47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?” “Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.” 5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.” 7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” 9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. 11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.
The Israelites exodus from Egypt is one of the most celebrated stories in the Old Testament. Although the Israelites initial experience living in Egypt was acceptable ultimately, they suffered under the Egyptians rule. In the New Testament Egypt is considered a metaphor for worldly wanton and excess and to be avoided by Christians.
This passage is interesting as it describes the circumstances of the family of Israel, believing they had no options because of a severe drought became slaves to the Egyptians. From that time onwards until the exodus all Israelites were born into slavery and harsh treatment.
This has left me wondering how often we engage in worldly excesses only to find out we have enslaved ourselves to bad habits. Instead of being a ‘light on a hill’ we compromise our valves only to find out later we have made a ‘rod for our own back’.
The good news is, like the Israelites escape from Egypt, God can make a way of escape for us.
So, take the opportunity today to consider ways you may have engaged in behaviours that conflict with your Christian values.
Lord, free us from the things we have become enslaved to. Help us to live a life which is worthy of your calling.
Written by David Newton