By Mary Vee
Genesis 46: 1-29
Jacob groaned as he climbed out of bed. It's not fun getting old. He opened the tent flap. Sounds the boys are finished packing.
"Good morning, Father!" Benjamin snatched a piece of fruit and chomped into it. "You slept in."
"Yes, I guess I did. I need my strength for our journey to Egypt."
Benjamin laughed. "It's not that far. Think of it this way, you'll see Joseph in a few days."
Jacob nodded. "Imagine that. I thought I'd never see him again--and now I'm going to Egypt to meet with him"
"Here, have some fruit. I need to get back to work before Simeon gets after me. You'd think he'd let me get out of chores since I saved his life--but noooooooo."
Benjamin tossed the core and walked to the carts. Moments later Reuben, Levi, Simeon, and Judah stopped by. "Everything is packed. We're ready to go as soon as you are, Father."
"Good, good. As soon as someone takes down my tent we'll leave." Jacob turned towards the fields and squinted. His eyes didn't let him see much any more. Still, he could smell the earth and picture the fields. "I wonder if I'll be coming back."
Jacob's sons took turns carrying him on a liter. After traveling twenty-five miles, they came to Beersheba. Jacob ordered everyone to stop for a rest. "I need to offer thanksgiving sacrifices to God."
As his sons prepared the sacrifices Jacob remembered the stories told by his father Isaac. He told his sons and their families that this was the place where his grandfather, Abraham made a covenant with King Abimelech and called on the Lord, and where God tested Abraham's obedience. It was also the place where his father Isaac was told three times by God that He was with him. Jacob remember the night he ran away from Esau and slept in Beersheba.
Jacob offered the sacrifices and thanked God for His blessings.
God spoke to him that night. "Jacob, Jacob."
"Here I am."
He said, "I am God, the God of your father; don't be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you in Egypt, and I will also bring you back again."
Jacob's eyes popped open. "It's morning! What a great morning."
Reuben tipped one eyebrow up. "You OK?"
Jacob stretched and hurried to the liter. "I'm ready to go to Egypt. God is with us, what more could I ask?"
Jacob wasn't afraid of going to Egypt anymore. In fact he felt adventurous.
Right before Egypt is a town called Goshen. Jacob and his family stopped for a rest. As they sat down for their evening meal, Benjamin called out, "I see someone's coming. He's dressed like an Egyptian."
The brothers all watched the Egyptian as he rode closer. They heard the Egyptian shouting something, but they couldn't understand. Judah squinted. "I think--you know-- that just might be---"
Jacob's heart pounded in his chest. "Is it Joseph?"
Levi hushed everyone to listen for visitor's voice. Jacob's eyes popped wide. "Can you hear? It's Joseph!" Jacob stood and held his arms wide. "Joseph, at last."
The Egyptian leaped off the chariot and ran to Jacob. "Father, Father!"
Why was Joseph dressed like an Egyptian? What was special about Beersheba? How did Jacob know he would be safe in Egypt?