Notice this amazing paradox in Scripture – to a father and his son, the Lord said two different things, giving two different directions at two different times:
And the LORD appeared unto [Isaac], and said, “Go not down into Egypt; instead, remain in the land where I will tell you. Stay in this land for now, and I will be with you here, and I will bless you.” (Genesis 26:2-3)
Then the same LORD God spoke to Isaac’s son Jacob.
And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said … “I am God, the same God your father worshiped. Do not be afraid to go to Egypt. I will give you so many descendants that one day they will become a nation. I Myself will go with you to Egypt.” (Genesis 46:3-4)
Wherever we find ourselves, let us be confident in His mighty hand!
And [God] made from one blood every nation of people to dwell upon all the face of the earth, and He ordained their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of where they would live. (Acts 17:26)
Let us have confidence in our calling! Are we working in a certain place, for a certain employer, in a certain position, with a particular organization or company? Trust in the Lord to order your steps that they “slip not” (Ps. 17:5; Ps. 119:116).
Are you in a difficult situation: oppressed, unappreciated? Or in bonds and facing persecution? In famine or poverty? Or are you in plenty: thriving and abounding? Are you troubled on every side? Perplexed, cast down, persecuted? Surrounded by fightings, wars, strife, unrest, violence, conflict? Are you in any trouble: in tribulation, distress, peril, nakedness? Facing violence, or the sword, or prison?
Sometimes God says that we should not go for easy relief from our stressful conditions. Other times God directs us to go into a setting that might seem like a challenge. Sometimes God says, “Go not down to Egypt.” While at other times the same LORD God says to our hearts, “Be not afraid to go down to Egypt.”
In either circumstance He always says: I Myself will go with you!
In all of these situations, let us rest also in this hope – that God will eventually bring us back out and He Himself will say: Let My people go!