being put in charge of the prison’s affairs. An opportunity arose for him to interpret two of Pharaoh’s staff’s dreams, which he did, and Joseph requested one of them to tell Pharaoh about him; however, it took two years for that request to come to fruition.

When he was finally released and standing before Pharaoh, he did not request Pharaoh to send him back home to his homeland and father. Instead, he willingly accepted the position that Pharaoh assigned him. He undoubtedly realized this change was in line with the dream he had in his youth, and he accepted the fact God altered his path. Additionally, from reading his words in Genesis 41:51, “For God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house,” it appeared Joseph had obliterated his family out of his future, and he made himself content and satisfied where he was placed.

Joseph was made a servant, and from servanthood, he became a leader. Though the bible does not record Joseph’s everyday experiences, I am sure a portion of it was not pleasant. Despite his desire to be released from servanthood ahead of time, God kept him in it. In that position, God allowed him to develop skills to be utilized in the future, and at the appointed time, God caused him to be released and flourish as a leader.

This is an excellent lesson for all of us to learn. Servanthood is not comfortable, but the end product is rewarding. Furthermore, while serving, do it with excellence and gain skills for future use.  

THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE

Ten years ago, if someone told me that I would be living in such a time like this, I would say to them they were joking. I would probably do this because I did not realize the magnitude and extent of the trouble that the world would be in, as foretold in Matthews 24.

Our world is in turmoil, and our country may be on the brink of a civil war. I surely did not think ten years ago that American citizens would storm into the national capital building looking to capture and assassinate elected officials while many others defaced the building. I did not think a domestic terrorist would be planning an armed protest at all 50 state capitols in the days before January 20, 2021. I did not believe American citizens would go to the upcoming presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., with evil intent.  Most of all, I would not think the United States president over his four-year tenure would radicalize his most fringe supporters.

This is the times in which we live. Consequently, for peaceful citizens, these happenings and the fall-out from the pandemic has caused many hearts to fail. I wish I could say things will get better, but I know according to the times in which we live, it won’t.

Matthew 24:8 in three different translations states as follows:

All these are the beginning of sorrows. (KJV)

All these are the beginning of birth pains. (NIV)

This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin. (TPT)

In the verses before this one, Jesus told His disciples about the signs of end-time events, and then in verse eight, he lets them know that similar to birth pains these events will become more frequent and painful. Unfortunately, the Word stated that these are only the beginning of suffering. So dear fellow believers, buckle up, make sure you have a right relationship with God, and get in the Word, for they will be the only things that will sustain you during the times in which we live.

WE NEED GOD

After blogging consistently throughout 2020, with my last blog being part of a series on Joseph’s life, I decided to take a sabbath for several weeks over the Christmas holiday and return to blogging and posting on January 9, 2021.

It has been my practice to start working on my blog during the week and then post it to my blog site on Saturday. However, this week I did not follow my usual routine because I was caught up in the monumental events happening in our nation. Besides the daily escalating death of people due to COVID-19 and the negative results of this pandemic to our world, I also became focused on two more significant events.

On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, we had an election in Georgia that resulted in two Democrats being selected to fill seats in the U.S. Senate. On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Congress met in a joint session to formally count and tally the votes submitted by each state’s Electoral College. On this same day, President Trump’s supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., for a rally to show their support of President Trump and his message of a fraudulent election that he has been increasingly declaring since his 2020 presidential election loss. After the rally with the president’s encouragement, the crowd marched to the capitol building, where a mob broke into the building and wreaked unbelievable havoc. Seeing the scenes of the mob walking through the halls of the capitol building and boldly doing damage was disheartening. Plus, since that time, it has been reported that five people died due to this event.

Now days later, as I prayed, I thanked God that this month thousands of people around the world are in a time of fasting and consecration. We are seeking God for many things, but I believe most of all, we are requesting His divine intervention in our lives in these turbulent times. Though the spirit of fear is trying to grip our hearts as we watch and hear the events happening in the world around us, the consecration is causing our spirit man to be lifted with hope.

Additionally, I found myself meditating on two songs: “We Need You Lord” and “If We Ever Needed The Lord Before, We Sure Do Need Him Now.” These songs expressed my present sentiments, and I want to share portions of them with you.

We need You Lord, we need You Lord, right now. We need You Lord, we need You Lord, right now. We lift our hands and bow our knees and worship at Your Throne. We need You Lord, we need You Lord, right now

I need You, Lord. I need You Lord, right now. I need You, Lord. I need You Lord, right now. I lift my hands and bow my knees and worship at Your Throne. I need You, Lord. I need You Lord, right now

and

If we ever needed the Lord before, We sure do need Him now. Oh, we sure do need Him now. Oh, Lord, we sure do need Him now. (Oh, glory) If we ever needed the Lord before, We sure do need Him now. We need Him every day and every hour

On July 25, 2020, I posted a blog titled “We Need You, Lord,” and in it, I voiced some of the sentiments that I still feel six months later. We need God in this chaotic world. So, it is my prayer that as we humble ourselves before God, seek His face and obey His Word, we will be strengthened, prosperous, and kept in 2021.

JOSEPH SERIES: THE END

The last chapter of Genesis shared the royal funeral of Jacob and the death of Joseph. After living in Egypt with his family for seventeen years, Jacob, the patriarch, died, and his son Joseph kept the oath he made to bury him in the land of Canaan in the burial tomb of Abraham and Isaac.

God granted Joseph and his brothers the privilege of being present at Jacob’s passing from life to death. Out of the twelve sons, Joseph was the only one to have an outward display of emotions, for he fell upon his father’s face, wept, and kissed him. Furthermore, Joseph ordered the physicians to embalm his father, and they took the allotted time of forty days to embalm and thirty additional days of mourning. After which, Joseph requested Pharaoh’s permission to fulfill the oath he made to his father to bury him in the land of Canaan.  

With Pharaoh’s approval, the three-hundred-mile journey to Canaan for Jacob’s burial was taken by Joseph, his brothers, their children, their household servants, the servants of Pharaoh, all the Egyptian elders, horseman, and chariots. When this great company of mourners reached the threshing floor of Atad in Canaan with a great expression and lamentation, they mourned seven more days. The Canaanites noted the royal company, the pomp, and mourning and assumed the funeral was for royalty. Joseph and his brethren continued to the Machpelah burial cave and laid their father to rest.                                               

Apparently, after all these years, the guilt over their attempt to get rid of Joseph still lingered in the minds of the brother, and now, they were afraid with the death of their father that Joseph would no longer be kind to them. Therefore, after returning to Egypt, they sent him a message suggesting their father wanted him to forgive them. This saddened Joseph and made him weep. His brother followed up by going to see Joseph, and once again, the brothers prostrated themselves before him. Joseph kindly and reassuringly said to them, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones.”

Joseph lived fifty-four years more after his father’s death, and he was able to share his life with his sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As his death drew near, Joseph reassured his family that they would return to Canaan, and he made them pledge to take his bones with them when they departed Egypt. The last verse in the book of Genesis, which chronicled the end of Joseph’s life, states, “So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”

As I end this thirteen-blog series on the life of Joseph, I pray the teaching, nuggets, and points that I’ve made has aided you in your Christian walk. I close as I did in the previous blogs of this series with a few nuggets that I think are helpful for all of us to remember:

  1. Saying farewell to a loved one can be extremely emotional.
  2. People handle death differently; don’t expect the same emotions from everyone.
  3. When able follow a person’s burial instructions.
  4. When people respect and appreciate you, they will grant your request.
  5. Don’t forget or neglect your duties after periods of mourning.
  6. Guilt sometimes lingers even after receiving forgiveness.
  7. Guilt is not easily erased.
  8. Guilt makes you question the actions and motives of others.
  9. When you are guiltless, you can be fearless.
  10. When you have truly forgiven someone, you do not plan retaliation.
  11. Let brotherly love transcend revenge.
  12. What the enemy meant for your destruction God will use for your good.
  13. The purpose and plan of God will prevail.
  14. When you can bless your family, do so.
  15. Share your burial instructions with persons who are capable of honoring them.

JOSEPH SERIES: PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS

Genesis 48 and 49 share the story of Jacob’s patriarchal blessings that he gave his family members before his death, and the following is a summary of how those events occurred.

Joseph was informed that his elderly father was ill, so he visited him and took his two sons with him. Upon his arrival at his father’s abode, Jacob sat up in his bed and recounted to Joseph his encounter with God at Luz. He shared the words God spoke to him, “Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.” Additionally, Jacob told Joseph he would adopt Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, into his family, and they would share in the covenant blessings bestowed on his sons.

Suffering from blindness, Jacob was unable to see his grandsons clearly, so he requested them to come closer to him that he would be able to bless them. Moreover, Jacob lets Joseph know how happy he was to be reunited with him and able to get acquainted with his grandsons.

When Jacob blessed his grandsons, he crossed his hands, which caused his right hand, which signified birthright inheritance on the younger brother. Seeing what happened, Joseph attempted to correct the hand placement; however, Jacob stopped him and said, “I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.”

In this chapter’s closing remarks, Jacob invocated the blessings of the covenant, shepherd, deliverer God on Joseph and his sons. Jacob said, “God, before whom my father’s Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my father’s Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” Also, he bequeathed Joseph the Shechem property, which he took from the Amorites, and reassured him that God would be with him and bring him back to the land of Canaan.

In chapter 49, Jacob gathered all of his sons to his bedside and prophecied to them from the oldest to the youngest. When he got to Joseph, he talked about God making him a fruitful tree and allowing him to expand beyond their household despite the hatred and the many attacks of the enemy on his life. He ended proclaiming victory and rich blessings on Joseph.   

So, once again, as I did in the previous blogs of this series, I will close this blog with a few points that I think are helpful for all of us to remember:

  1. When your parents are ill, and you can visit them, do so.
  2. Blessings come from God.
  3. Some blessings are not just for you but also your descendants.
  4. Your birth order does not matter when God has a blessing for you.

JOSEPH SERIES: MEETINGS, BLESSINGS, AND PROSPERITY

In Genesis 46, in his last communication with his brothers, Joseph instructed them what to say about their occupation when introducing them to Pharaoh. However, in Genesis 47, when he took five of his brothers to meet Pharaoh and Pharaoh asked them their occupation, they did not follow Joseph’s instruction. The brothers told Pharaoh what they were instructed not to say,” Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants’ dwell in the land of Goshen.” Pharaoh responds by reiterating his offer of residency in Goshen’s land and employment positions of overseeing his cattle.

Next, Joseph brought his father Jacob to meet Pharaoh and Jacob greeted Pharaoh with a blessing. Jacob shares with Pharaoh a bit of his pilgrimage, which he describes as “Few and evil,” and Jacob again blessed Pharaoh before departing.

As the famine years progressed, the Egyptians spent all their monies purchasing corn, then sold their cattle for corn, next they sold their land to buy corn, and finally sold themselves into slavery for food. Except for the land where the priest resided, Joseph was able to obtain all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, and he moved the people into designated cities. When the famine ended, Joseph gave the Egyptians seeds that they could grow the crop. He taxed them one-fifth of their increase and allowed them to keep the remainder for which they were thankful and willing to do.

The chapter ends by disclosing that the Israelites grew and multiplied exceedingly, and Jacob lived in Egypt, enjoying his fatherly relationship with Joseph for seventeen years. As he got close to death, he made this request to Joseph, “If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place.” Joseph complied, and satisfied Jacob bowed his head in worship.

So, once again, as I did in the previous blogs of this series, I will close this blog with points that I think are helpful for all of us to remember:

  1. When someone who is informed about a situation shares relevant information with you, listen
  2. Do as you are instructed.
  3. In times of famine, God blesses His people with housing, provision, and employment.
  4. One of the honors you can bestow on someone is a blessing.
  5. Some hardships that we experience in life are self-imposed.
  6. God will cause great men to favor you.
  7. Countries suffer during times of famine.
  8. A famine can cause you to lose everything that is important to you.
  9. One man’s loss is another man’s gain.
  10. Don’t touch the priest stuff.
  11. When able give to the needy.
  12. Be thankful when people are kind to you.
  13. Taxation was implemented in the days of Joseph.
  14. God’s plan is for His people to grow and multiply.
  15. Give instructions for your burial to a responsible person.

JOSEPH SERIES: THE REUNION

On his journey from Hebron to Egypt, after traveling about a week, Jacob arrived at Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to his forefather’s God. Additionally, God spoke to Jacob in a night-vision and assured him not to fear, He would be with him in Egypt, his family would become a great nation, that he would return to Canaan, and Joseph, his beloved son, would be present at the time of his death.

Furthermore, chapter 46 revealed the sixty-six family members who accompanied Jacob down into Egypt, and it shared the names of Jacob’s wives, his wives’ handmaidens, his sons, daughter, grandsons, and granddaughter. The families rode in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for them, and they took their cattle and goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan with them.

After twenty-two years, the long-anticipated reunion between father and son took place in Goshen, the Nile delta’s fertile northeast section. Joseph’s strong affection for his father was displayed as he copiously wept on Jacob’s neck. Happy to be reunited with his son Jacob said, “Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.”

Finally, knowing the Egyptians disdain for all sheepherders, Joseph instructs his brothers to say to Pharaoh when they met with him, “Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers.”

So, once again, as I did in the previous blogs of this series, I will end this blog with points that I think are helpful for all of us to remember:

  1. When given the opportunity, offer sacrifices to God.
  2. Listen for the voice of God even in the night season.
  3. Invite the true God of your father to also your God.
  4. Your best assurance in life is knowing God will be with you; thus, you do not have to fear.
  5. Don’t go anywhere the presence of God is not.
  6. Please don’t leave any family behind; take them with you to the place of provision.
  7. A forerunner’s responsibility is to lead you in the right direction.
  8. It is a wonderful and emotional event to reunite with a person you know loves you dearly.
  9. A wise person will instruct others about offensive things.