By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
( Gen.50:24,25 ) And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Eventually, Joseph was sold again, this time to an official of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Because of Joseph’s faithfulness to God, however he was given a top-ranking position in Egypt. Although Joseph could have used that position to build a personal empire,he remembered God’s promise to Abraham. after he had been reconciled to his brothers, Joseph brought his family to be near him and requested that his bones be taken to the promised land when the Jews eventually left Egypt . Faith means trusting in God and doing what he wants, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.
Joseph’s journey to leadership in Egypt was marked by alternating battles and blessings. His brothers had betrayed him and sold him into slavery. “Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers…sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt” (Genesis 37:28). Soon, Joseph found blessing under the care of Potiphar, an Egyptian captain who purchased him. “And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put in his hand” (Genesis 39:3-4).
Yet, another battle arose. Joseph was imprisoned when Potiphar’s wife lied. She resented Joseph’s refusal of her sensual advances. “‘He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice’…Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison” (Genesis 39:14, 20). But, more blessing came as the Lord granted Joseph favor with the prison keeper. “And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners…because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper” (Genesis 39:22-23). Another spiritual battle ensued, as one of Pharoah’s servants forgot Joseph’s kindness to him in prison. “The chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream” (Genesis 40:23-41:1). Joseph’s interpretation of Pharoah’s dream would bring Joseph to his position of authority in Egypt. “You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you” (Genesis 41:40).
Faith in the Lord certainly sustained Joseph and brought him to God’s desired place of service and opportunity. Yet, our present verse reveals that Joseph’s basic interest was not his own blessing and advancement. Joseph had a heart for the plans and purposes of God. As he viewed the future, he was convinced that the Lord would some day bring His people back to the land of promise. His request to have his bones buried in the land of promise was an expression of his faith in God’s promises. “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here” (Genesis 50:25).
Lord God of eternity, as I alternate between the battles and blessings of life, help me to view the future by faith. Remind me that Your everlasting purposes can guide and shape my temporal circumstances, in Jesus’ name, Amen.