Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday, August 15th Genesis 50

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Job 11-12, Psalm 142, Galatians 1
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 50

Genesis 50 English Standard Version (ESV)

50 Then Joseph fell on his father's face and wept over him and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.
And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, ‘My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return.’” And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.” So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen.And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. 12 Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them, 13 for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

God's Good Purposes

15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's house. Joseph lived 110 years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph's own. 24 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Accompanying sermon by Bob Deffinbaugh: The End of an Era

The deaths and burials of Jacob and Joseph are both a testimony to their faith, as well as an encouragement to the faith of their offspring.

Jacob’s death occasioned a journey to Canaan where the Israelites once again beheld the land of promise to which they (in their offspring) would return at the exodus. The burial of Jacob reminded his descendants of their final home, and that Egypt was only a place of sojourn.

Joseph, on the other hand, was a continual reminder that some day the exodus would occur. Day after day in Egypt, that coffin spoke of Israel’s future and Joseph’s faith. And day after weary day, the Israelites trudged through the wilderness carrying the casket of Joseph.

Consider how the book of Genesis begins in a garden of perfection, but ends with two funerals.


1) The end of Genesis is not the end of the Bible.  The Bible, in fact, ends looking forward to the ultimate perfection of heaven.
2) Death is not the end.  It is the end of our physical lives, but it is only the beginning (or continuing would be correct) of our eternal lives.

This reminds me of the recent suicide of Robin Williams and all the many comments and articles that have flooded the internet in recent days. The thing I had thought of immediately is that most people who commit suicide likely do so because they feel that life can't get any worse and death would end their pain.  Sadly, this is an incorrect conclusion.  Suicide plunges its victim into irreversible judgment, and if they are not believers, death is no relief, but rather an escalation of pain that will truly be never-ending.

Here, Moses lets us know that death is not the end.  Something Jacob finally comes to realize at the end of his life.

The expression, “to be gathered to his people” was no mere euphemism for death; it was an ancient expression of the patriarchs hope of life after death. These men found little comfort in having their bones in close proximity to those of other relatives. They viewed their death as the occasion to be rejoined with those whose death had separated the living from the dead.

When our Lord quoted the statement of God the Father, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Matthew 22:32), He did so to prove there is life after death. For, otherwise, He would have said “I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”!

May I suggest to you that the way you view death makes all the difference in the world. If it is the end of everything, then there is not any need to seek heaven or to shun hell. Suicide is a tempting option whenever life doesn’t seem to be going our way. If there is no life after death, the world is right when it says that we should “… eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

But if we view death as a beginning rather than the end, then what lies after death must surely compel us to face eternity squarely, before death. And, once we are rightly related to God by faith in His Son, we need not fear death. We need not avoid talking about it. And, in one sense, we can welcome it, for it promises us a time when we shall be intimately and eternally with God and with those in the faith who have been separated from us by death.....

Let us look at death as Jacob and Joseph. Let us see it not as the end, but the beginning. Let us, by faith, look forward to being reunited with those we love (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) and dwelling with our Savior (John 14:1-3), forever in His presence and experiencing the things he has prepared for us.

I can't believe we're done the Book of Genesis - I've really enjoyed studying more about the book of beginnings.   Looking forward to spending a few days in the Psalms before moving on to Mark.  Guess I better get on with finishing the schedule for the rest of the year!

Monday's scripture focus: Psalm 4
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 13-14
Sunday's passage: Job 15-16
Monday's passage: Job 17-18, Psalm 143, Galatians 2

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