1. I MYSELF WILL GO DOWN 1-5 a. Stopping at Beersheba. After seeing the wagons and the provisions from Egypt and hearing his sons’ story of their meeting Joseph, Jacob decides to travel down to Egypt to see his son. They load up the wagons and the donkeys with all of their things and they begin to head south on the road that heads into Egypt. Before they leave the land of Canaan, Jacob makes camp at the border town of Beersheba. This is not just a convenient place to stop like an oasis along the highway. This was an intentional stop. This had more to do with religion and faith than it had to do with geography. Remember what Beersheba means to these people. It was at Beersheba where Abimelech and Abraham made their treaty. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree and held a worship service in the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God. It was to Beersheba that Abraham returned after God spared Isaac with the ram that was caught in the bush. Isaac would live in Beersheba and he too would make a treaty with the king of the Philistines there. At Beersheba, God appeared to Isaac and told him, “Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring from my servant Abraham’s sake.” Isaac built an altar to God there and his servants dug a well. Jacob lived with his father in Beersheba and was the place where he betrayed his brother and lied to his father. In fact, that is the last record that we have of Jacob being in Beersheba, the day he fled to his uncle Laban in Haran. There is a lot of family history at Beersheba. It is a place where faith was strengthened and promises were confirmed. It is a place of worship to the Everlasting God. This is more than just a roadside stop this is a pilgrimage. Jacob has come here to offer sacrifices on the altar to the God of his father Isaac. b. God speaks to Jacob. While at Beersheba God speaks to Jacob in visions of the night. God has a message for Jacob that he needed to hear. First, the one who was speaking to him is El Elohim, God, the God of his father. The God who had spoken to Jacob’s father Isaac at this same place is now the one who is addressing him. Second, Jacob is not to be afraid to go down to Egypt. Why would Jacob be afraid to go? There are a few possible reasons. Jacob is an old man and has already spoken of his death several times in the past. He probably assumed he would die in Canaan. The reason why he sent his sons to Egypt and did not go with them was probably because of his age. Jacob also knows that his father was planning to but was prohibited by God from moving into Egypt. That is why they sojourned in Philistia and eventually ended up in Beersheba. Since his father was banned, was it permissible by God for him to move there? Was this God’s plan? God tells him that he is to go down to Egypt. The third thing God says is a confirmation of the promise to Abraham. “I will make you into a great nation.” This is not a death march put will result in Jacob’s family becoming a nation. The fourth thing that God says is another promise that God made to Abraham. They will sojourn in Egypt but God will bring judgment on the nation that they serve and they will come out with great possessions. God will be with Jacob’s family going into Egypt, as he has already been with Joseph, and when he brings Jacob’s family back up again. The final message from God is very personal to Jacob. Joseph’s hand shall close the eyes of Jacob, which means that Joseph will be there when Jacob dies. With these precious words from God, Jacob is now ready to take his family and the faith of the one true God into the land of Egypt.