On Hebrews 11: Joseph

By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones – Heb 11:22.

Read: Genesis 50:22-26 and Joshua 24:32

Interact: Why did it matter so much to Joseph to have his bones taken out of Egypt? What was Joseph anticipating to happen some time in the future?

Reflect: In his final words before he died, Joseph offered this last wish: When the Israelites leave Egypt one day, take my bones with you. It’s a strange request to us when we read it, but even more so when we consider that in Egypt he was royalty, second in command behind Pharaoh himself. He would have had the most elegant of burial surroundings. Maybe he would even have gotten his own pyramid to be buried in. Instead, he asks the Israelites to hold on to his remains and take them out of Egypt. As it happens, that is some 400 years later. The important question here: Why? Why would this matter so much to Joseph? Joseph knew that Egypt wasn’t the land God promised forever. He knew his future lied somewhere else… somewhere better. He knew that the Israelites would, one day, inherit that good land.

Faith in Christ doesn’t promise us avoidance of physical death. Joseph died. So will you and I one day. That is the penalty for our sin. But in Christ, death is not our final destiny. Just as Egypt wasn’t Joseph’s home, neither is this world our home. Egypt wasn’t Joseph’s inheritance and this world isn’t ours. Joseph’s inheritance… and our inheritance… is somewhere better. Our home and our inheritance is life eternal in the presence of God, in the real Promised Land.

Respond: In what are you placing your hope? What is your deepest longing for the future? Where do you find your destiny? Pray, asking God to give you, this week, a taste of our final destiny and our eternal inheritance that we have in Christ.

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