Perspective (Fear, part 1)
Naming my Fear (Fear, part 2)
March 11, 2011
"I am God, the God of your father," he said. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again." (Genesis 46:3-4)
This morning I read of Jacob's encounter with God in Beersheba. It was in this very spot that Jacob's father, Isaac, built an altar, pitched his tent, dug a well, and called on the name of the Lord. It was here that Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, made an oath of peace, exchanged seven ewe lambs, planted a tree, and called on the Eternal God.
Jacob, you deceived and were deceived. You ran, worked, and wrestled. You were given a limp and renamed. Forgiven. You started a family that would become a nation, each of your sons a tribe. You lost your beloved wife and believed your son devoured by a beast. Famine brought hunger. Grief wrinkles your skin and grays your hair.
But now you stand, an old man on the same plot of land as your father. You stand by the well that brought forth water from the ground; dried, blistered, and cracked though it was. You stand beneath the shelter of a tree planted by your grandfather; the promise that his seed will take root and bless the world.
Do not be afraid, Jacob. The God of your fathers is the Eternal God, and he is faithful. He is your God, and he will not leave you until He has done what He has promised. There is still water bubbling beneath this barren land. Go to Egypt and prosper. Lie down in peace. Your seed has much to suffer yet, but he will thrive. A deliverer is coming. Do not be afraid.