Today’s reading from Genesis recalls God’s encouragement to Jacob, the father of Joseph who had been sold into slavery in Egypt, to relocate in that country. Jacob trusted the Lord and took all of his possessions to the land of Goshen, where he and his family prospered. Can you imagine? To move to a completely different country and a different culture. Certainly it must have been difficult for Jacob to live in the land ruled by the Pharaohs and their pagan ways.
Israel set out with all that was his.
When he arrived at Beer-sheba,
he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called,
He answered, “Here I am.”
Then he said: “I am God, the God of your father.
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
for there I will make you a great nation.
Not only will I go down to Egypt with you;
I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.”
The lesson for us in this story is the obedience shown by Jacob. Are we as obedient when God prompts us to do something that we don’t want to do, or when he instructs us that we are on the wrong path?