Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham Isaac and Jacob.” And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
As we come to the conclusion of these meditations in the Book of Genesis the theme that God has all things in his hand and is unchangeably faithful closes the book. It took 400 years (Genesis 15.13) for Joseph’s prophecy to be fulfilled and we are not told why it took so long. But we have seen that at each stage of the account from Creation onwards God has been intimately involved with his people leading, guiding, bearing with their failures, changing them and demonstrating that his ways are often beyond our understanding.
There have been glorious high points in the book and miserable lows. We have seen dysfunctional families and sinful people. We have seen lives changed and been reminded on a number of occasions that ‘failure is not final’ and that God’s plans and purposes cannot be blown off course. We have passed over much but I trust you will be encouraged to ‘dig deeper’. We have seen the 12 sons of Jacob, with all their failures, being the foundation of the 12 Tribes who will take the land of Canaan under God’s direction in spite of their many failings and in Jacob’s blessing of his sons in chapter 49 insights into what was yet to be.
In particular his ‘blessing’ of Judah, although the Hebrew is very difficult, points to the King who would come from the line of David. Look for that theme to be repeated again and again till it becomes reality with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 1.1-5 tells us that just 70 people (the descendants of Jacob) went down into Egypt and when God brought his people out of Egypt back to the Promised land they numbered between one and two million!
God’s promises to Abraham were on course!
Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible. Matthew Henry described the book as ‘The Seed Plot of the Bible’ for without where we are today cannot be properly be understood.
So let us take heart and thank God that he uses us, warts and all, for his purposes and his glory.