Not long after the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’, we drove across to the Czech republic. We were driving along a country road, following the signpost to the town we were going to. We drove mile after mile, and realised it was a very long time since the last time we’d seen any directions to our particular destination. We decided that we must have missed a turning somewhere, and turned round until we got back to the original signpost. We started off again, and checked and checked at every possible turning, but our destination was not to be seen on any post anywhere! With no other choices, we carried on, and to our amazement, reached our town! From then on we realized that you had to keep on the same road unless you had any other instructions – not like in England, where the directions are repeated at every junction. From then on, we managed fine.
That was a lesson for life for us too. Sometimes we get a sense of where God wants us to go, and then the directions seem to fade. But unless he has told us anything else, really, we should keep on the path he has directed us on.
And that is what Jacob was doing in Genesis 47:28-31. He knew the plans God had made for this very special family – that he had given them the land of Canaan for their possession. And whilst it was appropriate for this time to sidestep to Egypt, it was important for them to remember who they were, and where they belonged. Jacob was keeping his eye on the ball of the final destination, and what is more, he was setting a fine example to his children to do likewise. He was ensuring they would remember their inheritance, and not be seduced by their current prosperity and naturalize into Egyptian culture.
We need to remember who we are. We are children of the living God. We have a hope, a final destination, citizens of Heaven. It’s easy to be lured into easy-culture if we’ve a fairly comfy existence on planet Earth. But that comfort cannot be relied on, as the Israelites found out in the next few generations. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball of who we are, and where we belong. And once you know you’re on the right path, don’t give up, you’ll get there!