Biblical Last Words: Joseph Promises

Biblical Last Words: Joseph Promises

Biblical Last Words: Joseph Promises.

“And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Soon I am going to die; and God will surely come to help you and lead you out of this land of Egypt. He will bring you to the land He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob… God will visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” (Genesis 50:24).

Joseph’s life journey had been unpredictable. From being the spoiled favorite of his father Jacob, to the rejected brother stewing in a pit. From being an immature dreamer to actually having those dreams fulfilled. From being sold into slavery to becoming the Prime Minister of Egypt. During a time of extreme famine, Joseph offered to his brothers historic and profound words of forgiveness. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. So don’t be afraid.” And with those words, Joseph made good on his promise and provided a fruitful piece of property in Egypt, the land of Goshen. The extended family of Joseph, including his 130-year-old father Jacob, could now live in peace with a self-sustaining livelihood that would allow them to flourish.

But now, after a long successful stint as an important official in the Egyptian government, the time has come for Joseph to die. On his deathbed, he receives a word of knowledge from God. Joseph prophesies that after a time, the Lord will come to help the Israelites escape from Egypt and will lead them to the Promised Land, the land that God had promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph’s last words were a vision of his family leaving Egypt  and heading to Canaan. He then made the sons of Israel swear that they would take his bones out of Egypt when they left. Joseph knows that Egypt is not his homeland. His true home is the land promised to his fathers. And sure enough, 400 years later, they carried Joseph’s bones on their march through the Red Sea, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land. “God led the people round by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this.” (Exodus 13:18-19).

And sure enough, the Israelites were faithful in completing their historic promise to Joseph. “The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought along with them when they left Egypt, were buried in the plot of land Jacob had bought, located in the territory allotted to the descendants of Joseph.” (Joshua 24:32).

Joseph’s last words were intended to encourage his brothers and by extension the Israelite families. Joseph made a promise that the Lord would visit them and help them in due time. Joseph wanted to depart with a word of hope for his extended family, that God would not forget them, God would notice and take action when the time is right. In his final words, Joseph envisioned a national salvation and homecoming for his family by the hand of God.