22nd February 2023
22nd February 2023
Read - Genesis 50:22-26 & Hebrews 11:22
Message Alan Burke
A couple of weeks ago I was out with someone and they suggested since I like my history that I should watch the BBC’s “Back in time for…” series. Low and behold I watched Back in Time for Birmingham which looks at the economic migration of many of those first immigrants and documented the changes throughout the decades to the 2000s’. It documents how families who often came here with nothing built lives for themselves in a place that was far from their home but became their home. It is a story that is repeated to this day people come to these shores to make a new life. We may overlook it but that is the reason why God’s people the Israelites ended up in Egypt. They were there because there was a famine in the land and God by His providential guiding had used the evil actions of Jospeh’s brothers to lead his family to Egypt.
By the time of Joseph’s death the people of God had been in Egypt for some two, going on three generations, it was their home. At this stage things weren’t bad for the people of God there because of Joseph they were well treated, we are told in Genesis 47 that “the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.” (47:27). Acts 7 also tell us “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt” (Ac 7:17). God’s people flourished, yet so often we have in the back of our head the beginning of Exodus, when the then new king arrived, things changed, all of a sudden a life of comfort was no longer comfortable, it was bitter, there is an insightful comment form Pharaoh in Exodus 1:10, that gives us the reason why they were dealt with shrewdly. Pharaoh saw how if “they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land“ “Ex 1:10”.
But at this stage the people of God had settled, they were in Egypt, they were prosperous, they were living there and they seemed to have no intention of going home. In the midst of this Jospeh aware that his time was short gathered his family around him and made his last request, he wanted to go to the promised land. Jospeh was looking to God’s promises to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob, the promises that were given to his father, his grandfather and his great grandfather. He learnt of the promises of God and in verse 24, as he was about to die he told them “God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob". Joseph was prophetically looking to what God would do, for even though God’s people had settled in Egypt, even though it had been good for them, a place where their prospered, it was not their home, it was never going to be, or rather it never should have been for so long but many of them forgot the promises of God with the worldly comfort they had. The Lord God himself would act to bring his people out of Egypt.
This request shows that Jospeh was not only a man who lived by faith he also died in faith, at the end of his life was looking to the promises of God that were given to his father, Grandfather Isaac, and his great grandfather Abraham, Jospeh was one who “By faith when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones” By faith believed in the promises of God, even though they were in Egypt, even though it had been good for them, a place where their prospered, it was not their home, it was ever going to be, it was not the land of Promise and God had something better of his people but it required faith, as Hebrews 11:1 reminds us Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1). Jospeh was looking forward to the hope that he had in God through Christ, he was holding fast to the promises of God in the midst of his life and we must do the same.
Q83 Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others. (Ezek. 8:6,13,15, 1 John 5:16, Ps. 78:17,32,56)
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