Do Not Go Down To Egypt

Do Not Go Down to Egypt

Today’s Scripture Selection: Genesis 26:1-2

“Now there was a famine in the land – besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time – and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar.  The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.  Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and bless you.”

There are times, when things are especially rough, that we are tempted to strike out “on our own” spiritually speaking.  We may even be tempted to go into a “foreign land” and seek something better or what we believe to be a solution to our problems.

I hear in this story from Genesis a warning.

God tells Abraham’s son Isaac, ‘Do not go down to Egypt.’

I think there is a lesson for all of us there.

We can understand why Isaac might have felt led to head to Egypt in a time of famine.  His father had done that very thing.

But for some reason God tells Isaac not to follow in his father’s footsteps – not this time at least and he is blessed “a hundred fold” for his faith.

Once again, we are encouraged to act on faith – and God’s instruction as we prayerfully discern it – rather than on our own limited wisdom.

The next time you are feeling confused and burdened – and you are tempted to go into a “foreign” land (spiritually speaking) – think again.

God has promised to be with you and never forsake you.

Trust that.  You will be glad you did.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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