WHAT I VALUE MOST
And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were 147 years. And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” Genesis 47:28-30
Jacob’s wish to be buried in Canaan surprises me on the one hand. He was living in, what could appear, to be the best part of his life. His whole family was reunited. Joseph was alive and blessed. His sons were older, wiser, and had repented of earlier deeds against their father and against Joseph. They had plenty of food. Their lineage was blessed and multiplying. Why not ask to be buried where you are the happiest?
When all is said and done, it is interesting what I value most. My mind travels back, as Jacob’s did, to the places where God spoke. Jacob wanted to be buried near ‘Bethels’, where monuments marked the spots of God’s revelation. Time in Egypt, in a period of plenty, did not alter what he cherished. I also remember, with passion, the places where the voice of God changed my life.
If I value the wrong things, I will be a bitter woman when I lay down to die. I will realize that I invested in things I have to leave behind. And, if I know my Bible, I’ll also realize that they will eventually burn. At the end, I want my family near me. They are eternal. I want to bless them, give them last words they will remember, and hold their hands as we are temporarily separated. There will be one more thing I want in my grip ~ The Bible that went with me through the darkest period of my life. I had to put a new binding on it recently when it fell apart because I could not part with the pages. They are journals of my fears and God’s faithfulness. Yes, at that time, let me touch my people and the Word of God. They are the only two things I take with me into the Kingdom.
Jacob left the land of plenty to be buried in some obscure barren place. Though it was nothing to look at, for him, it was rich with memories and a priceless location.
Thank you for taking me through hard time to re-align my priorities. Amen