1. Gen. 46:3 – READ
2. God told Israel that great things were going to happen to his family.
3. God also reassured this man that there was no reason to be concerned about going to Egypt.
4. God said Jacob needed to go to Egypt and there his family would become great.
5. We know this promise came true; in fact, we often refer to the nation that was formed as “Israel.”
6. God also told Jacob (Israel) about His future death.
7. In the latter part of verse 4 the text says Joseph would put his “hands” Jacob’s eyes.
8. This was a nice way of saying Israel would die in Egypt while his son Joseph tended to him.
9. Israel (Jacob) was someone who received great promises, but he had to accept these promises in faith.
FAITH WAS AN IMPORTANT ITEM IN THE LIFE OF ISRAEL AND FAITH IS STILL A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIVES.
Consider some of the ways in which “faith” is required of us.
a) There is not a single one of us who has or ever will see God during our earthly lifetime.
b) We will not meet an apostle or prophet while we live on this earth.
c) We will never see a “miracle” in the sense that this term is used in the New Testament.
d) We will not receive a tour of the after life – heaven and not hell – as we live our earthly existence.
e) God will not let us get a direct glimpse of the devil.
f) There is no verbal approval for the worship we offer.
2) When it comes to the Christian life, FAITH really is at the center of our spiritual existence.
3) Different things require different forms of proof.
4) In the case of faith, there is proof, but this proof is not in the physical realm.
5) The Bible says people have “died in faith” (Heb. 11:13) and this may well be true of us.
THE BIBLE TEACHES WE NEED FAITH TO PLEASE GOD (HEBREWS 11:6). IT ALSO SAYS WE ARE TO “WALK BY FAITH” INSTEAD OF WALK BY “SIGHT” (2 COR. 5:7).
Israel (Jacob) had received a great promise, but he had to accept this promise on faith.
Israel had to live by faith because this was what God required under the Old Testament.
In Hab. 2:4 the Bible says “the just [righteous] shall live by faith.”
In Rom. 1:17 – a book that has a lot to say about faith – the point from Hab. 2:4 is repeated.
We know that Jacob (Israel) chose faith, but what if we had been in his place?
Jas. 2:26 – READ
People can have a “dead faith.”
Man’s second option is a living faith where people really believe and actively seek to do God’s will.
Mt. 10:22 – READ
Imagine living in a time and place where being a Christian causes us to be “hated.”
Jn. 12:42-43 – READ
In Mt. 7:24 Jesus spoke of “hearing” and “doing His words.
This illustration is a good way of describing faith.
We “hear” what God has said; when we believe that information, we “do” what He has said.
In Mt. 8:11 Jesus spoke of “Jacob” –the man of faith in Gen. 46 – enjoying the kingdom of God.
The man in Gen. 46 acted on faith and now, thousands of years later, what is still true for him?
The spiritual house built by Israel because of good choices is still standing.
We cannot please God without faith.
If we are a Christian, we need to continue to live by faith day by day.
If we have not yet become a Christian, we can start the life of faith and begin that life today.