Friday, December 9, 2011

Genesis 50:1-14

I can’t believe we are actually at the final chapter of Genesis. I have been looking forward to this one since we started this book in January! It has one of the best passages in the Bible! However, before we get to that, we will be talking about the mourning for Jacob.

When Jacob died, Joseph took charge of all of the funeral details. He arranged for the embalming (which took 40 days) and the transportation up to Canaan for burial. Jacob was given the VIP treatment in death.

So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt— besides all the members of Joseph’s household and his brothers and those belonging to his father’s household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company. (Genesis 50:7-9)

This was quite an entourage accompanying Jacob’s body! I love the understatement of the last sentence in verse 9! In those days, you could judge the importance of the departed by the number of days of mourning. The third verse of this chapter tells us the Egyptians mourned Jacob for forty days even before heading up to Canaan. After reaching the burial site, they observed another seven days of mourning, with loud and bitter lamenting (verse 10).

Jon Courson points out that the importance given to Jacob at this time was really because of his relationship to his son, Joseph, who is a type of Jesus in the Bible. So, we are reminded that our worth is directly tied to our relationship to THE Son, also. Courson writes, “Thus, whatever happens in our lives presently and at the end of our lives ultimately will be based not on what we have done or haven’t done - but on our linkage to God’s Son.” (Application Commentary: Old Testament P.225)

The theme in my classroom is “Make Good Choices,” and I am always telling my students how important their choices are in their lives. Most major decisions at this point in their lives are made for them, and they have little or no say (where they live, whether or not Mom and Dad will stay together, etc.). However, they always have a choice in how they respond to their circumstances. The one BIG choice they control at this point is who their friends will be. As they head into middle school, I tell them that who they “hang” with is one of the biggest decisions they make - because they will be known by the friends they keep!

Even as adults, we, too, are known by our friends. If we choose to “hang” with the world - those people who have no interest in the things of God - we will be considered worldly. However, if we choose to spend our time developing our relationship with the Son, we will be identified as His. At this time of the year, it takes a conscious effort to “hang” with Jesus and to not be pulled into the busyness of the season. Let’s choose to start our days with Him and to be mindful of His presence (not “presents”) all day long. I can guarantee that the more time we spend with Him, the more people will recognize our relationship to Him.

Stay tuned - the next lessons are the most exciting in Genesis!!


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