I’m really excited about this new series! Each Wednesday for the next few weeks we will be looking at the dying words (or last recorded words) of some of our favorite biblical characters. We will discover what their words reveal about their faith and what we can learn from them.
Do you ever feel like God can’t make up His mind about what to do with your life? Perhaps things were going great in a specific direction, when suddenly something happened that sent your life in a completely different trajectory. Both tragedies and triumphs can bring this kind of overwhelming change. Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, surely had whiplash from all the drastic ups and downs he experienced in life. (You can read all of Joseph’s story in Exodus 37-50.)
Here’s a quick recap of Joseph’s roller coaster life:
- He began life as his father’s favorite, receiving special gifts and preferential treatment.
- Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery when he was a teenager and he was carried off to Egypt against his will.
- After earning the favor of his Egyptian master, Joseph was placed in charge of the entire household.
- Then a false accusation from his master’s wife landed him in prison.
- After a crazy twist of circumstances that could only be orchestrated by God Himself, Joseph rose to second-in-command of all of Egypt.
Is your head spinning? Mine is!
After all the crazy twists and turns, you might expect Joseph to doubt God’s sovereign control. Let’s visit the end of Joseph’s life and hear his dying words:
Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees. 24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” 26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. Genesis 50:22-26, NIV
Through the wild ride that was his life, Joseph learned that God was faithful to keep His promises. Even when circumstances would cause the strongest faith to doubt, Joseph clung to what he knew to be true about God. Since God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendents Joseph fully expected that God would bring his family out of Egypt one day. And dead or alive, he did not want to be left behind.
Have you ever experienced any huge life turns? Do you sometimes have trouble trusting God for the future?