Yes, old Jacob had learned some hard lessons about what happened when he did not talk with God and walk with God. Therefore, he wanted to be sure that God was in this. This was a big move for all the family. Thankfully, by now, Jacob had matured into a seasoned and wise old man. He stopped and waited, willing to learn whether the move to Egypt would be accompanied by the presence and blessing of God.
It must have been a great moment when, in the night, he was awakened by the voice of God, calling, “Jacob, Jacob.”
“Here I am,” he replied quietly.
“I am God, the God of your father, Isaac. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt, for it is there that I will make you a great nation. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will also bring you back to this land again. And your son Joseph will be with you when you die.”
This is a major moment not only for Jacob and his family, but for all of Israel. This is an early prophetic reference to Israel’s great Exodus from Egypt. Go back and read the Lord’s words to Jacob once again. Notice the promise, “I will also surely bring you up [to this land] again.”
Making a major move can be one of the most insecure times we face in life. Pulling up roots in one place and trying to put them down in another can be not only fearful but depressing. That’s why I think it’s wise to pause here and understand the value of Jacob’s hearing God’s voice of approval. I’ve known people who have taken years to adjust—and some who simply never adjust. For the Christian this is heightened by a sense of wonder over whether God is in the move. And even when we feel assured that God is in it, we can still experience times of uncertainty and displacement. I’m referring not only to a geographical move but also to a career change or a domestic move from single to married. Big, big changes! The assurance that God is with us during such alterations in lifestyle and adjustment periods is terribly important.
As children of God, we’re to listen to the voice of God and ask, Is God in this? Does this please Him?
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.