Now some time after these things happened, Joseph was told, “Your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him [to go to Goshen]. And when Jacob (Israel) was told, “Look now, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. Genesis 48:1-2 (AMP)
Today’s devotion opens up after Jacob worship the Lord on his bed before his staff. Time passed and he became sick and Joseph visited him, along with his two sons. Upon hearing Joseph arrival, the Holy Spirit refers to Jacob as Israel. This is because despite been old and sick he strengthen himself and sat on the bed, upon visitation by his favourite son.
From the previous devotions we already learnt that Joseph is a shadow of Christ Jesus. This is a beautiful picture that the Lord has painted for us, in our low moments where we are down and weak, just like Jacob we may think it could be our last day on earth, however our Good Shepherd, the one who leaves the 99 to get the one lost sheep, He shows up not with one but two precious gifts that outmatch our greatest dreams. He is El Shaddai after all. At our lowest moments, when we just simply wait for Him, our Saviour shows up.
You know the life of Joseph is so similar to our Saviour’s life in that Joseph not only did he save his family but he rescued the ancient world, those who sought refuge in him, he saved them from severe drought. He bought them gave them land and seed to plant that they may never lack.
This story of Joseph visiting his father at his weakest and lowest moment is a true picture of Mamre in Hebron. Just like Abraham in the bible, when the Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre [in Hebron], while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day (Genesis 18:1).
Abraham was experiencing the heat of the day in the desert, it was not particularly a nice time for him, but he waited on the Lord by the tent door and the Lord appeared to him accompanied by two other men. The resemblance is striking. I think what we can learn from this is having patience and trust in the Lord especially in difficult times, are the ingredients needed for us to wait for Him and when the time is right, He shows up not with one but two precious people.
The act of strengthening oneself when you are weak and sitting up right, shows that Israel was acknowledging the presence of his guest Joseph and his sons, that he was willing to host their presence. This can compared to when Abraham looked up and so three men and he ran to met them bow himself on the ground and politely ask to hosted which they agreed.
This shows the quality of patience in that it is not just waiting but our attitude when we are waiting and how we act when who we are waiting for arrives. Remember the parable of the wise and foolish virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom, five of the had lamps with oil and the other 5 had lamps without oil. The bridegroom delayed and when He finally came the 5 wise one refused to give the 5 foolish ones oil, so they had to leave and buy oil from the dealers.
By the time they were back the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut and locked. They said, ‘Lord, Lord, open [the door] for us.’ But He replied, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I do not know you [we have no relationship].’ Therefore, be on the alert [be prepared and ready], for you do not know the day nor the hour [when the Son of Man will come] (Matthew 25:1-13).
This parable is an excellent example of how we are to wait on the Lord. It emphasizes on our quality of patience which is in direct relation to whether we are wise or foolish and this reveals whether or not we do have a relationship with the Lord. Whether we are wise or foolish is revealed in the moment the Lord arrives. Whether we are we ready for Him or not. How we react in that moment, how we acknowledge His presence is rge key determinat. Are we going to seat up like Israel, ran to him to welcome Him like Abraham, carry oil for our lamps like the 5 wise virgins or are we going to be like 5 foolish who when He arrives we must live because we are not ready or prepared for Him. Are you going to be foolish or wise?
So strengthen yourself with his promises over your life, remember all the good work that the Lord has done for you thus far and be grateful for them, keep meditating on His word and worship the Lord with songs of praise and pray this involves listening to what He says followed by obedience and talking to the Lord.
• Patience and trust in the Lord especially in difficult times, are the ingredients needed for us to wait for Him and when the time is right, He shows up not with one but two precious people.
• How we wait on the Lord reveals whether or no we do have a relationship with the Lord or not.