Jacob’s Shocking Last Decision

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 appeared to be living the best part of his life. His whole family had been reunited. Joseph was alive and blessed. His sons were older, wiser, and had repented of earlier sins. They had plenty of food. Their lineage was blessed and would continue to multiply.  So why not ask to be buried in the land where God had redeemed your story?

If I love God, it is interesting what I come to value most. My heart travels back, as Jacob’s did, to the places where God spoke in the most personal ways one can experience Him. 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 great passion, the places where the voice of God intersected my life and changed me.

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’ll be forced to leave behind. And, if I know my Bible, I’ll also realize that these so-called treasures will eventually burn.

When it comes down to it, I want my family near me. They are eternal. I want to bless them and give them last words they will remember.  I want to hold their hands one last time as I know that we will be temporarily separated. I want my favorite music.  I also want one more thing nearby ~ 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 it. Buying a brand new one didn’t appeal at all!  This old Bible is a journal of my fears and God’s faithfulness.

In the event of his death, Jacob decided to leave the land of plenty to be buried in a strange and barren place to the naked eye. Though it was nothing to look at, for him, it was rich with memories.

Thank you for taking me through hard times that re-aligned my priorities. Amen

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