He was 130 years old, being asked to take a long journey, being asked to leave the land of his fathers, and place the remaining members of his household under the authority of a pagan, idolatrous, Pharaoh. From a natural, human, worldly perspective, Jacob had every reason to fear.
However, following his time of worship, the Lord spoke to him in a night vision. God said:
“Jacob, Jacob … I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you ….”Genesis 46:2-4
Jacob was to follow God’s leading. He was to trust, obey, and not be afraid. Why? Because God himself was going to Egypt with him.
And God proved himself entirely faithful. Jacob was thankful he walked with the Lord who walked with him.
Seventeen years later, when Jacob was 147 years of age and breathing his last, he summoned Joseph and said to him:
“Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers.”Genesis 49:21
Yes, patriarchs come and go. Spouses and children come and go. Homesteads, houses, and riches come and go. It is the Lord who gives and takes away. Nations come and go. Pharaohs, kings, and presidents come and go. Health, wealth, and prosperity are enjoyed for a season and then they vanish. However, all is good and blessed for those with whom God dwells. How blessed are the people who have Jesus as their Savior, King, Provider, Protector, Coach, Counselor, Best of Friends, and Constant Companion.
400 years later, Moses was reminded of this fact. It was in Exodus 3:12 that God said to his fearful servant, “Certainly, I will be with you.” Later, when he was again struggling to lead Israel in the wilderness, God bolstered him with these words, “My presence will go with you.” (Exodus 33:14)
700 years later, Isaiah heard similar words of encouragement from the Lord, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
700 years after that, Jesus promised his disciple-making Apostles, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
And through the writings of the Apostle Paul, God promises the same to his church, “Finally, brothers … live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you … [and just in case we don’t get it he continues] … The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:11-14)
So Christian, how is it going today?
- Got health issues?
- Have you a loved one who is depreciating fast?
- Do you live in a land where immorality and lunacy is applauded?
- Could today be the day when a foreign nation invades your soil?
- Are some of your children dancing with the devil?
- Are you terribly burdened by a certain sinful habit?
- Is your spouse distant, cold, abusive, or unfaithful?
- Could losing a well-paying job be right around the corner?
- Are you in the process of losing a beloved family member; has it just happened?
Remember this, you are sacred space. The Holy Spirit has moved in and you are his temple. He tabernacles with you. Never does he leave you. Never does he forsake you. He is always as close as your next prayer. He walks with you. He talks with you. He tells you you are his own. Nothing can separate you from his love. Nothing can separate you from his presence. So claim his promises, have a little talk with Jesus and tell him all about your struggles. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is with you. So says Joe. So says Paul. So says the Holy Spirit. Christian, this is your fantastic reality!
And unbelieving friend, this can be your reality as well. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you too. He may even be coming your way already.