Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Monday, March 15, 2021

2021.03.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 47:27–31

Read Genesis 47:27–31

Questions from the Scripture text: How long did Jacob live where (Genesis 47:28)? How long was his life? What time drew near (Genesis 47:29)? Whom did Jacob call? What did he tell Joseph to do? What did he want Joseph to promise? What does he call his prospectively dead body in Genesis 47:30? With whom does he wish to lie? What does he want Joseph to do with him? Where does he want Joseph to bury him? What does Joseph promise? But what does Jacob ask him to do in Genesis 47:31? And what does Joseph do? How does Israel conclude the conversation?

God had surely gone down to Egypt with Israel (cf. Genesis 47:27a, cf. Genesis 46:4a) and made of him a great nation there (Genesis 47:27b, cf. Genesis 46:3b). Yet for all of this blessing, Genesis 47:28’s tacking seventeen happy years onto the 130 of Genesis 47:9 hasn’t changed that these are the days of the years of a short, hard pilgrimage by comparison to what God has promised. 

Indeed, Jacob has need of that precious hand that will close his eyes (cf. Genesis 46:4c)—but in this case for swearing an action (Genesis 47:29) in keeping with God’s own steadfast love and faithfulness in the greatest of the promises: that He would still be with Jacob to bring him up again, even after he dies (cf. Genesis 46:4b). 

However God has blessed Jacob in this life (and, indeed, it has been great!), it still pales in comparison to the blessing to which he looks forward in the resurrection. There are bodies laying in a cave in Canaan awaiting that resurrection. And Jacob’s body, which will still belong to him but more importantly to the Lord, must be carried up to lay down and wait along with them (Genesis 47:30).

That’s why when he calls Joseph to him, to talk about arrangements, he isn’t focusing on the management of this massive wealth or multiplied family—surely logistical challenges and real concerns! No, his focus is upon what to do with his body, because it is his final testimony to his family and to the world about what he values and where his hope lies (cp. Genesis 49:29–33). 

This solemn, swearing ceremony (Genesis 47:31a) is about making sure that they bow their head and worship (verse 31b) in response far more to what is going to happen with their bodies after they die than all of the good that they enjoyed before it.

God is with you to bless you now. Surely that is a great promise. But how you think about what to do with your body when you die should be a testimony that you consider it an even greater promise that He will be with you to resurrect you unto everlasting glory. More than any amount of wealth or position, this is the legacy that a believer should leave to his children and his church!

When you worship, to what blessings do you respond? What do your plans for your dead body say about this?

Suggested songs: ARP116AB “How Fervently I Love the Lord” or TPH159 “Abide with Me”


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