Genesis 46-48, Matthew 13:1—30 • Key Verses: Genesis 48:15-16
God providentially paved the way for Joseph’s family to sojourn in Egypt. At a time of famine, Jacobs extended family was welcomed there, where food and land was made available to him.
As they prepared to meet the Pharaoh, Joseph gave his family a bit of advice.
He knew that Egyptians did not like shepherds, so he scripted an answer for them to use when asked about their occupation. He told them to say, “Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on” (46:34).
Imagine his chagrin when his brothers said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, just as our fathers were” (47:3). What were they thinking? Perhaps they were thinking that the Egyptians might not like shepherds, but that was exactly what they were. Instead of being an embarrassment to them, it was an encouragement.
When he blessed Joseph, Jacob spoke of “the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day” (48:15). The shepherd God is an encouragement to those who are a part of His flock. David would later write, “The Lord is my shepherd” (Ps. 23:1). And Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14).
It may not sound good to others, but “shepherd” sounds good to Gods own.
The New Testament Greek word for “shepherds” is used to describe pastors. Your pastor is an undershepherd of Jesus. It is a blessing of God that He has not left us as sheep without a shepherd.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett