Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Genesis 47:1-12 “Israel Blesses Pharaoh”

“And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.’ So Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from before Pharaoh.”

Genesis 47:9–10 (NKJV)

How is it that a nomadic shepherd from the land of Canaan could appear before the king of Egypt–especially considering that Egyptians despised shepherds? How could Jacob bless Pharaoh, knowing that it is always the greater who blesses the lesser? (Hebrews 7:7) Only God could have arranged these circumstances. God had taken Jacob’s lifetime to prepare him for this moment.

However, from Jacob’s perspective the days of his 130-year pilgrimage had been few and evil. He had known much hardship over the years. Family strife and running for his life from Esau. Deception and difficulty working for his Uncle Laban. His daughter Dinah raped in Shechem, and two of his sons massacring all of the men of the city. His beloved wife Rachel dying while giving birth to Benjamin. Then 22 years thinking that Joseph was dead only to discover that ten of his sons had been lying to him the entire time. Any of these trials could have crushed a lesser man. Satan could have sifted him like wheat and shipwrecked his faith. But not Jacob. The heel catcher who wrestled with God would not let go until God blessed him. And bless him God did. He was now Israel who prevailed with God because God prevailed with him.

Regardless of how much time God gives us on this earth, we will experience evil days. These hardships will either make us or break us. Either we will lean into God who will strengthen us to persevere through them and grow in our faith or else we will shrink back, give up, choose an easier path, and stumble in our faith. God wants you to become an Israel. He wants you to prevail with Him because He prevails with you. He wants you to become a person who is strong in faith and who blesses others. But you must endure till the end. It is always too soon to quit!

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