"I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
Egypt stands in as a symbol of the world. It represents our former lives of sin. It is what God delivers us from. So why is it that God is leading Jacob to go there?
This story occurs after Jacob has found out that Joseph is alive and a leader in Egypt. Going there will mean blessing for him and his family. It will mean the preservation of God's chosen people of Israel. But Egypt is big and scary. It is an idolatrous place. It is full of sin. Why would anyone go there who intends to follow the Lord? Very simply- because God said to do it.
God doesn't call us to understand the big picture. He doesn't need our approval of His plan. He calls us to walk by faith. It means there will be times- many times- when we won't know where we're going or anything else about it. But we must go. We must obey. This is faith.
The other thing that comes out of this story is that God's plans are bigger than we are. Jacob doesn't know or understand all the things that God will do as a result of his going to Egypt. He just obeys. But God's plan is bigger than Jacob, his family, or his immediate situation. God will allow Israel to be enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years. Then He will deliver them by His power. It becomes such a key picture to foreshadow our Lord's work to deliver us from our sins.
Today I do not hear God telling me to go anywhere or do anything. I am tempted to think that perhaps I am missing Him and that I need to do something. But that misses the point of the story. The key is obedience whether that means I am on the move or staying put.
Regardless of what it means, I pray that I will be faithful to follow God's direction- always!