Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again.
Jacob must have shuddered at the thought of leaving the land of his fathers to live among heathen strangers. It was a new scene, and likely to be a trying one: Who shall venture among citizens of a foreign power without some anxiety? Yet the way was evidently appointed for him, and therefore he resolved to go.
This is frequently the experience of believers; they are called to face perils and temptations. At such times let them imitate Jacob's example by offering sacrifices of prayer to God and seeking His direction. Let them not take a step until they have waited upon the Lord for His blessing: Then they will have Jacob's companion to be their friend and helper.
How blessed to feel assured that the Lord is with us in all our ways and condescends to enter into our humiliations and banishments! Even at such times we may bask in the sunshine of our Father's love. We need not hesitate to go where He promises His presence; even the darkest valley grows bright with the radiance of this assurance. Marching onward with faith in their God, believers shall have Jacob's promise. They will be brought up again, whether it be from the troubles of life or the chambers of death. Jacob's offspring came out of Egypt in due time, and so shall all the faithful pass unscathed through the tribulations of life and the terror of death.
Let us exercise Jacob's confidence. "Do not be afraid" is the Lord's command and His divine encouragement to those who at His bidding are launching upon new seas; God's presence and preservation forbid so much as one unbelieving fear. Without our God we would be afraid to move; but when He bids us to, it would be dangerous to linger.
Reader, go forward, and do not be afraid.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.