God’s Wonderful Promises


Promises For the Future

Book of Genesis Chapters 48 through 50

One of the greatest things we have learned from the Book of Genesis, the Book of the Beginnings is, that God has a plan for this world.

God’s plan is to bless those who love Him and who are in His will, and the greatest blessing is for those who love Him to spend eternity with Him.

God had promised Abram a promised land, but though Canaan Land is that “promised land” to the Jews, for many of us, it is not the place God was talking about.

Our “Promised Land” is Heaven itself!

The Hebrew people were a small people that needed to multiply until they became a great nation.

God used this time in Egypt to make this happen.

God had placed Joseph in Egypt to prepare for and then care for his family.

They were given the best land with one job and that job was to take care of Pharaoh’s herd.

Remember there were only 70 of Jacob’s family and Pharaoh had a large herd.

Joseph provided all their needs while the Egyptians paid dearly, some all they owned, to receive the food that they could eat until this famine was over.

The land then belonged to Pharaoh and they became tenants on the land they had at one time owned.

The children of Israel had prospered during all this time.

It was reaching the end of Jacob’s time and he knew it, and there were some things he had not accomplished before he died.

He had not yet placed the blessing of Abraham on one of his children and he had not yet chosen the blessed son.

He had, but he had not formally told this to his children.

Joseph had always been the son the Jacob loved the most, but he was now Governor of Egypt.

So Jacob puts his plan together and he begins to explain these things to Joseph.

We must realize that El Shaddai had spoken to Jacob many times in visions and dreams, so Jacob (Israel) was also a prophet, at least to his family.

Jacob began recalling the experiences of his early days.

*Gen 48:3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
Gen 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

Remember to Jacob, Luz was “Bethel”, even though it had not been named that at this time. Bethel meaning the “House of God”.

Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Gen 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

To the Church, the House of God is truly the gateway to Heaven but by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Without the Lord Jesus there is no “House of God”!

The promise of Abram had been passed down to Israel, but it would not be passed to Joseph who was the first born of Rachel but not the firstborn son of Jacob.

The birthright claim would be given to Joseph but only through his two sons. Jacob (Israel) would adopt those two sons and make them his own.

But the genealogy that came by Abram, through Isaac, and to Jacob, would be passed down to Judah.

1Ch 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
1Ch 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)

We should understand that these things were against the future Jewish laws.

Deu 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
Deu 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
Deu 21:19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
Deu 21:20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

We must understand that El Shaddai does not limit Himself to man’s laws!

Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

We should understand, though it would seem the King David would be that chief ruler to come from Judah, and he was that earthly ruler for a time, but the true chief ruler is the Lord Jesus Christ, who came by the tribe of Judah.

King Jesus, the Messiah, has not yet come to rule this earth for 1000 years.

We know this is true but at first Shiloh(The Messiah) will come, Jesus the Messiah who came to save!

Joseph would receive the birthright, but not in the normal fashion.

*Gen 48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.

Jacob had been deprived of spending 20 good years with Joseph his beloved son.

Jacob could not give Joseph and inheritance in Egypt because Pharaoh had already done this.

Jacob could adopt those two boys and by doing so, he would be giving a double portion of inheritance to Joseph.

They would be treated as the sons of Jacob and therefore the sons of Israel and they would receive equal portions according to their numbers, in the division of the land of Canaan.

Reuben, the firstborn son, would not receive the double portion because of his incest with Jacob’s concubine.

Gen 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

1Ch 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

When we get to the Book of Revelation, we will see where the name Ephraim is replaced by Joseph though Manasseh remains.

Rev 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulonn were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

We are not required to understand these things, but the Holy Ghost did require that these words be written for us to learn from.

It was Jacob’s last moments in his flesh, and he had more things to say to all his children.

We can understand these things as prophecy just as these twelve men should have.

*Gen 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

Now Jacob becomes a prophet to his own sons.

We should understand that we will reap what we sow in this life.

If we are good, we will reap good but if we bad, we will reap bad!

We can see that many seem to do good in a life of sin and never seem to suffer for it, but we must also remember that they will spend eternity in Hell suffering greatly.

God will have a true “judgment” no one will be judged for things they did not do!

Jacob had been ill most of his last years and on this day, we could say the family was called into the bedside of Jacob.

On this day, all twelve sons of Jacob were together with him in one room and not one would be quarreling with the other.

They knew their father was about to die and they wanted to hear what he had to say.

Since the time of Adam, God had dealt with the individual but after the time of Jacob, we will see the birth of the nation of Israel and we see God begins to deal with nations, especially the nation of Israel.

The time of the patriarchs comes to an end and in a short while the time of the Law will begin!

Much time will pass until the Birth of Jesus Christ and God will begin to deal with the Church.

In reality, God will go silent while Israel grows into a nation and this will last just over 400 years, when God will hear their cries because of a wicked and evil Pharaoh and God will send them a deliverer by the name of Moses and the period of the Law will begin.

Jacob gave each of his sons a prophetic warning and then he blessed each one of them and Jacob then made them promise not to bury his body in Egypt.

A brief look at these things will be something like this!

Reuben the firstborn son of Jacob should have received the birthright(the double portion) but he had proven to be weak and unstable and the tribe of Reuben would be the same. Reuben did not possess the discipline to control himself.

Simeon and Levi, the sin of these two brothers was anger, cruelty, and vengeance. Their behavior was inexcusable.

They would be divided and scattered throughout the “promised land”. They would never again be able to band together in an evil plot of anger and cruelty.

We know how the tribe of Levi was used of God and Simeon was given land in the midst of Judah.

Judah. We know that Abraham and Isaac had passed the birthright of the first born and that of the “Promised Seed’ both to the same son but in Jacob’s case, it would be Judah that Jacob passed the genealogy of the “Promised Seed” and it would be Joseph who would get the birthright of the firstborn son.

We could see how the life of Judah was being transformed into a leader and a spiritual leader.

Judah was a picture of the Christian growing spiritually.

To Judah was the blessing of Shiloh.

We also see as we study the Scriptures that once King David had the leadership of Israel it stayed in the family.

The scepter never departed from Judah.

Zebulun was to dwell toward the sea but not on the sea as Asher would dwell on the sea.

Issachar was to be like an animal of strong strength. The tribe of Issachar was a strong and sturdy people who were on occasion complacent.

In fact they could become so complacent in their comforts they were willing to be enslaved rather than lose their comforts.

Sounds a lot like the America of today!

Dan. The tribe of Dan would produce capable rulers and the most well-known was Samson. What a story he had.

Dan also could be like a snake a deadly opponent for his enemies.

Dan had to always be on guard against treachery, double dealing, and dishonesty.

Dan was the first to take up idol worship.

Not many realize it, but Jacob actually used for salvation, the word (Yeshuah) the Hebrew name for Jesus.

Gen 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation(Yeshuah), O LORD.

Jacob may could not have known about the Lord Jesus Christ, but he did know where his salvation came from!

Gad would be successful in struggling with his enemies.

1Ch 12:8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;

Asher was the tribe that sat along the seacoast. Asher gave into luxury and wealth and never really helped the other tribes.

They loved worldly pleasures.

We are warned against worldliness in the New Testament!

Naphtali was known for their swiftness in combat.

Notice also they were known for speaking and singing songs of beauty and in the time of Jesus, He spent a great deal of time in this area.

The most beautiful words ever spoken are the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Joseph was awarded the family birthright through his two sons.

This tribe produced Joshua, Gibeon, Abimelech, Jair, Jephthah, and Samuel came from the heritage of Joseph through his two sons.

Benjamin was the tribe to be like a ravenous wolf. The tribe of Benjamin was courageous and bold. At times, these same traits were used for evil.

Jacob told his sons to be on guard for the bad traits and try to excel in the good traits and then he gave up the ghost.

*Gen 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
Gen 49:29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
Gen 49:30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.

Jacob remembered his forefathers Abraham and Isaac and at his death he wanted his body to be laid with their bodies.

Many today have similar wishes.

Sons want to be buried next to their father, wives next to their husbands, husbands next to their wives but we see today these things changing as the families are not as close as they once were.

Abraham had bought a cave with a piece of property in the field of Ephron from the Hittites.

He was buried there along with Sarah and Isaac and Rebekah and Leah was also buried there.

This where Jacob wanted to be buried and later, we will see where the preserved body of Joseph would also be buried.

Of course when we say buried, we know that in a cave a spot would be carved in the sides of the wall and the body would be laid there much like the burial of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This place is called Machpelah.

Through the years an ancient Christian Church was located at this place but sadly this church has been converted into a Mohammedan Mosque but a sacred enclosure at the entrance of this cave it is still looked upon as a relic of Jewish architecture thought to be built in the time of David and Solomon.

*Gen 49:33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

After all these things on the mind of Jacob he died. The phrase “gathered up his feet” indicates the Jacob was dead.

This phrase gathered has another meaning.

We know that God had said He is not the God of the Dead but the God of the Living, therefore the Hebrew people felt that their Patriarchs were therefore still living in another form, so Jacob was gathered together with them.

We know that as the “Born Again” children of God we will certainly be gathered together with all our brothers and sisters in Christ because the Christian will never die though this body goes back to the dust it was made from.

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This is the difference that comes by the “Grace” of God only to those that love Him!

*Gen 50:7 And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
Gen 50:8 And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
Gen 50:9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.

We read this and then pass right on by it, but this funeral procession had to travel more than 250 miles one way and it could have been 500 miles depending on which way they traveled.

The Patriarchs of Israel would have had the same standing as a Pharaoh of Egypt or any other national ruler even before Israel became a nation.

We might understand that God was much closer to Jacob than we understand by the Scriptures.

Jacob the last of the Patriarchs and the father of the nation of Israel.

Jacob had always thought he would die without his children, but now all his sons and so many more, accompanied his body to be buried with his own fathers.

We should remember the Egyptians had no love for the Hebrews, in fact much hatred even at this time, the main reason the family of Jacob was kept separated from the Egyptians and most of that hatred was over a cow because the Egyptians worshipped the cow.

In many ways Jacob had prepared his own funeral and had given specific instructions for his burial.

This was a great procession with all the sons of Jacob all Jacob’s house except the small children but all the elders of Egypt, including the council to Pharaoh.

We can be sure there was a great military presence also with chariots and Calvary.

This thing did not even begin until after 72 days of mourning were over. This thing was treated as a royal funeral.

Much different from the three-hour rush to get the Lord Jesus Christ, the true King, into His grave, but He did not need it but for three days and the bones of Jacob are still in his grave.

The body of Jacob was embalmed so he could make this trip as was Joseph’s.

Jacob was buried with his fathers because they all had the same hope of the “Resurrection”!

Gen 50:13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.

And Joseph and his family returned to Egypt.

Gen 50:14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

The brothers of Joseph did not know what would happen to them after the death of their father, so they confronted Joseph on this issue.

*Gen 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

In these last few lessons we have followed the life of Joseph and it can be said the Joseph had integrity.

Integrity can be said to possess a sound mind, moral soundness, purity, in-corruptness, uprightness, and of sound moral character.

We can see that God knows those who will stick by Him no matter what happens in their personal life.

Joseph was bold when he said he belonged to God and he was just a man as they were.

As Christians we can say we belong to God and any goodness others see in us, is because we belong to God.

Joseph was not in the place of God nor did he mean it this way as he tells them.

*Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Gen 50:21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Joseph said do not brag on me but brag on our Lord and Savior.

Psa 105:17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Psa 105:18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
Psa 105:19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
Psa 105:20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
Psa 105:21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
Psa 105:22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.

We, as Christians, are not better than any other human being, but by the “Grace of God”.

Act 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

We are still dirty rotten sinners saved by God’s “Grace” and only then because we have accepted the work of the Lord Jesus Christ toward our salvation.

We are nothing without Jesus!

Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Joseph felt exactly the same because he knew this truth. He was nothing with the Lord!

What are our instructions?

1Th 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord makes it simple for us, when He says, His disciples obey His commandments!

Joh_8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Again Jesus Keeps it very simple!

Joh_13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

What is wrong with us today? We need more Jesus!

Amen

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