Alien Nation pt. 1: Reunited and it Feels So Good
He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”
Reunions can feel so good yet can be made with a lot of fear. God made a promise to Jacob that he, and his family, would only sojourn in Egypt for so long. I would love one day to be reunited with my old pastor and old saints that poured into me. Yet there is some concern as I leave this familiar place that is eased by God in much the same way He did with Jacob
So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”
This without question eased Jacob’s consternation about leaving and being reunited with Joseph.
TR: Yet it is in these moments of removal from that which is familiar to us that God works the greatest amount of growth in us
Provision of the Lord
Provision of the Lord
The things that the Lord has provided to grow us are rarely what we expect.
They can range from personal pain and tormoil to opportunities that brings us back together
In this situation, we see that the Lord had allowed for a famine to take place which resulted in Jacob being reunited with his long lost son Joseph.
Interestingly, Jacob sent Judah ahead to connect with Joseph and accompany him to Goshen, where Jacob would be residing.
The same brother who’s idea it was to sell him into slavery cf. Genesis 37:26-28, is now accompanying him to their father.
It’s interesting how separation and trial works repentance and growth in the hearts of people.
Do not neglect the trials and separations of God and how they work repentance & growth in your heart.
Think of the pain that accompanied leaving your promised land/familiar place and having to live in a foreign situation To grow you.
Example of me having our first child. Being fearful of new situation yet realizing that God had prepared me for this new child. Just like Israel, this new child was disgusting at first lol But I too am the vessel God will use to aid in this child’s growth because just like Israel, one day this child will leave.
However, God in his graciousness allowed there to be familiarity in the land…Joseph.
See Joseph is in the unique spot of being God’s means of provision in that foreign land. Yet think of how it started...
Have congregation turn to Genesis 37:9-11
Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
The idea of bowing before Joseph was repugnant to his family and yet here they are. Yet notice what didn’t happen…Jacob didn’t bow.
No! Instead we see that he fell on Joseph hugging and weeping with him.
See, when the prophecy was given is was interpreted through the ego of man rather than the love of God.
We often do the same…we see God’s Word as being a display of God’s authority rather than His provision.
God has also provided for us relief from the famine of this world!
We get a familiar face and that is Jesus Christ. Especially Jesus as displayed through the lives of each other.
Why are we are family displaying Christ’s love to Kansas City? Because people need a familiar face in a foreign land!
If Joseph is the archetype of Jesus in this narrative than we are Jacob and Joseph’s brothers.
DRIVE FOLLOWING POINT HOME
Meaning, while I sojourn in this alien nation ALL I WANT TO DO IS SEE THE FACE OF THE MAN WHO WAS THOUGHT TO BE DEAD BUT IS FOUND YET ALIVE, JESUS CHRIST!!!
ONCE I SEE HIS FACE, IN AN EARTHLY WAY THEN I GET TO BE HIS FACE. SHOWING PEOPLE THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR THEM TO.
What was once thought to be God’s breaking authority actually is God’s loving provision
TR: Just as Joseph was, we too must be shrewd about the politics of this alien nation...
Politics of the Land
Politics of the Land
The Hebrews were despised in Egypt…they were alienated in many ways.
Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, “Serve the food.” They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
And later we see the following...
But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us?
Joseph knowing this advised his brothers to tell Pharoah they were shepherds so that they would go into Goshen. Why?
Historically, people making attempts on the throne were common. Yet the Hebrews weren’t here to rule! They were lowly shepherds.
As believers we must realize we are not in this foreign land to rule! Instead we too will be despised.
As an entreprenuer now I look back at my path. One day I was at a job that despised me. I was outspoken about some of the practices there and so the boss called me in and attempted to provoke me to compliance by tempting me with promotion. I advised her this is not a place I honestly desire to move up in but really just use it as a place of stability until I move on to what God really wants me to do.
Although present we must be separate. Although involved we must be aware!
We see later that Moses, a Hebrew, was from Goshen yet lived in the Big House, remembered where he was from.
Some of us have forgotten where home is! some of us love our current Massa. And it isn’t a slave master in some house it’s us.
Us seeking our own way and seeking comfort where we are.
We steadily serving Massa. The Massa isn’t some white man in a large house. It’s sin. It’s the thought “I’m going to do things my way, in my time, for my reasons”
many of us are consistently either trying to be accepted or get comfortable.
We must live in the tension of being a foreigner. We are disgusting to this world
Yet unlike Joseph many seek to conceal the fact of us being shepherds rather than being up front with it.
God WILL send you into a place of discomfort, where you will be despised, to provide for you and He will expect you to operate with wisdom and not shun Him by seeking your own comfort.
Your life should say “Listen world, don’t nobody want your kingdom”
Matter of fact, when we roll up outta here, just like Egypt was, this world is going to be judged… I AIN’T TRYNA NATURALIZE!!
FOLKS WE ARE IN AN ALIEN NATION, A FOREIGN LAND, IT’S BOUT TIME WE START THINKING LIKE IT!
Although there may be some familiar faces, creaturely comforts and every now and then we might ascend the ranks of this world, make no mistake one day OUR DELIVERER WILL COME