Genesis 50:22-25Amplified Bible
Death of Joseph
22 Now Joseph lived [remained] in Egypt, he and his father’s household, and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children; also the children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born and raised on Joseph’s knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up out of this land to the land which He promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob [to give you].” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel (Jacob) swear [an oath], saying, “God will surely visit you and take care of you [returning you to Canaan], and [when that happens] you shall carry my bones up from here.”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
As near as I can calculate, roughly 65 years of Joseph’s later life are summarized by Genesis 50 verse 22: “Joseph lived [remained] in Egypt…..”
Presumably, these were quieter times than the recorded drama of his early days.
But these 65 “remaining” years are definitely not to be considered pointless.
Considering these “remaining” years in the life of Joseph causes us to reflect:
Whatever age we are in this exact moment, we must ask ourselves; “What, Who, are we living for? What are we planning to do with the time God has given us?”
It’s far too easy to spend our lives chasing earthbound horizons such as career success, financial stability, or comfortable luxuries.
The myths of these things is seductive: life is about slaving at your job as long as you can in order to build, edify, add on to the nest in which you plan to settle down—that the most essential purpose of life is to prepare for our retirements.
Just at the point when believers are often in a position—financially, physically, emotionally, socially—to free up that incredibly elusive amount of time to serve God’s kingdom, they start to talk “just wanting a period of rest, hibernation.”
As devoted, obedient and steadfast followers of our Lord, Savior and King Jesus, we must ‘minimize our footprint’, to not live as though this world is all there is.
John 3:28-30 admonishes and teaches us we have a humble, limited role in life.
“28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I stated, ‘I am not the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ but, ‘I have [only] been sent ahead of Him [as His appointed forerunner and messenger to announce and proclaim His coming].’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens to him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this pleasure and joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease.“
Yet some of us cannot, will not say with integrity, “There is more than just this life,” because everything we are doing with our time, talents, and money seems to be saying, “This is it! Done! That’s why I am working up to 60 hours a week.”
“That’s why I don’t come home or take a vacation.”
“That’s why I missed church again last Sunday.”
“That’s why I don’t make time and take risks to serve and to share the gospel with my neighbors.”
“Because this is it.”
Being “my working myself into the grave for a lifetime of rust worthy material things which I can never hope to ‘stuff into my coffin’ to take with me anyway.”
It is wonderful thing to have a dynamic, hard core, faith-filled, vibrant and unwavering faith when we are in the center of a whirlwind of a battle; it’s a whole new challenge to live a life of steady obedience through daily routine.
For a life to be well spent—especially as it relates to our resources and legacy—we must consider not just what we want in life but what we ought to do with life.
We need a vision of the heavenly horizon.
Joseph had a purpose for his life and for those final, quieter years.
His vision was set for a time and place and ‘life’ beyond the borders of Egypt.
He was neither centered or focused on himself; he was responsible for ensuring his children and his children’s children did not settle down too comfortably in Egypt but instead remained unsettled enough so they would be more desirous of a significantly better life and might truly settle one day in the promised land.
24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up out of this land to the land which He promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob [to give you].” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel (Jacob) swear [an oath], saying, “God will surely visit you and take care of you [returning you to Canaan], and [when that happens] you shall carry my bones up from here.”
Joseph said to his brothers:
“but God will surely take care of you and bring you up out of this land which He promised to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob [to give you.]”
then Joseph made the sons of Israel (Jacob) to swear [an oath] saying to future generations – God will surely visit you and God will surely take care of you and surely be returning you to Canaan – the promised land – God WILL do all this!
God turned an early life of great life threatening negativity, given him peace, prestige, and prosperity in Egypt—everything that so many of us chase today.
Yet he had always kept his eyes and his soul and heart, looking beyond Egypt.
He truly knew Egypt was not where he, or any of God’s people, truly belonged.
The man, Master Rabbi Jesus, communicated this, his “last will and testament” to His disciples in the Upper Room during those fateful final hours of his life:
John 14:1-3Amplified Bible
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.
Apostle Paul would, just several years later, would echo the very same thought:
Philippians 3:12-14Amplified Bible
12 Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on [a]so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. 13 [b]Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Joseph knew by his steadfast and immovable faith that he was not yet home!
The man, Master Rabbi Jesus knew we were not yet home – Just believe on Him!
Apostle Paul knew, communicated – we can live with eternity deep in our souls.
We too must live in such a prophetic way that we help our loved ones and our own hearts to “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16).
Whatever you have or do not have ‘rusting away’ today, you are not yet home.
John 10:9-10Amplified Bible
9 I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].
There is absolutely abundantly more, absolutely, abundantly better, than this.
Be sure that your abundance of time, talents, and money reflect that knowledge.
This place called planet earth is not, was never meant to be, our forever home!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Lord, my teacher, I’m often confused when I need to make important decisions about my work, my relationships, my health, or finances. Show me the way I should go when I don’t know which way to turn. Help me remember to come to you, rather than trying to figure everything out on my own. Guide me along the best pathway for my life. Advise me and watch over me. Help me to listen to your guidance and not resist it. I thank you that your unfailing love surrounds those who trust you. Amen