Genesis 45:16-46:7; Matthew 14:22-36; Psalms 19:1-6; Proverbs 9:9-10
OT: “Israel set out with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, and he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. That night God spoke to Israel in a vision: “Jacob, Jacob!” he said. And Jacob replied, “Here I am.” God said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.”” (Genesis 46:1-4 CSB)
Beer-Sheba was a significant place to the Patriarchs. It was there that Abraham dug a well and found life-sustaining water. Abraham settled there and called on The Everlasting God. It is also where Issac found water and settled. So it is quite significant that Jacob/Israel, in the middle of a life-threatening drought, comes to Beer-Sheba as he is leaving the promised land for Egypt. There, God speaks to Jacob and gives him a word. God says this to Jacob: “I am El, the Elohim of your father.” El is the Hebrew word for God. That word literally means the mighty one. Elohim is a more generic word for a god, but in this context, it means the one, true, preeminent God of all gods. So think about what God is saying to Jacob: I am THE Mighty One, the One True God of all gods that provided for your fathers in the middle of the wilderness. Do not be afraid. I WILL make you into a great nation while you are in Egypt, and I WILL bring you back to this land. It is My will and I am more that able. Isn’t it good to know that God’s desires and purposes for our life far transcends our immediate situation or our ability to see and understand? And He is more than able to accomplish them, for He is The Mighty God.
NT: “Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”” (Matthew 14:22-33 CSB)
The God that spoke to Israel on his way to Egypt is the same God who was manifested in Jesus, Emmanuel – God with us. And God’s message to Jacob was Jesus’ message to the frightened disciples in the boat: “It is ME, don’t be afraid.” The Mighty God is our Savior, and He Who transcends the laws of nature and has authority over storms and troubled seas is well able to preserve and save us. What do we have our eyes on? Do we have our eyes on the scary waves and the roaring winds, or do we have our eyes on The Mighty God? Do we have our eyes on the impossible situation, or the Mighty God who eats impossible situations for breakfast? If He said it and if He wills it, He is well able and will do it.
Psalms: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalms 19:1-4a CSB)
All of creation: the majestic mountains, the beautiful sunsets, the roaring waves, the destructive storms, the mightiest beast, the smallest nano particle, the laws of nature, the incredibly unique and complex strains of DNA in every organic substance – it all declares the glory of the Mighty God. There is no where on earth or in the cosmos where the works of God do not proclaim His greatness – and that is the God who loves us and is committed to us, and will bless us if we submit to His word, will, and ways.
Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10 CSB)
Considering who God is, not fearing Him is extremely foolish. That is why the beginning of wisdom comes when we properly view God for who He is, humble ourselves, and reverently honor and respect Him in every way. And when we grow to know God the designer and creator of all things, then we begin to have true understanding.