So they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father, and they said to him, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But Jacob was stunned and his heart almost stopped beating, because he did not believe them. When they told him everything that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel (Jacob) said, “It is enough! Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” Genesis 45:25-28 (AMP)
Today’s devotion is quite contrary to the norm of walking by faith and not by sight. Jacob the patriarch of the nation Israel, lost his favourite son years ago, or at least he thought he did. This caused him so much pain and anguish. He mourned for the loss of his son for years and je even vowed to die mourning. There is no doubt that his heart was broken and he was in shambles emotionally. It seemed as if he would never recover from this hurt pocket.
Joseph was the first born from the love of his life, Rachael, the only one whom he worked for fourteen years or two weeks in bible years in order to marry. Jacob’s other children were the son of Leah and his two secondary wives, Bilhah and Zilpah. Moreover, Joseph was the son of his old age. He loved him deeply, so losing him was not easy.
Imagine Jacob’s reaction after continuously mourning for the loss of his son for years, when he received the news from his sons that Joseph is alive. The same sons that came with Joseph’s bloody multi-coloured coat as evidence of his death, now come with the King’s wagons from Egypt as evidence of Joseph’s life. The same way Jacob was lead into believing that his son was dead, is the same way God used to revive his broken spirit, to prove his sons life, power and wealth.
The sons told their father that Joseph is alive and his heart almost beating. To an old man grieving the loss of his son, one would think that receiving the news that his son is alive would revive him but that was not enough. Because of his broken spirit, Jacob lost his faith. Telling him the good news of his son’s life was not enough to make him believe. Years of mourning and the hopeless loss of his son turned him from walking by faith and not by sight to seeing in order to believe .
Despite the sons telling him everything about what happened, he never believed them not until he saw with his very own eyes wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him. This broken spirit or discouraged condition, is birthed out of a prolonged state of hopelessness and anguish. It reminds of the children of Israel while in bondage in Egypt. Moses told the Israelites about the good news of what God would do for them (Exodus 6:5-8). In response, the bible records-
So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. Exodus 6:9 (ESV)
Unbelief and doubt masquerades behind this state of discouragement. Unbelief aborts faith in God and without faith it is impossible to please God and that which is not of faith is not of God. One of the disciples of Jesus, Thomas also suffered from this discouragement after witnessing the horrific crucifixion and death of Christ Jesus whom they thought that He would literally deliver them from the Roman Empire. I can only imagine what he must have left his hope was deferred and his heart got seek.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. Proverb 13:12
Thomas told his fellow disciples “Unless I see in His hands the marks of the nails, and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe.” John 20:25(AMP). However when the risen Christ came literally through the door, this is what He told Thomas-
“Put your finger here in the wounds of my hands. Here—put your hand into my wounded side and see for yourself. Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe! Then the words spilled out of his heart—“You are my Lord, and you are my God!” Jesus responded, “Thomas, now that you’ve seen me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen me with their eyes but have believed in me with their hearts, and they will be blessed even more!” John 20: 27-29 (TPT)
Wow!! those who believe without seeing are even more blessed. This is the power of faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Once Jacob believed, the Holy Spirit referred to him as Israel, meaning prince with God. This show that he is walking in his calling. But faith does end their, one has to speak it out and put action behind it as Israel did. Faith without action is dead!
Beloved I want to encourage you today to be more blessed than the rest, to stand out in your faith in God. Don’t give in to your doubts any longer believe in the goodness of God. It out weighs all your griefs and all disappointments. The Lord loves you and all you have to do is believe in him.
• Jesus responded, “Thomas, now that you’ve seen me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen me with their eyes but have believed in me with their hearts, and they will be blessed even more!” John 20:29 (TPT)