Journey to Bethlehem: December 7 - Word&Way

Journey to Bethlehem: December 7

A Journey Beyond Your Control

Today's scripture: Genesis 45:1-8

The journey to Bethlehem began with God’s promise to Abram that he would establish a covenant relationship with him that would make his family a blessing to all mankind (Genesis 12:1-5). Abram immediately started out, leaving his father’s household and traveling toward Canaan.

John Howell

John Howell is Academic Dean Emeritus at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.

As with many of our journeys in life, Abram had no idea how his journey would be affected by events over which he had little control. He often had to seek refuge and renewal of the promise. When famine gripped Canaan, he and his wife, Sarai, sought refuge in Canaan. After his family had gone through serious discord, they were moved to Egypt by their long-absent son, Joseph, who had become a national leader there. Political change forced them out of Egypt and back on the journey toward the Promised Land.

Finally, the Israelites reached the land of their destiny and Bethlehem became the birthplace of the Savior promised to Abram. 

Our Scripture drops in on the journey when Joseph determined to bring his family to Egypt to save them from the famine. Can you imagine the feelings that must have gripped his brothers when he revealed himself to them as the brother they had sold into slavery? Or what their father felt when he finally was able to accept the fact that Joseph was still alive? Now he was being led to take the final journey of his troubled life to establish his family in Egypt.

Are you seeking the journey to Bethlehem but seem to be delayed by events in your life, some over which you may have little control? Joseph’s word to his brothers may help you consider your challenges as factors that can help you become a greater person: “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” Paul said it differently, but with similar intent: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).