Genesis 46

* God's promises to Jacob. (1-4) Jacob and his family go to

Egypt. (5-27) Joseph meets his father and his brethren. (28-34)

1-4 Even as to those events and undertakings which appear most

joyful, we should seek counsel, assistance, and a blessing from

the Lord. Attending on his ordinances, and receiving the pledges

of his covenant love, we expect his presence, and that peace

which it confers. In all removals we should be reminded of our

removal out of this world. Nothing can encourage us to fear no

evil when passing through the valley of the shadow of death, but

the presence of Christ.
5-27 We have here a particular account of Jacob's family.

Though the fulfilling of promises is always sure, yet it is

often slow. It was now 215 years since God had promised Abraham

to make of him a great nation, ch. #12:2|; yet that branch of

his seed, to which the promise was made sure, had only increased

to seventy, of whom this particular account is kept, to show the

power of God in making these seventy become a vast multitude.
28-34 It was justice to Pharaoh to let him know that such a

family was come to settle in his dominions. If others put

confidence in us, we must not be so base as to abuse it by

imposing upon them. But how shall Joseph dispose of his

brethren? Time was, when they were contriving to be rid of him;

now he is contriving to settle them to their advantage; this is

rendering good for evil. He would have them live by themselves,

in the land of Goshen, which lay nearest to Canaan. Shepherds

were an abomination to the Egyptians. Yet Joseph would have them

not ashamed to own this as their occupation before Pharaoh. He

might have procured places for them at court or in the army. But

such preferments would have exposed them to the envy of the

Egyptians, and might have tempted them to forget Canaan and the

promise made unto their fathers. An honest calling is no

disgrace, nor ought we to account it so, but rather reckon it a

shame to be idle, or to have nothing to do. It is generally best

for people to abide in the callings they have been bred to and

used to. Whatever employment and condition God in his providence

has allotted for us, let us suit ourselves to it, satisfy

ourselves with it, and not mind high things. It is better to be

the credit of a mean post, than the shame of a high one. If we

wish to destroy our souls, or the souls of our children, then

let us seek for ourselves, and for them, great things; but if

not, it becomes us, having food and raiment, therewith to be

content.
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