Hebrews 11:22; Genesis 50:22-26

“By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22).

The children of Israel were living high in Egypt. But Joseph said, “God will take you to the Promised Land—and when you go, take my bones with you.”

Faith Remembers God’s Promises

“Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, ‘God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here’” (Genesis 50:25). How was Joseph so certain? He knew the Word of God.

God had promised Abraham, 300 years before this: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions” (Genesis 15:13b-14).

God said it; Joseph believed it. Your faith is measured by your knowledge of and love for God’s Word. (See Romans 10:17.)

Faith Relies on God’s Power

You then need someone with the power to fulfill the promise. “Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out…” (Genesis 50:24a; emphasis added).

Circumstances should not shake your faith.

When Joseph gave this prophecy, there was no reason that the Hebrews should leave Egypt. They had it made! Yet Joseph said, “You’re coming out.”

Feelings should not shake your faith.

Your feelings do not change the Word of God. The devil wants you in the realm of emotions. The next time Satan tempts you to doubt, point him to the Word of God. Let the argument be between him and God. God will win.

Delays should not shake your faith.

Joseph knew it was a long time coming. His body would molder and decay. But time cannot erode God’s promises. (Habakkuk 2:3).

Faith Results in God’s Peace

Joseph speaks with certainty and victory. Where did he get this peace? He remembered God’s promises, and relied on God’s power.

Was Joseph’s faith rewarded? “So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him” (Exodus 13:18-19a). Things will always be just as God says they will.

Why did Joseph say, “Take my bones with you”? He wanted to be connected to God’s people. Egyptians of wealth built great pyramids for when they died, but Joseph did not. He built for himself a monument of faith, by believing God. Joseph could lie down in the grave and rest because he knew he was part of God’s plan.

He also knew there is a great resurrection day coming. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His [Jesus’] voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29; word in brackets added).

Won’t it be great to be raised and see Jesus face to face? “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

Will it not be fearful to rise in the judgment and face a God you do not know? He is inescapable. “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).

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