When there was famine in the land of Canaan, the sons of Jacob went to Egypt
to buy food so that they would not starve, but in Egypt they found more than
food - they encountered their lost brother Joseph! They had sold their
brother into slavery many years earlier; and they had told their father that
Joseph had been killed by wild beasts. But when they met Joseph in Egypt,
he was no slave; he was ruler over the land, second only to Pharaoh.
Joseph was in a position to take revenge on his brothers for their treachery so
many years earlier, but instead he chose to reconcile with them and love
them. At Joseph's command, they returned to their father Jacob to bring
him to Egypt to live in comfort. When the brothers came to their father
they said, "Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all
Egypt." (Genesis 46:26, NIV).
At first Jacob did not believe them, but as he realized that the news was
true, can you imagine how filled with joy he must have been? His long lost
son was alive! And his son had become a great man who was now able to save
him and the whole family from starvation!
As a desert nomad and an experienced shepherd, Jacob well knew how
refreshing a cup of cold water could be on a hot day when he had been working
hard. But how much more he must have been refreshed and overjoyed with the good
news that had come from the distant land of Egypt. His lost son was alive
Hundreds of years later King Solomon, possibly while reflecting on the story
of Jacob and Joseph, penned these words:
"Like cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a distant land."
Jacob rejoiced at hearing the news that his son was alive and able to
save him and his family from the famine. How much more should we rejoice at the
news that Jesus is alive and able to save us from our sins! Jesus came
from heaven to earth to save us. An angel came from heaven and announced
the Good News of His coming to the shepherds camping near Bethlehem saying,
"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
(Luke 2:10-11) This was truly wonderful news!
The news of the Savior spread as Jesus proved again and again that He truly
is the Son of God, through His miracles, His fulfillment of prophecy, His
teachings, and finally through His death on the cross and resurrection.
Paul and the other apostles shared the Good News throughout the world that they
knew and to new lands beyond.
Today, the message of the Good News that Jesus is Lord and that He is alive
and ready and willing to save all who call on Him continues to spread throughout
the world and to each generation and to every people. This same Jesus
called us to share the Good News in Japan and everywhere that we go. May
the people of Japan hear and accept the Good News of Jesus with rejoicing even
as a weary soul accepts a refreshing drink of cold water!