So when Jacob was one hundred thirty years old he went with his wives, children, and all of his possessions to the land of Egypt to begin the second phase of God’s great plan. The first phase, which lasted 200 years or so was the calling of Abraham and grooming him to be the patriarch of this great nation, the calling of Isaac, and the calling of Jacob.
God had spoken to Abraham that his descendants would go into a foreign land and stay there 400 years before they would be delivered by His mighty hand. In the last few chapters we can see clearly how God was working His plan. Now that Joseph was there in charge of distributing the grain, he is in position to appropriate the best land for his family.
Even the customs of Egypt play into God’s hand. The Egyptians are prejudiced against Hebrews – and particularly sheepherders. Since Jacob’s family herd sheep, Pharoah gives them a choice land, Goshen, which is away from most other people. The Hebrews are in position to grow and thrive and bond as a nation.
Jacob’s twelve sons will become the heads of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel.
Everything is working according to design.
One more reminder, if you think His plans are taking awhile in your life, just think about these people. Sometimes God seems to take more time than we would like, buttrust Him. He is working out the details.
How does Jesus handle grief? We see it in this passage.
John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus and the one who recognized who Jesus was. John was a completely holy man. Yet, just as is the case in our modern society, sometimes people call good “evil” and evil “good.” Because they want to live in debauchery, they blame those who are upholding God’s principles. So Herodias, Herod’s wife, acts toward John.
When Herod has John beheaded, Jesus is notified. So what does He do? He runs to His Father. The Word says that He goes off by Himself to a deserted place so that He can pray and seek God.
There have been times in my life when grief seemed to be overwhelming me. So I know personally how significant these actions are. When we run to our Father and let Him minister to us, He lifts us up in a way that seems impossible. Everything gets put into perspective.
We are in this thing called “life” forever. Part of it here on earth, but most of it in Heaven. When we focus on eternity, we are ready to live with zeal in the here-and-now. It will all turn out alright in the end for those who are His.
Then after going away, Jesus sees the crowd and His compassion leads Him to heal and minister to them. One of His many miracles is performed at this time. He feeds a crowd of five thousand men, plus women, and children by breaking up five loaves and two fish.
His pay back to the devil for John’s death is to heal the sick and perform miracles so that the crowds can see the One true God. There is no mistaking the fact that Jesus is representing God as He ministers to the sick and feeds the multitudes.
One more note. Do you sometimes feel that you want to share your love of God and His Word with others, but feel inadequate to do so? Don’t let those feelings stop you. When you begin to break the bread that you have, it will begin to multiply, just as this natural bread did with Jesus. God doesn’t give us a huge pile of understanding until we are ready to give it out.
When we give what we have, more will be given to us. When we share what we know, even if we think it is a little, we will receive more. That’s God’s way. Give and it shall be given unto you!