Bones that tell a story
Written by Jay Yeager
Monday, 23 December 2013 16:50


Bones that tell a story

     The children of Israel were guests in Egypt (Genesis 45:16-20) due to the high regard Pharaoh had for Joseph (Genesis 41:37-45). We would learn later that the welcome would not stand the test of time (Exodus 1:7-14).

     As the book of Genesis comes to a close, Joseph is facing death; he would be buried in Egypt. However, he had no intention of staying there, and he gives the reason why; namely, a promise given by God.

“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence” (Genesis 50:24-25).

     Joseph did not have to see it to believe it; Joseph knew that God would not fail to keep his promise. God will surely visit you and bring you unto the land he promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Take me with you! The Hebrew writer states, “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departure of Israel; and gave them commandment concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22).

     After the death of Joseph and all his generation, the children of Israel were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly, until the Egyptians felt threatened by them (Exodus 1:7-10). They were not asked to leave, but forced to stay. “The Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor” (Exodus 1:13-14).

     The cries of the children of Israel did not go unheeded, as God saw their affliction and knew their sorrow (Exodus 3:7). Therefore, God sent Moses into Egypt, and by the mighty hand of God he brought them out of bondage (Exodus 13:14). As Joseph said, surely God will visit you and bring you unto the land he promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 50:24).

     Down through the years of hard bondage, the oath Joseph took of the children of Israel was never forgotten, as they prepared to leave Egypt “…Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away from hence with you” (Exodus 13:19).

     They carried the bones of Joseph to Mount Sinai, then to the borders of the promised land, and when their faith failed (Hebrews 3:16-19), they carried the bones of Joseph for forty years in the wilderness. Until finally, they were able to bury Joseph in a piece of ground bought by his own father, “And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph” (Joshua 24:32).

     Lessons to learn:

  1. Joseph a man of faith, he never doubted.
  2. An oath that was keep for close to 200 hundred years, keep your word.
  3. God is ever faithful.
  4. It pays to serve God.

     Do you serve God? Have you been obedient to the gospel of Christ? If not, that are things that you must do:

  1. You must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17).
  2. You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24).
  3. You must repent of your past sins (Acts 17:30).
  4. You must confess Christ before men (Romans 10:10).
  5. You must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
  6. You must remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).