Friday, September 9

By Faith Joseph

This is the eleventh post in a series from Hebrews 11. You'll find all the posts done so far in this series listed here.

Joseph, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob before him, demonstrated that even as he was dying, he was confident that God would continue to work to fulfill his promises.
By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his burial. (Hebrews 11:22 NET)

The author of Hebrews points out that Joseph mentioning the exodus of Israel was an act of faith. Here's what Joseph said to his brothers:
"I am about to die. But God will surely come to you and lead you up from this land to the land he swore on oath to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely come to you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.”(Genesis 50:24, 25 NET)
On his death bed, Joseph was looking forward to God's intervention to accomplish the things he'd sworn to do. Based on his certainty that God would work in this way, Joseph made his brothers swear an oath to take his body into the promised land with them when God led them out of Egypt.

Joseph had lived all of his adult life in Egypt and he had a pretty good thing going there, including a powerful position and the wealth that went along with it. Yet he didn't identify himself with the Egyptians, but rather, he identified with his people--God's people--and he counted the land God promised to his fathers as his own true land, so Joseph wanted to be buried with God's people in the land of promise.

As Joseph was dying, he looked with certainty toward things that did not yet exist in this world, things that were yet to be called into existence by God. He was one of the "people of old" who was sure of what he hoped for, who was convinced of what he did not see, and he was commended by God for it.

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