By Norman P. Grubb
There’s not much more to add. Jacob reached his final heights in speaking the word of the Lord when he prophesied what would be the destiny for each of the tribes. He prophesied how each would function when they came into the land, including the reversal of the two brothers, which Joseph hadn’t seen – Jacob put Ephraim as elder; Manasseh, the younger. Jacob was the elder in the Spirit. So he saw more than Joseph did. Then he went to be with the Lord with his final vow that, through Judah, “Shiloh should come,” the Messiah.
The family remained and prospered after they had had a great burial of their father in the land of Canaan. But, at first, they were still afraid, and, with their father Jacob’s death, they still had the suspicion that Joseph might turn round and take vengeance on them. So they sent him a message pleading a final forgiveness. He wept when they told him that. They fell down on their faces before him and Joseph then said that final word, “Fear not, am I in the place of God? As for you, you thought evil against me but God MEANT it unto good.”
That was, I take it, where they got the assurance of forgiveness. They had said to Joseph, “Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil.” They were totally through now. This was confessed sin and forgiveness asked for. That was when Joseph forgave their sin. “God meant it for good, you meant it for evil.” We take it there was a final reconciliation then between them all.
Joseph’s last act of faith was to align himself, not with Egypt, but with God’s purposes for Israel in Canaan. So the last thing he said was, “When I die, I don’t belong here anymore than you do; I go back with you. So take my bones back with you and bury them when you come back to the land of Canaan.” So his last act and attitude was to preserve the way of faith he had walked on…and all part of the ultimate purposes of God for the world’s salvation.
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