Genesis 47: 27-31: A time to die.

“27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.’‘I will do as you say,’ he said.31 ‘Swear to me,’ he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.”NIV

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 says: ‘’There is…a time to be born and a time to die…’’

However long a life may stretch; or how great an individual may be, there will come a time to die. We are wise to make preparations for it. We have followed Jacob’s ‘journey’ through many years. We have seen his many character flaws (and identified with him!). We have watched with breath-taking wonder as God has patiently worked on him, and as he has learned to pray, to trust, to cling to God, to worship. When we come to face the end, don’t we want to be like Jacob, approaching death as worshippers? (31b; Hebrews 11:21).  The bones of Jacob’s ancestors, Isaac and Jacob, were already in the cave near Mamre, which Abraham had bought from the Hittites for a burial site (Genesis 23:17, 18). When Jacob died, Joseph and his brothers carried his body to Canaan, and buried it there (Genesis 50:12,13). He kept his word  Matthew Henry’s comment is helpful:

‘He would be buried in Canaan, because it was the land of promise, and because it was a type of heaven, that better country which he that said these things declared plainly that he was in expectation of, Heb. 11:14. He aimed at a good land, which would be his rest and bliss on the other side death.’

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the hope we have in you of a better land; and thank you for the grace which gets us there.