Friday, December 30, 2011

Genesis 50:22-26

Well, we’ve come to the end of this wonderful book! It’s time to say goodbye to Joseph, who lived to be 110 years old, seeing the “third generation of Ephraim’s children.” (Gen 50:23). The older I get, the less attractive that seems to me! Don said something to me the other day about cutting back on my salt intake (I LOVE salty foods - you can keep the sweets - give me chips and nuts!), and I told him my goal is to go out in a blaze and NOT to live forever! Even if I don’t live to see great-grandchildren, I know they will be safe in God’s faithful hands, and I will eventually meet them in eternity!

Anyway, it is the end of Joseph’s life that wins him the mention in the Hebrews roll call of faith:

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. (Gen 50:24-26)

Joseph assures his brothers that God will “come to [their] aid” and lead them out of Egypt eventually, because God, the Promise Keeper, will keep His oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This family WILL enter the Promised Land. And Joseph is so sure of it that he instructs them to carry his bones with them. In Joshua 24:32 we find that Joseph’s bones were buried in Shechem, which is where, as a sharply dressed 17 year old, he went searching for his brothers! That just speaks to me of mercy! Amazing!

What do we find, at the end of the life of this amazing man, that God commends Joseph for? For his triumph over the temptation of Potiphar’s wife? For his great management skills in rescuing his family and all of Egypt during the famine? For his willingness to forgive his brothers? No, let’s look at what God commends in Hebrews 11:

By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. (verse 22)

It was his FAITH that God commended!

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

I’ll be harping on this verse throughout the next year, because God has really impressed upon me through this study how important our faith/belief is! That is why we will be moving into the gospel of John for 2012. It really struck me, when having a conversation the other day with a sweet young woman who claimed to have no belief system, that what we believe is ALL important. The correlation between Genesis and John is strong, so I really feel led to go back into the New Testament this coming year. I hope you will join me and bring some friends along, too!

2011 has been a year of extreme highs and lows, both globally and personally. We leave this year with the world still in political crisis: the remnants of revolutions in much of the Arab world, North Korea in flux, and Iran possibly ready with nuclear weapons, threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz! What will 2012 bring? We don’t know, but we DO know the One who holds our future - and He is trustworthy and faithful. So we can be at peace.

One final request for the year: will you all join me in praying for a dear young friend, Erin, who is currently in the hospital with contractions at 31 weeks into her first pregnancy? Please pray that God will hold her little one in that womb for the duration, because this little one is going to need open-heart surgery at birth, and needs all the time possible to develop! I’ll keep you updated!

Thanks for joining me in this journey through Genesis! I have learned so much and been so blessed by the stories of the amazing patriarchs! There is so much encouragement in their dysfunction for all of us! Our God is a merciful God who knows our frailties. His grace covers them all!!!

Blessings to you all!


1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a year Mom! Thanks for your faithfulness! Looking forward to how God uses you to encourage us through John...