But God wanted Jacob around a little longer, so he didn’t die after embracing Joseph. Instead, he settled in the land of Goshen.
Once there, Jacob first experienced God keeping his nation separate from Egyptians. Egyptians despised shepherds, so voluntarily they wouldn’t have anything to do with them.
Second, Jacob experienced meeting Pharaoh himself. Again, can you picture the encounter? Joseph himself brought Jacob to Pharoah, maybe in his fancy chariot or a parade into the city? Can you imagine Jacob’s eyes as he beheld great monuments being built? Huge storehouses of food? The wealth of the Pharaohs?
And Jacob was Joseph’s father. Earlier we heard Pharaoh saw Joseph was a father-figure, so this was like meeting a long-lost grandfather to him, a piece of who Joseph was.
The first question from Pharoah was about how old Jacob was. Jacob humbly responded, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.”
Jacob knew what he was not. He was not a saint and fell sort of his ancestors. And he wasn’t afraid to admit it.
And then Jacob, after all the grandeur or Egypt he had seen, went on to bless Pharaoh. Can you imagine it? The wandering shepherd blessing the Pharaoh? I would think it came out of gratitude for all Pharoah had done for Joseph, and some out of protocol for all Pharoah had given his family, but I also believe God gave him the freedom to bless Pharaoh for believing Joseph about the interpretation of the dream and providing for not only Egypt but surrounding nations. Pharoah had also recognized God’s power in Joseph.
God does bless unbelieving nations, I believe, to bring them to himself. Blessings also reveal sin. It was also part of the “promise” to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their nation would bless other nations.
Third, by living longer, Jacob was able to bless Joseph and his children. In Chapter 47, we see the precious scene of Joseph with his boys and his ailing father. Thinking Jacob was making a mistake in the placement of hands, he corrected him, but Joseph should have known there are no mistakes in God’s economy.
What God does, God means to do.
So in the midst of famine, Jacob and his family experienced peace. Joseph continued to be successful on Pharaoh’s behalf, bringing the Egyptian people and their land under Pharaoh’s domain.
But Israel, the first time they are called by their national name, “Settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.”