Read Genesis 50:15-26
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15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s house. Joseph lived for 110 years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph’s own. 24 And Joseph said to his brothers, “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.” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Thoughts to consider
The closing chapter of Genesis recounts the end of Joseph’s life in Egypt. Beautifully, Joseph ended his life just as he lived it, as a man of grace and kindness who reassured his brothers of his love for and forgiveness of them. Joseph lived to be 110 and got to see his grandchildren down to a third generation. Before dying Joseph reiterated his faith in God’s promises to Abraham (Genesis 15:13) and in about 400 years his family would leave Egypt under God’s mighty hand to return to the Promised Land which is explained further in the book of Joshua. Not wanting to remain in Egypt but instead to be buried with his father Jacob, grandfather Isaac, and great grandfather Abraham Joseph in faith instructed his brothers that when their small family had become a mighty nation of a few million people that their descendants would carry his bones to the Promised Land. Joseph’s request was fulfilled in Joshua 24:32. Joseph died and it seems that there was never a more godly or faithful man in human history until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Joseph, Jesus loved those who hated him and suffered unjustly at the hands of those who were jealous of his fame and glory. But, like the days of Joseph, what sinners meant for evil was used by God for good as He originally intended creation to be, and the saving of many lives through Jesus (Genesis 50:20).
- Spend some time thinking about some of the characters you have read about in this study of Genesis. They were ordinary, sinful people just like you and I and yet God did great things through them.
- Ask God to do great things through you and commit yourself to following his purposes faithfully every day of your life.
Father I thank you once again that you want to use ordinary people like me to achieve your purposes in this world. I pray you will lead me and fill me with your Holy Spirit today so that I can achieve everything you have planned for me. I thank you again for Jesus who made all of this possible. I pray in His mighty name, amen