Israel offered sacrifices to God for thanksgiving and guidance, just as his fathers had done before him. He had not called called upon God in this way for sometime. God was pleased to hear from Israel. He called him by his personal name of “Jacob”. God identified himself as the God of Isaac, to remind Israel of the covenant he made with them. Also, to affirm there was no other god. God knew Israel was afraid, and consoled him. Israel was old, and near death, and feared he would not be able to see Joseph before he passed, but God assured him that he would.
The family of Jacob numbered 70 in total. The records were carefully kept, and they lead to the birth of the messiah.
Jacob chose Judah to lead the family to Egypt, a reward for bringing back Benjamin and Simeon. Joseph, once carried away against his will as a slave in a caravan, rode to meet his father freely in a royal chariot. The embrace was emotional. Israel was so overjoyed, he felt complete. God had kept his promise, and he was prepared to die.
Joseph needed to protect his family against the prejudicial nature of the Egyptians, who despised foreigners, no less nomadic shepherds. He wanted them to dwell in safety in Goshen, away from the influence of pagan practice and the danger of bigotry and jealousy, so he told them what to say to Pharaoh, so they could live in Goshen.
We should continually give thanks to God and seek his counsel. He is pleased to hear our prayers, and calls us by name with tenderness and care, because we are his children. God will assure us in times of concern and trouble, and remind us of his promises. God knows all who are in his family by name. If we humble ourselves before God, and do his will, he will exalt us. Those who shepherd God’s people are despised by the world, but the Holy Spirit gives them the words to speak.