Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 16, 2008

Jacob’s List

   When Joseph’s brothers allowed jealousy to bully them into throwing him into a pit and later selling him to a caravan of Ishmaelites (Gen. 37), they never expected that their little brother would end up in a palace. But, that’s what happened. God employed the services of a series of seemingly unfortunate events to guide Joseph to a position of great authority in Pharaoh’s court (Gen. 41). When a famine drove Jacob to send his sons to Egypt to purchase grain (Gen. 42), he never expected that this trip to the grocery store would eventually reunite him with his son Joseph (Gen. 46). But, that’s what happened.

   One of my favorite parts of this story is when Jacob reluctantly agreed to allow his sons to take Benjamin with them to Egypt in order to purchase food and to be reunited with their brother Simeon who was being held hostage there. Jacob instructed his sons to pack some things in their bags “to carry down to the man [Joseph] as a present” (Gen. 43:11). Jacob told his sons to carry the best products of the land with them, including “a little balm and a little honey.” I’m so glad that the Bible includes those kinds of details — things like packing lists! It’s easy for us to rush through or to skip the lists when we read the Bible. Somehow they don’t seem as important to us as other things. But, they are.

   When I read Jacob’s packing list I had to pause to consider it. A little balm and a little honey? How brilliant. Among all of the other stuff we carry with us throughout the day, we should never leave home without a little balm and a little honey. Think about it.

   Every day you and I encounter people whose hearts are bruised, whose emotions are raw, whose shoulders ache under a load of care, and whose steps are faltering from exhaustion. Those are the times we need a little balm. As Christ-followers we must be prepared to offer a prayer, to shed some tears, to listen to a story, to help carry a burden, and to walk beside weary travelers — a little balm.

   Every day we encounter individuals who wear lifeless expressions, whose heads hang low, who are estranged from laughter and divorced from joy. Those are the times we need a little honey. As Christ-followers we must be prepared to dispense the sweet aroma of encouraging words, the life-giving warmth of a human embrace, and the affirming expression of a simple smile — a little honey.

   So, when you get up in the morning and get all of your stuff together for the day, don’t forget to pack a little balm and a little honey — and be sure to dispense it generously.


  1. Omar,
    I was at work until about 1:40 this morning covering 24 hour call for the PACU. (post anesthesia care unit) One of my late night patients was a migrant, most likely illegal, who in broken English thanked me for being kind to him. A little balm and a little honey? Yes, I think the gift of kindness fits the bill.

    You speak of the warmth of a human embrace. In nursing school we were presented with some obscure study that showed humans needed approximately twelve hugs a day for emotional health. Since that day, I freely dispense hugs. I can remember a couple of hugs dispensed by friends for time of difficulty in my own life. The strength from a gentle embrace cannot be measured.

    A lovely post, Sir!


  2. You gave Head line’Jacob’s List’

    Very good story in the bible about Joseph.

    I would like to say some thing about,during the reading time that, Brother Omar posted from the Joseph’s life.Lord has remine me something again.

    “God is good All the Times.”

    1) A yuong boy are beatenup by his oldest brothers.not good

    2) A yuong boy in the well with the dedly snkes & some others bugs. not good.

    3) a young boy solled to the foregin country, for as servent(slebe). not good.

    4) without any wrong(He did not anything bad) put him in the jail. not good.

    But “God is good All the times” and God was with Joseph evry moments. He allowed this things to happens to this boy.

    Bcause He has a Great plans for Josephe’s file.

    Thanks Omar, for your post. I was thinkig when i have seen you put Joseph’s story in the site.
    than write the story all.

    I am praying for computer will have my own. and I wll lern more truth of God.



  3. Omar ,

    Thank you for posted my small notes in your online.


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