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30. Family Matters

June 25, 2009

Text:   Genesis 49:29-50:26

Key Verses:   Genesis 50:19-21

Outline:                 I. Jacob Dies      Gen. 49:29-32

                                 II. Jacob is Honored      Gen. 50:1-14

                                III. Joseph’s Heart      Gen. 50:15-23

                                IV. Joseph’s Death      Gen. 50:24-26

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     It seems we could also include the first 8 verses of Exodus in this lesson too. What we have here, including Lesson 29, is an epilog of Genesis and a prologue for Exodus. In other words, a transition for the time between Jacob dying and Moses being born, a time of approximately 100 years according to the Reese Chronological Bible.

     Jacob is about to die so he requests that he be buried in Hebron next to Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah. It is interesting that he did not wish to be buried next to Rachel, his favorite wife, who was buried near Bethlehem. But then her death was unexpected and she was buried there for convenience since they were on the move. After giving these explicit instructions, Jacob dies.

     Joseph weeps over his father’s death and then takes charge, arranging for an Egyptian style preparation of the body [40 days] and mourning for 70 days. He requests leave of his duties from Pharaoh so he can carry out his father’s wishes. Pharaoh grants Joseph permission and help by sending his servants, elders, and chariots and horsemen with Joseph and his brothers. All the brothers went, including their households [servants], except for the children and animals. The Canaanites were impressed by such a large company of Egyptians and viewing another 7 days of mourning. The brothers buried their father and returned to Egypt as promised.

     Joseph’s brothers worry about their relationship with Joseph now that Jacob is gone so they send a message, referencing Jacob’s instruction to ask forgiveness for their wrong and acknowledge their allegiance to the God of Jacob. The brothers bow before Joseph and Joseph assures them he holds no grudge against them for what they did and reconfirms that it was God’s goodness that enabled them to live. Joseph promises to care for them, comforting them and treating them with kindness.

     Joseph and his family [Israel] stay in Egypt through three generations before Joseph dies. Joseph instructs his brothers reminding them that God will take care of them. God will return them to the Promised Land and when they go they must carry his bones back to Canaan. Joseph dies and is preserved in the Egyptian tradition after living 110 years.

Lessons/Applications:

  Some Thoughts: 

     1. We are to realize and fulfill our responsibility to/for one another. To change from being selfish to selfless requires patience and perseverance. [Consider the example of Jacob]

     2. We must never forget where home really is. The Christians’ home is heaven. Where is your Promised Land? [Consider the example of Jacob and Joseph]

     3. We are to live and die with dignity:

          We are to live responsibly to the very end as did Jacob.

          We are to ask forgiveness and be forgiving as did the brothers and Joseph.

          We are to be honorable and full of integrity as was Joseph.

          We are to know that family is important as did Jacob and Joseph.

 

     This is not our home; [heaven is]

     God will take care of us; [bear one another’s burdens and love the brethren]

     He will fulfill His Promise; [blessing us with His riches and Heaven]

     Therefore let us stay together. [experiencing unity on earth as it is in Heaven]

Jacob made a difference:

     1. He instructed his children to the very end.

     2. Where he went after his death was important to him.

     3. In the end, he lived a life that was respected by all.

Joseph made a difference:

     1. He forgave his brothers and bore no grudges.

     2. He was a man of his word; integrity.

     3. He was not inconvenienced by his father’s death.

     4. He gave honor to his father during his life and after his death.

     5. His position/power did not interfere with his family responsibilities.

     6. He never forgot where home was.

We too can make a difference.

Family Matters!

God’s Family Matters!

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