Lent: Day 20 – Israel (Jacob) had become quite prosperous in the land of Canaan. Having to go down to Egypt had to be very difficult for him to do even though it meant he would get to see is son Joseph. God however, assures him that it would be okay; he has not forgotten his promise. Upon arriving, Joseph advises his father and brothers to simply be honest about whom they are. It’s a risky situation since shepherds are absolutely loathed in Egypt and yet it is definitely the right thing to do. After all what else or who else should they be? When God chose Abraham he did not call him to be a king but rather as the shepherd that we was, to be the father of many nations. Through Christ, God calls us as we are, to be shepherds of the Gospel and before we come to experience and believe Christ for ourselves we essentially are sheep without a shepherd. Paul himself, with all his education and status as a Roman citizen and a Pharisee, was a sheep without a shepherd before Christ called him to be an apostle. Perhaps even as Christians we are lead in directions we don’t necessarily want to go, when we remember who we are (Christians) and why we were called (to build the body of Christ), like Israel, God will be with us and continue to provide for us even as he faithfully brings us to where he always intended us to be.
Genesis 46:1-7, 28-34 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; …When Pharaoh calls you, and says, “What is your occupation?” you shall say, “Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our ancestors”—in order that you may settle in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.’
Mark 6:30-46 and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
1 Corinthians 9:1-15 If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.