Now [the people of] Israel lived in the country of Egypt, in [the land of] Goshen, and they gained possessions and acquired property there and were fruitful and multiplied greatly. (Genesis 47:27)
In today’s devotion is very important. We get to learn from the mistake of the people of Israel in Egypt and possibly get to understand how they ended up as slaves from the royal family of Joseph the prince of Egypt yet Joseph started out as a slave but ended up as royalty.
The pattern we see as we study this verse is quite similar to what the Lord said to Adam and Eve as He blessed them and granted them authority on earth. The pattern is o to be fruitful, multiply and dominate the earth. However, the Israelites just like Adam and Eve they were fruitful, multiplied but they failed to dominate the earth. They stopped at multiplying which is so sad.
And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
Infact a closer look at the history of Israel will reveal that their oppressors were threatened by their numbers as a result they set task masters over them to oppress them and eventually made them their slaves. The dominion the Israelites failed to take was eventually taken up by their oppressors and they caused them untold misery. Whether it was due to the ignorance of their identity or laziness to grow in the knowledge of God, the result of not dominating your designated sphere of influence is slavery, a lack of freedom.
Dr Myles Monroe elegantly described freedom as:
The delegated right and release of authority to be responsible for governing and managing your designated sphere of influence through your natural gift in the fulfilment of God’s purpose for your life.
Contrasting the Israelites situation when they moved in to Egypt through Joseph invitation and lived in Goshen and Joseph when he moved to Egypt as slave working in Potiphar’s house, the two stories have striking similarities and unimaginable differences.
In both cases they moved to Egypt , though in Joseph situation he was betrayed and sold as a slave by his brothers while the Israelites sought refuge from the drought. Joseph was a slave living in very bad conditions while the Israelites through Joseph lived in the best land in where they were been provided for everything. Joseph later on rose to power and became the 2nd most powerful man on earth while the Israelites fell from royalty to slavery.
The difference between the two situations is found in Lamentations 1:9 She did not [seriously] consider her future. Therefore she has come down [from throne to slavery] in an astonishing manner; She has no comforter.
Joseph considered his destiny/future even in his death bed, he made his brothers swear that they would bury his bones in Canaan this was after God delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Even at his death, his heart was to possess all the promises God made to his ancestors, inherit the land. Infact Hebrews 11:13 puts it this way These heroes all died still clinging to their faith, not even receiving all that had been promised them. But they saw beyond the horizon the fulfilment of their promises and gladly embraced it from afar. They all lived their lives on earth as those who belonged to another realm. Joseph was one of these heroes God is not ashamed in any way to be called their God, for he has prepared a heavenly city for them.
Meanwhile the Israelites never considered their destiny/future and they resulted to slavery. This behoves us to know what exactly considering our destiny/future entails. This entails discovering the fullness of our potential and releasing our potential. But how exactly do we do this? We can only understand our purpose through going to the One who created us and seeking Him to unveil what exactly He made us to be. Just like one can only understand how to use a machine and what the machine was meant for, until he goes to the manufacturer and consult about the machine.
We can only discover ourselves through God the Creator through His Son Jesus Christ. This denotes having a relationship with God the Son, which implies that Joseph had one wh8le the Israelites did not. Let this encourage you to discover yourself, who God created you to be by growing in knowledge of God through Christ.
I am ending today’s devotion with a prayer that Paul prayed over new believers in Ephesians 1. In it he touches on self discovery through growing in knowledge of God. Let us pray and you should pray this prayer of self discovery daily.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:17-23)