“My pilgrimage has lasted 130 years…”
When asked by Pharaoh about his age, Jacob gave this answer: “My pilgrimage has lasted 130 years. My years have been few and hard, and they have not reached the years of my fathers during their pilgrimages.” (Genesis 47:9, CSB)
Jacob’s answer gives us great insight to his perspective:
He comments on the quantity of years. To us, 130 years is a long life! But compared to Jacob’s father (Isaac; 180 years old) and grandfather (Abraham; 175 years old), his years were actually few.
He also comments on the quality of those years. Jacob’s life was hard and difficult. He lived through many trials and tribulations—some as the result of his own decisions; others the result of the choices of others.
But Jacob also uses an important word to define the totality of his life: pilgrimage. Jacob knew that he was just passing through. His eternal perspective let him see that the earth was not his home. Luz, Haran, Hebron, Bethel, the Promised Land, Egypt…these places were just stops along the way—not his final resting place.
What a great reminder! Like Jacob, we are pilgrims passing through. Compared to Heaven, the days of the years of our lives are few and hard as well. So we need to make the most of every opportunity (see Ephesians 5:16). Then, just after answering Pharaoh’s question, Jacob blessed Pharaoh—the most politically important and powerful man in the world at that time!
Like Jacob, when we see beyond our present placement and into eternity, we can summon up spiritual courage and step out in faith to bless others as opportunities arise. It might not be blessing a powerful person like Pharaoh—it might be much more important and impactful…like serving your family, blessing your children, or sharing the Gospel with your neighbors.
So remember, Pilgrim…this world is not your home.