READING: Genesis 47-50
“God will certainly come to your aid.”
The first book of the Bible ends much differently than it begins. It commences with God’s eternal existence simply announced, and it ends with the deaths of two of the patriarchs:
- “When Jacob had finished giving charges to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, took his last breath, and was gathered to his people.” (Gen. 49:33)
- “Joseph died at the age of 110. They embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.” (Gen. 50:26)
By the end of the book, the peace of the Garden of Eden had become conflict, joy had become grief, relationships had been broken, and life had become death. Sin had taken its toll on the earth, evidenced even in lives that once were hundreds of years old now characterized by Joseph’s 110 years. Even the people of God died.
Were these lives the end of the story, in fact, this history of a people first centered in Israel would have been only a footnote in history. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, however, was hardly a footnote; He is the beginning, the sustainer, and the goal of history. He is the “Alpha and the Omega . . . the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8); indeed, “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). Death may have marked the world by Genesis 50, but the God of life reigned over that world. A new chapter of the story was about to begin.
Even Joseph knew the story was not over: “I am about to die, but God will certainly come to your aid and bring you up from this land to the land he swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . . When God comes to your aid, you are to carry my bones up from here” (Gen. 50:24-25). In the meantime, God would be raising up His next leader to carry out His plan – and somehow, under the grace of God, you and I get to be a part of the plan even today.
- Thank God that you are a part of His plan if you are a believer.
- Thank Him that your life rests in His hands.
PRAYER: “God, thank You that You accomplish Your plan. Thank You for coming to my aid.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Review of Genesis 30-50