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Resident Aliens

Words of Faith Final

Resident Aliens
Words of Faith 8-17-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Genesis 47
[27] Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.
[28] Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. [29] When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, [30] but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried."
"I will do as you say," he said.
[31] "Swear to me," he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

This is the first time in the story of God's people that they are called Israelites. The transition marks a move from being a family to being a people. Interestingly, while the rest of the world was suffering and the Egyptians were losing their property, the Israelites were acquiring property in Goshen. But make no mistake about it; the hand of the Lord was with both the Egyptians and the Israelites. Egypt was being preserved and so were the Israelites.
Goshen was a wonderful place for the chosen family of God to become a nation. The hand of the Lord was with them as they prospered in the region selected for them. Perhaps just as important was the fact that they could remain separate and not be assimilated into the Egyptian culture. The Hebrew people were not yet terribly distinctive. Distinctiveness would come 400 years later with the giving of the Law. It would have been easy for the Israelites to blend into the pagan culture of Egypt within a few generations.
Jacob lived another seventeen years in Goshen. He made Joseph promise not to bury him in Egypt. His bones were to be carried out to the land of Canaan. Jacob knew that this was not home. He also knew that it would be tempting just to stay in Egypt and not return to Canaan, the land promised by the Lord to the descendants of Abraham. The task of looking after Jacob's bones would be passed on for many generations as a reminder that Egypt is not the final destination. The Land of Promise in Canaan was the destination. Egypt was just a stopping point.
The same is very much true for us. We are not permanent residents of earth. We are here only for a time. As believers, we are alien to the culture and ways of the world. One of our chief concerns is not to be assimilated into the pagan culture while still trying to reach the people in it. The Lord watches over us and sees to our care.
There is a specific purpose and design for our time upon earth just as there was a purpose for the Israelites in Egypt. But not even our bones are meant for this earth. We will be taken up in either a glorious rapture of the living believers or reunited with our bodies in a magnificent resurrection of the dead in Christ. Either way, Christ has promised us that our bones won't be staying here.
Do you have your eye on the goal? Of course, we can't focus on heaven every minute. There is life to be lived and work to be done here in Goshen. But we also must not lose sight of the fact that we are aliens here. As the Apostle Paul put it, "Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philip 3:20).

Lord God, keep my eye upon You. Lord Jesus, I eagerly await Your return. Show me today exactly how I am to surrender to You and the rule of Your Kingdom. Show me Your plan for me here on this earth. Keep my eye ever trained up my destination with You. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.