Yesterday, we saw how Joseph was able to cleverly play politics in order to get Pharaoh to give him what he wanted. Now it is Joseph’s father’s turn…
Please read Genesis 47:7-12.
Remember the situation here: Jacob and his family were starving in the midst of a famine. Out of desperation, Jacob sent his sons down to Egypt to see if there was a chance they could barter for some grain. After a few trials and errors, the sons discovered their long lost brother was actually the second-in-command over all of Egypt! Surely Joseph would be able to provide for them! But Joseph insists that he must get Pharaoh's permission. Nothing can be done without Pharaoh's approval.
So, they tell their father, and Jacob agrees to pack up all he has and relocate to Egypt. Jacob brings his own goods and livestock with him into Egypt, and they are substantial, but he has nothing compared to this great nation. He doesn’t even have enough food to feed himself and his family.
Any similarly desperate man would be shocked into silence when he stood before the great and mighty Pharaoh of Egypt, but not Jacob. Instead of being silent before this great world leader, Jacob answers his question with humility while going beyond what was asked to brag about his ancestors. And he surrounds his answer before and after with two blessings on Pharaoh.
Jacob blessing Pharaoh is not simply a matter of politeness. He is not just addressing this great world leader with a term of respect or a common greeting from his religion. Instead, Jacob is actually putting himself above Pharaoh by offering Pharaoh something that he does not have. Pharaoh may be the leader of the greatest nation on the planet, but he is lacking something that Jacob has: God’s favor.
Jacob knows that he is God’s chosen man, a leader of God’s chosen people, and he has the favor of God upon him. Even if he is lacking in this world’s goods, or this world’s definition of success, Jacob has something far greater than this world can ever offer: God’s favor. And Jacob faithfully fulfills his role as God’s ambassador by blessing Pharaoh in the name of the Only God, whom Pharaoh has not yet known. As successful as Pharaoh may seem, he does not have a relationship with God, so he is lost. Without a relationship with God, the richest man in the world is poor. Jacob knows this, so he ignores his own low social standing and blesses Pharaoh in the name of God.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we must remember our place: we are children of God; we have been chosen by God to be forgiven through the sacrifice of His Son; we are ambassadors of His Heavenly Kingdom here on earth; we have the Holy Spirit within us, and no weapon formed against us shall prosper.
There’s no need for us to be intimidated by intellectuals, the majority of people around us, or celebrities with the loudest voices. Through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we can stand before kings, presidents, judges, lawmakers, superstar athletes, pop stars, PhD’s, scientists, and any other form of authority that you can imagine, and declare to them that God is higher than all of them put together! God is greater, and God is on our side! Through Jesus Christ, we are children of God, and we will humbly serve as His ambassadors, just like Jacob does when he blesses Pharaoh.
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