And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. (Gen 46:2-4 KJV)
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isa 45:22 KJV)
Now the deed was accomplished. Jacob had finally come to terms with the fact that his son, Joseph, was alive. His son had asked that he be brought to Egypt; and sent all necessary supplies for the journey. The famine in the land was going to last another 5 years or so, and so it was necessary that Jacob’s family moves to Egypt for security.
Jacob began the journey towards Egypt and went on till he came to Beersheba. It was at that place that his father Abraham had earlier on invoked the name of El’ Olam (The Everlasting God). While he laid down to sleep, the Lord, the Almighty came. It was a nightly vision, which confirmed all the happenings in Jacob’s life.
“Jacob, Jacob”, came the Voice.
“Here am I”, replied Jacob.
“I AM GOD…”
I used to wonder whenever God introduced himself thus. I want to ask myself, why does He do that? Is he scared that anyone would take His position as God? Or is it that His people do not even know Him as God? Why the introduction?
In Isaiah 45 vs. 22, He spoke through the prophet Isaiah to the whole nation, saying,
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Now, this is why it was important. When Joseph was made a prince in Egypt, there must have been several Egyptian leaders and princes who were not happy with the privilege that Joseph got. They may have complained, murmured, or even threatened to deal with him one way or the other. Now, to calm whatever fears that Joseph may have had, Pharoah said to him, “I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” (Gen 41:44 KJV) He was essentially telling Joseph to disregard whatever murmurings, scheming and machinations going on around him and his exalted position. “I am Pharoah, my word is law. No one can challenge me. This is not a democracy. It will be as I have said it. If you walk close with me and you do not displease me, then know that NO ONE in the whole of Egypt (no matter how angry he/she is) can take your place away from you.”
Do you get the picture now?
God was essentially telling Jacob thus, “Jacob, many years ago, I came to you at Bethel, and I gave you my word that I will be with you. I promised not to leave you until I have fulfilled my counsel concerning you. Do you think I changed my mind? Did you think that I forsook you, or that your life was too much for me to handle? You faced several problems in your life (most of them because of your stubbornness), but my mercy kept you.
You even went about feeling that all thins were against you because of the battles that you seemed to be facing in life. But you see, Jacob, I am God. I am not worried or wondering how to help you in life. I am not at the mercy of circumstances or the environment. I am the Governor among the nations. No one, Jacob, no one can frustrate my counsel for your life. No one, of course, except you. That was why in my mercy, I had dealt with you. I had disciplined you.
I am not a noisy person. Like one of your poets described me; I am unresting, unhasting and silent as light. This is how I have worked in your life. You thought al these years that I forsook you. You thought I had no plans for you and your family. I even heard you say that all things were against you; but do you now see what I have accomplished. All your sons are alive. You have lost nothing. Why, Jacob? Not because you know how to plot and plan, but because I am God.
I alone have the power. I alone have the authority. That is why I can say most assuredly that no one that trusts in Me will be put to shame. So, go on Jacob; you will see your son again. He will close your eyes in death. This will give you the assurance that all I have promised you, I will bring it to pass. Be in Peace, my child, you have won the battle.”
My brethren, in this journey of life, never forget that He is God. Your life is not at the mercy of any man, or an event orchestrated by the enemy. It is the Lord Himself who is in charge. For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. (Psalm 22:28 KJV)
You have a responsibility, though; to walk with this God, to pray to Him. I do not just think that these fathers merely sat down and ‘watched’ things unfold. They also had their part which they played well. They prayed, they trusted the Lord, and they fitted into his plans. This is what Hebrews had to say about them:
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Heb 11:13-16 KJV)
As we play our part of faithfulness and submission, God will surely play His own part, and in the end, victory is ours through Christ who loved us. Amen.