Read: Gen. 46-47
Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.” Gen. 46:30
Have you ever seen a homecoming scene in a movie, perhaps with a soldier returning from war or someone making it to safety after a crisis? Some embrace loved ones or simply stand in awe, while others drop to their knees to kiss the ground. Everyone has an awe moment(s), even if you have never been away and longing to return home. These times define what it means to feel satisfied, content, fulfilled. It is almost as if you could stay suspended in that moment for the rest of your life and still be content with never wanting to move on.
Towards the close of Genesis, we are given the account of Jacob (Israel) being called to Egypt with his family during a time of extreme famine in the land. At this point, Jacob had spent years grieving the loss of his favorite son, Joseph, only to find that he wasn’t dead, but ruling as the second in command over the most powerful empire in the world. God told Jacob in a vision to go to Egypt, where he could die in the presence of his long lost son. For Jacob, it was the greatest reunion in the making. For God, it was a strategic positioning of a family that would one day become a nation. This nation would also eventually be enslaved by the same empire they sought to live amongst; only to later be rescued by God through one man before being brought into a promised land.
When the family set out, Jacob brought about seventy family members, not counting his sons’ wives. Now keep in mind that the journey was approximately 200 miles and no less than 10 days on the back of donkeys (Gen. 42). Jacob was also about 130 years old when he made the trek…. And I thought it was a rough trip to Myrtle Beach in the summers for my Nana, even with air conditioning, comfortable seating, and no famine. Imagine how many rest stops they would have had to hit on the way to Egypt.
After arriving in Goshen (region in Egypt located in the eastern Delta), Genesis tells readers that, “Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time. Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.””
Regardless of where you are in life, or where you have landed, God wants to be reunited with you like Jacob longed to see his son again. Jacob was unable to see his son, thinking he had been killed, for a little over 20 years. During those 20 years, I could only imagine that much grieving had occurred; just as God grieves our absence from His presence. God wants to be with you. He wants a relationship with you. He longs to embrace his child. Like the father of the Prodigal Son, God sits watching day after day, waiting for the reunion to occur. What is keeping you from feeling fulfilled? What’s stopping you from returning and making your heart right with God?
Lord, accept me back. At times, my selfishness and sin put a barrier between us and this world takes hold of me, only to pull me further from you. I know you want me to always come home to you, so I pray that you remove the grips of the evil one from my body, time, life, and spirit. Make me whole in your presence. Fulfill me Lord. Amen.