Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10
3 burials are mentioned in Genesis 50. The burial of Jacob, the burial of the past, and the burial of Joseph.
Jacob refused to be buried in Egypt expressing the fact that he believed in God’s promise to him and his descendants, that one day they would inherit the Promised-Land. Faith is able to see God’s promises when circumstances show otherwise, and even when those dreams try dying, faith never does.
The Egyptians way of embalming the bodies, elaborate coffins, and extended mourning, are contrasted to the basic burials of the Jews. Warren Wiersbe said this, “It is instructive to contrast the simple Jewish funerals with the elaborate burial customs of the Egyptians. There is certainly nothing wrong with caring for the body and expressing grief, so long as we keep things in perspective.”
The following timeline of Jacob’s life surprises most people, especially the fact that he wasn’t married until he was 84.
When Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers feared for their lives, but Joseph had truly forgiven them from the bottom of his heart. He was also open to the obvious, that God had allowed it for good. It’s the Old Testament rendition of Romans 8:28!
Genesis 50:20 (NKJV) “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
What a wonderful example of forgiveness, there wasn’t a bit of bitterness in Joseph’s heart. Is there any in ours? Not only did Joseph extend mercy to his brothers, by not giving them what they deserved, he lavished them with grace, by promising to provide for them and their little ones…he spoke kindly to them and comforted them. (Genesis 50:21)
When Joseph passed away he too, clung to the promise of the Promised-Land and asked that his bones be buried there.
Genesis 50:25 (NKJV) “Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, ‘God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.’”
The New Testament commentary tells us he did this by faith.
Hebrews 11:22 (NKJV) “By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.”
In the book of Exodus things begin to change for Israel. There arises a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph and therefore the Jews lost their favor, they became slaves in Egypt. Part of the reason they were placed in bondage was because of the fact that there was a population explosion among the Jews, and the Egyptians were afraid (Exodus 1:7-9).
The Jews however, would “grow” through (and in spite of) these afflictions. We read in:
Exodus 1:12 (NKJV) “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.”
We see that truth throughout the narrative, the enemy opposes and fights to have his way, but he can’t stop the plans and purposes of God. As a matter of fact, I’ve always found it both fascinating and encouraging to see that God can even take the so-called strategy of Satan and use it for good. Here we read of Pharaoh’s final plan to destroy Israel by commanding the people to cast the Jewish boys into the river, but God used that very action to place Moses in the Euphrates, have him float to Pharaoh’s daughter, who would teach him to read and write and lead, and then raise him up to defeat the Egyptians and deliver the people of God. Wow! Truly, no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
Time and space prohibits me to comment on every verse in this section of Scripture – but O how rich it is!
The most important question anyone will ever have to answer is “Who do you say Jesus is?” Is He a passing prophet, a typical teacher, a random rabbi? Was He just a good man? It’s infinitely important to realize that He was infinitely more than all of that, He was the God-man. Peter received that supernatural revelation from the Father and we read in:
Matthew 16:16 (NKJV) “Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
Jesus would build His church on that truth and expression of faith.
The Son of the living God speaks of His deity. The Christ speaks of Him fulfilling prophecy.
Christ (Christos) is the Greek version of the Hebrew title Messiah. It literally means “Anointed One.” In the Old Testament there were 3 offices that were anointed – Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus is the prophesied and anointed Prophet (Messenger), Priest (Mediator), and King (Monarch).
It’s noteworthy to see that a person can have God speak through him one minute, and the devil the next. This is what happened to the well-intentioned Peter (Matthew 16:23). We need to be so careful what we say and always be mindful of God. Peter was resisting God’s plan of life and redemption, he was horrified at the cross, and yet, that’s the call of all Christians!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood the invitation of Jesus, may I do the same, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.“ (more on Bonhoeffer)
At the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John were able to get a glimpse of Jesus’ glory. They also saw Moses and Elijah and somehow knew who they were. Luke 9:31 tells us that they were discussing Jesus’ upcoming death. I believe Moses represented the Law and Elijah represented the prophets.
Peter had fallen asleep, was awakened and didn’t know what to say according to Mark 9:6, so he blurted out a suggestion for three tabernacles, one for Moses, one for Elijah, and one for Jesus. It seems as if Peter was putting Jesus on equal plane with the others…so the Father interrupted.
Matthew 17:5 (NKJV) “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’”
The Father directed their attention to His Son whom He loved commanding them to hear (listen and obey) Him. He and His message would fulfill the Old Testament Law and Old Testament Prophets.
When Peter, James, and John heard the thunderous voice of the Father, they fell on their faces in absolute fear. But Jesus came and touched them, “Arise, do not be afraid.” We read next in:
Matthew 17:8 (NKJV) “When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”
Key words, “Jesus only.” Not three tabernacles – just one.
David praises God for how good the King has been to this king.
The Shepherd from that little town of Bethlehem was crowned with a crown of pure gold, ruling God’s people from Jerusalem. Wow!
The Lord had defeated all of David’s enemies (who also were God’s enemies) (Psalm 21:8-9).
Psalm 21:2 (NKJV) “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah”
The above passage inspires me to keep praying for the desires God has placed in my heart.
Psalm 21:11 (NKJV) “For they intended evil against You; they devised a plot which they are not able to perform.”
What a comforting truth!
We seem to always go back to:
Romans 8:31 (NKJV) “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Sexual sin softly and subtly takes its victims down to death; her steps lay hold of hell. (Proverbs 5:5) May we flee like Joseph did (Genesis 39:12) for we all will be tempted; don’t go anywhere near her door, don’t even glimpse at those images (not for a second), please – don’t ponder that path. (Proverbs 5:6)
Aren’t you grateful for God’s wonderful words of wisdom? I know I am.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.