3rd December 2022
Read (Hebrews 11v22)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
Jacob's son Joseph lived until he was 110 spending the rest of his days in Egypt. Additionally he was blessed by seeing multiple generations of his family. But as each of us knows, death cannot be avoided. Joseph knew that his death was about to arrive and so he spoke words of truth to his brothers. The family at this stage were well settled in Egypt but Joseph reminded them that God’s promise still stood.
Joseph said “I am about to die, but 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 had done well in Egypt. The Lord had blessed him with much favour and yet in his bones, Joseph knew that God’s plans for his people would not be fulfilled in the land of the Sphinx. One day God would visit His people in Egypt and bring them home.
Joseph wouldn’t live to see the glorious day but regardless he looked to it by faith. He made his brothers swear that they wouldn’t leave him in Egypt. After his death he was embalmed and placed in a coffin but one day Jospeh wanted his remains to go to the land of promise. He impressed upon his brothers “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
We can only imagine what Joseph’s life was like. The Scriptures paint a vivid picture but our minds are limited and time travel to see for ourselves is impossible. Regardless, we have much in common with Joseph of which we can be sure. Joseph was a man of faith who died without seeing the fulfilment of God’s promises. He died in a foreign land without setting foot in the land of promise ever again. Yet his faith did not waver and he was filled with a righteous anticipation that all things would be as God had promised.
I have no idea about the when, where or how of my death. I could currently be in the final year of my life or I might see my 100th birthday. Equally, the Lord may return before I breathe my last. As we gaze into the future we do not have all the information but with eyes of faith we can be sure that the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ.
At death we can be sure that our souls will be made perfect and go to be with Christ. During the intermediate state (the time between our death and resurrection) we will know unspeakable joy. At the second coming of Jesus we can be sure that our bodies will be raised imperishable and reunited with our soul. In eternity we can be sure that we will dwell with Christ forever in a world without sin.
None of this is “pie in the sky” nor should we be pitied for believing idle tales. God has promised and it will be so. Like Joseph, we believe even though we do not yet see in full, but a day is coming when our faith will be turned to sight. Until then we cling to the promises of God. On occasion we will cry “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9v24) but even so the Lord will remain faithful and He will preserve us until we cross the finish line. What a day that will be! We'll be finally home! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Q14 What is sin? Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.