Joseph & PharaohIllustration:  “Joseph, Overseer of Pharaoh’s Granaries” by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1874. Oil on canvas.

“Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly” (Genesis 47:27).

Jacob and his children were living in the land God gave them, a place called Canaan, but were forced to move to Egypt because of a great famine. They had no food, but Jacob’s youngest son, Joseph, was the Egyptian pharaoh’s right-hand man and had stored enough food to sustain his nation and his family.

Remember what God told Abraham? “Then the LORD said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13). Here is Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph, leading his father and brothers into a country where they are strangers (and will become slaves). Joseph had probably heard his father tell this story about Abraham. But always, beyond the suffering, there is a promise of deliverance. “But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions” (Genesis 15:14).

Prayer: Our Lord God, take away the things that distract me from the joy of Your promise to be faithful. May I revel in the celebration of the birth of Your Son, Messiah Jesus. Amen.

As We Wait: If you feel like the Israelites this Christmas, a stranger in a foreign land, know that God is faithful and promises to save you. Afterward, you will come out with great possessions through Jesus.


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