Hebrews 11:22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
The Old Testament character Joseph is one of our favorite Bible characters. Many of our Bible School lessons focused on stories about his life—stories like
- His birth as the son of Jacob and his favorite wife Rachel
- His dreams which caused him to be hated by his brothers and eventually sold into slavery in Egypt
- His service in Potiphar’s house—rising to be the chief steward of Potiphar’s house
- Potiphar’s wife falsely accusing Joseph of adultery and having him thrown into prison
- His rising to the top position in the prison, being in charge of all the prisoners
- His interpreting dreams for Pharaoh’s servants, and then being forgotten by them
- His interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams about coming famine and being placed in the highest position in Egypt under Pharaoh
- His brothers coming to Egypt to buy food from him, and their bowing down to him just like his dream had foretold
In spite of all these great stories about Joseph’s life, when the writer of Hebrews wrote that great chapter we refer to as the “Hall of Fame of Faith” (Hebrews 11), he included Joseph but didn’t mention any of these stories. The thing that impressed the Hebrew writer was that at the end of Joseph’s life, he didn’t speak about his accomplishments or his position at the top of the greatest nation on earth in his day, he spoke about the exodus from Egypt and wanted to make sure his bones didn’t get left behind in Egypt.
Even though the exodus from Egypt didn’t happen for hundreds of years after Joseph’s death, he still trusted in the promise that God had made to his great-grandfather to give the land of Canaan to his people. Joseph’s greatest accomplishments came in Egypt, but he still trusted God’s promise and he didn’t want even his bones to be left behind in Egypt. He saw the big picture and he trusted God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as our world faces this panic regarding the Coronavirus, may we keep our eyes on the promises you made that nothing can separate us from you and that you will make all things work together for good to all of us who trust in you and who respond to your call. May we see the big picture that you are in control and you care for us.