Today is our last day in the book of Genesis. For me, this has been a great “beginning.” This journey through through the Bible is only going to get better, more moving, more powerful, and more empowering as the year continues!
Day 29 reading: Genesis, chapters 48-50
Wow, today’s scripture passage makes pretty quick work of two main characters we’ve been studying in the previous days, Israel and Joseph. It’s interesting to me how some details in the Bible are so thorough and they’ll be followed by a few paragraphs that span decades.
The first piece of scripture that really grabbed me in today’s reading was from Joseph’s visit with his father, on Israel’s death bed,
Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” (48:11, NIV)
This one sentence makes a lump form in my throat so large I can hardly swallow. I lost my dear maternal grandparents before they were able to see our youngest daughter, and oh how I know they would be so tickled by her. But I console myself with the knowledge that they do see her, and all the children, every single day. I know they guard my children, my mother, and myself all the time and I know they see and care for everything we do. I miss them terribly, but I know they are smiling down on us and giggling every time one of the kids do something silly, are proud of their every accomplishment, and watch eagerly for us to right our wrongs.
When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew up his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people. (49:33, NIV)
So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. (50:12-13, NIV)
Then, after all that had been done for them, and all that Joseph had provided, and all the years together in Egypt, the brothers start to worry once again. Once their father had passed, they figured Joseph’s true feelings of hatred would come spilling out, so once again they tricked him, or attempted to.
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. (50:19-21, NIV)
And before we know it, Joseph is speaking his dying words to his brothers.
“God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” (50:25, NIV)
Even in death Joseph remained true to the path of the Lord. His concern was for his brothers, to reassure them that they would be provided for. Joseph’s life mirrored so well the life that a Christian should lead: one of grace and forgiveness even when human nature would return hate with hate. Joseph loved as we are each called to love, unconditionally.
Make it a great day,
In Day 30, we’ll dive into the book of Exodus, chapters 1-3