Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Genesis 50:22-26 NASB

"Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years.... And Joseph said to his brothers, 'I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you, and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.'  Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, 'God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.'  So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt."

As we come to the last chapter in Genesis, this passage is a marvelous account of Joseph's faith in the face of death.  Here's a man who has lived out his faith under extreme suffering on one hand and extreme success on the other, but whose faith was affected by neither.  You see, his faith wasn't determined by circumstances, but was rooted in God alone, no matter the circumstances.  Any other kind of faith will not only be tossed about, it will finally be tossed out.  We would all do well to pray, as William Bathurst expressed, "O for a faith that will not shrink, tho' pressed by every foe, that will not tremble on the brink of any earthly woe!  That will not murmur nor complain beneath the chastening rod, but, in the hour of grief or pain, will lean upon its God...Lord give such a faith as this; And then, whate'er may come, I'll taste, e'en now, the hallowed bliss of an eternal home.  Amen."  This faith looks to the ways of God and declares His goodness. It says, "Yes He cares!" This faith looks at the word of God and declares His greatness. It says "Yes He can!" And so, on his death bed, Joseph's faith looks above and smiles because it can see ahead and, in essence, he says to his brothers, "There's another chapter to this story God is writing and I aim to be a part of it!  God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here."   Some four hundred years later, the children of Israel carried Joseph's bones with them out of Egypt and into Canaan.  He, being dead, still spoke faith to those who came behind him.  When we're dead and gone, what will we still speak to those who come behind us?

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