Going down to Egypt

“Going down to Egypt” is something the patriarch Abraham was prohibited from doing. He was to walk by faith in the land of his promised inheritance. Once, under threat of starvation, he ran to Egypt for deliverance and paid for it, almost losing his sister/wife to Pharaoh’s harem.   His son, Isaac, didn’t repeat going to Egypt, but he did take refuge with the Philistines when hunger loomed. He also encountered a king with an eye for a beautiful woman.  Jacob knew the family history. Now facing famine himself, he apparently thought twice about making a similar expedient choice. Despite his longing to see his son, and Joseph’s own compelling certainty that this was a divine provision,  Jacob stopped first at Beersheba to offer sacrifices to his God.

He received a response.

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said,

“Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”

He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.

I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again. . .

Genesis 46:2-4 (NASB)

Going down to Egypt, as the result of an independent risk analysis is fraught with pitfalls.  It’s different when God orchestrates and  accompanies. You see, Egypt is the kind of place you would like to eventually come back out of.


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