5 Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and brothers dwell in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know any competent men among them, then make them chief herdsmen over my livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”
9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty 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 pilgrimage.” 10 So Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.
Here’s a short definition of pilgrimage: “A trip to a sacred place for religious reasons.”
The Earth was once sacred, but dominion was handed over to its enemy by Adam, and we came under the Lord’s rebuke, our days now few and evil. But the Lord redeemed sinner Jacob, and changed his name, for nothing can remain the same under the hand of G-d.
We await the arrival of the new earth we are to dwell in, by the light of G-d, under the Savior’s rule, for eternity.
Today, with all that’s going on globally, with all the losses of the sureties we came to rely on, we are reminded with a heavenly certainty that those things were in fact, never sure at all, and that we are here for a time and then no more. A life that’s a vapor.
Our relationships within our homes, and in our communities, and spreading out to the world newly consider our relationship with the Word: the commandments, the conditions, (If you do this…), all of Christ’s prophecies, and all of the Father’s promises.
This plague, which ravaged us without even reaching the point of plagues past, should make us reflect on our most important relationship, the one we have with the One who will judge our works, hold us to account for all that we’ve done and said, and welcome us into the kingdom or cast us out.
In the midst of our enemy using all the vices of the flesh that corrupt the human spirit, we are to be mindful to not walk in fear, but to not be wise in our own eyes. There is a saying:
“Call on G-d, but row away from the rocks.”
We are given the oars and the boat because we can’t walk on water, stop its flow, or calm it down.
Today, in your pilgrimages, wherever they may take you, bless those within it when you enter and when you leave, as Jacob did Pharaoh.
Our days are few and evil, and likely will not attain even to Jacob’s years, but the Lord our G-d will advance us to where that we may finish the work He called us to, if we are faithful and patient to keep possession of our souls.
Therefore I pray:
Father in Heaven,
We come before Your throne today under the covering of Christ’s blood, to thank You for giving us the strength to make it through the past few weeks as the plague that came upon us cut its path through Your creation, and is still at work.
The daily routines of our lives were shattered, and while the faithless rail and panic, and the false invoke You as they threaten harm, we use this time to pray and draw closer to You not in hiding, but in rejoicing that You are Jehovah-jireh, our Provider.
We place the blood of Your Son over our hearts, and pray healing for the afflicted, salvation for those taken in His name, mercy for those who died in their sins, and unity in the Gospel amid a lost and dying culture.
Impart to us the mercy and grace of the Son’s new covenant once more where we have failed to live up to His image, and to give You glory.
We are reminded today that the Earth, and everything in it, is Yours, and You knew all of all Your work before its creation. (Psalm 24:1, Acts 15:18)
Bring us through this time to emerge on the other side as better than we were, closer to You, and one another. Purify us, Father, and keep us by the power of Your Spirit, doing greater works that reveal deeper truths as we move from glory to glory, sanctified and justified, spotless and blameless, on our pilgrimage to redemption.
In righteousness, peace, and joy may we honor You.