Today’s Reading: Genesis 50:1 – Exodus 2:10 (additional reading Psalm 21:1-13 and Proverbs 5:1-6)
Key Verse: “Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.” Exodus 1:8
As we turn one page of our Bibles today, we skip forward fifty-four years from our reading yesterday. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die.” We have seen that Joseph’s life played out in such an intriguing way. We don’t hear anything about the reaction of the Egyptians, but one would have to imagine that they mourned even more for him than they did for Jacob. He not only saved their country – but he also built Egypt up into a great and powerful country. You would think if anybody wouldn’t have to worry about leaving a legacy, it was Joseph. His name would be forever written in the pages of history as a great saviour and a great man. However, it didn’t work that way.
A short eight verses later as we enter into Exodus 1, where we read, ‘Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.’ In 400 short years, Joseph went from a hero to an unknown. All that he had accomplished for the Egyptians didn’t matter any longer to them.
There is a story of a man who while at school was a great sports player and won many trophies which were displayed at his school. Ten years later while attending his school reunion he was very upset to find out not only was is trophies no longer on display but had been thrown into the rubbish. It made him think, “how quickly our glory fades!”
This really bothers us. We want to have an impact on the world and the future. In an arrogant way, we think that we have more control over it than we do. Many fear that they will be forgotten and not make a “difference” in this world.
But the funny thing was that was of no concern to Joseph. Look at what Joseph does in his last days. He didn’t have the Egyptians build a big pyramid in memory of him so that he would be remembered. He didn’t make sure that the scribes had his name written in the annals so that his legacy would continue on. He didn’t even think about himself.
Instead of being concerned about his future legacy and how people would remember him, like his father, he was thinking about God’s promises. The important thing was not that he would be remembered but that God would be. He says ‘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.’
So as a reflection of his hope, Joseph made them promise to take his bones out of his Egyptian coffin on the way up to Israel. Joseph looked forward to the future when his descendants would take over the Promised Land. This is what he wanted to convey to his children – HOPE FOR THE FUTURE!
Someone once said, “if you want to plan your life, think about your eulogy, and then go backwards.” What would you want people to say about you at your death? What we have seen today and yesterday is that Joseph like his dad had their trust in God. What they did wasn’t important compared to the future He has prepared for them.
- How does it make you feel that much of what you do will be forgotten?
- How can you fix your hope in eternity and God’s promises?
Father, Thank You for a sure hope for the future in You. Thank You that while others may forget us now and in the future, You will never forget us, leave us or forsake us. Thank You for your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen