Archive for July 27th, 2011

Genesis 50

Genesis 50 ends the first book of the Old Testament.  Jacob is dead and now Joseph is left to keep his request – to take him back to the home land and bury him there.  Joseph had his servants prepare Jacobs body “and the Egyptians wept for him seventy days”.  They knew how to mourn a loss.  Joseph goes to Pharaoh to appeal for some time to make the trip which Pharaoh grants with Joseph’s promise to return.  Joseph’s request was “let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return”.  Undoubtedly Pharaoh has some apprehension about letting his number two man go – but he knows it is important to everyone.

So Joseph takes off “with a very great company” and they begin their journey. After they cross the Jordan they “lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days”.  Are you doing the math here – it is like 77 plus days so far of mourning – and they are still on the journey.  They get to the place Jacob had asked to be buried and “his sons did for him as he had commanded them….carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah”.  Long trip but the group does as Jacob requested and now he is buried in Canaan with his ancestors.

But the brothers are now wondering what is ahead for them since dad is now dead and buried.  They were worried that with Jacob out of the picture Joseph may take out some hostility toward them for what they had done years ago.  So they came to Joseph and said: “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you”.  They really are fearful.  But the response they got was likely not what they expected.  “Joseph wept when they spoke to him” and then he said “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….So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones”.  Some of the most famous words in all of scripture – you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.  Joseph understood that God’s plan trumps any human plan.  God’s plan is always the plan that wins out.  He is truly aligned with the Master’s plan and realizes that the evil was turned to good!

So asvJoseph shares his heart, “he comforted them and spoke kindly to them”.  He had every right to be upset and to take revenge if you ask the world.  But Joseph chose to love and forgive.  He chose to enjoy life and follow God’s plan.  And as a result he was the main man in Egypt and lived a blessed life which included living to be 110 years old. He also “saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation”.  He was a very blessed great-great grandpa.  As he prepares to die, he asks his sons to listen as he told them “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up  my bones from here”.  He knew there was much more to the story!

%d bloggers like this: