There is a biblical sandwich in this story, there is death in the beginning and in the end. Then in the middle a story about Joseph’s brothers and their doubts concerning him. The most fascinating lesson that I draw from this lesson is the faith of Jacob and Joseph. Even in their sleep (death) they acted in faith that they
Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him, and kissed him. 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Forty days were required for him, for such are the days required for those who are embalmed; and the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.4 Now when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the hearing of Pharaoh, saying, 5 ‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am dying; in my grave which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come back.’”
6 And Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 as well as all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds they left in the land of Goshen. 9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen, and it was a very great gathering.
10 Then they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and they mourned there with a great and very solemn lamentation. He observed seven days of mourning for his father. 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a deep mourning of the Egyptians.” Therefore its name was called Abel Mizraim,[a] which is beyond the Jordan.
12 So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them. 13 For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place. 14 And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father.
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Death of Joseph
22 So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph’s knees.
24 And Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26 So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Lets break this chapter into 2 main points.
1. Do you find interesting that Jacob wanted to be buried with his fathers and that Joseph also wanted his bones to be taken to the promised land? Hebrews 11:10 they “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” The patriarchs lived in this world like visitor. They knew that this was not their home. Can you imagine the most beautiful place to be at during the return of Jesus? I have heard that it will be at the cemeteries. Imagine all those people that will be raised up from the graves. Husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sister will be reunited at the precious event. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph will be together again. Stop and picture it. Do you believe in the resurrection? They did and the planned for it. Do you live like you are planning for it? It is the “blessed hope” part of the Everlasting Gospel.
2. Joseph’s brothers teach us about human psychology. Have you ever done something that you regretted and then confessed it. But you really wonder that if that person has forgiven you or maybe if God has forgiven you? That’s how Joseph brothers felt, even though they lived with Joseph all this time their conscious kept reminding them of what they have done. Even to the point that they were scared. Has that happen to you? It has to me, my mind reminds me all the time. For example, “maybe i should have not done that, did that person really notice, what is he/she going to do. Is God really going to forgive me, can He really change me”. We get all worked up. The brothers are so scared that they sent messengers to talk to Joseph but not only that they use Jacob words to saves themselves and want to become his servants. I love the way Joseph responds to them, even though he could have banished them he did not. He showed them how God has change his live. He reminded them that despite their evil actions God overruled and turn it for good even to save their lives. This is the way that God treats us. When we mess up if we come to Him in confession and by turning away from our sins. He forgives and does not treat us harshly. Always remember this; when others sin against you treat them like how Joseph treated his brothers and show them how God has changed your life.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.