Genesis 49:28-33: Living hope

“All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him. 29 Then he gave them these instructions: ‘I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.’33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” NIV

Jacob surely looked forward to something greater than just being buried with his ancestors. There is perhaps more than a hint of another anticipated reality – a loving reunion with other members of the family of faith. There is something lovely about the repeated expression: ’’…gathered to my people…gathered to his people’’ (29, 33).

Jacob wanted to be buried in the land of promise (not in Egypt), showing his faith in the Word of God. He believed it could not fail.

A friend, approaching retirement years, said this in my hearing, ‘I want to finish well.’ Jacob surely did: dying with faith and hope, witnessing to God to the very end.

PRAYER: Lord, please help us all to finish well, trusting in your Word, glorifying you, and eagerly looking forward to the world to come.