Highlights:

Jacob foretold prophetic future of each tribe. Jacob dies. The death of Joseph. Israel's extreme need for redemption in Exodus.

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 (Gen. 50:24).

Joseph's words echoed his father Jacob's dying words (49: 9-10). They expressed his utmost confidence in the same promises of God that said the Messiah King would descend from his son Judah. The prophetic promise of God to Abraham and Isaac has now become Jacob's. Jacob foretold: Judah is a . . . lion . . . . The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be (49:9-10).

As part of God's plan Jacob's son Joseph had enjoyed prosperity in Egypt (47:28). But prosperity in Egypt had not satisfied him. His heart was in the land of promise (49:29-33). Then Joseph, in his dying days, reminded his brethren that Egypt was not God's best.

Joseph, without a doubt, believed this, so he did not want to be buried in Egypt. Joseph said . . . God will . . . bring you out of this land. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence (50:25).

Joseph had lived in prosperity for seventeen years, but prosperity may not be a blessing but is often a curse. Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? (James 2:5). It is impossible to hold on to the best of both the physical and spiritual worlds at the same time. So the Lord has taught Christians to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt. 6:20-21).

Often material riches subtly lead into a state of slavery to our possessions. This is the spiritual significance of events narrated by Chapter 40 of Genesis to Exodus 1. Israel became enslaved, but their slavery and suffering prepared them for their Exodus (escape) out of Egypt and to enhance their love for the promised land. It caused them to pray earnestly for deliverance and thereby God was able to reveal His great mercy in bringing about their redemption and freedom. Through this experience, they learned that they had a King above all kings. Even today, true spiritual growth and progress are often preceded by suffering and sorrow.

Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9).

Thought for Today:

The more important the things of the world become to us, the easier it is to forget God's purpose for our lives.

Christ Revealed:

As the Messiah who would come through the tribe of Judah. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh (Peacemaker) come (Gen. 49:10). Jesus . . . the son (descendant) of . . . Juda (Luke 3:23-33).

Word Studies:

Gen. 49:10 gathering, obedience; 49:20 fat, rich; 49:21 hind, deer; 50:15 requite us, pay us back in full; Ex. 1:10 when there falleth out any, in the event of; 1:13 serve with rigour, work as slaves under cruel circumstances.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Dan Murton • Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific • Major languages: Nauruan and English • Religious freedom • 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist • Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently; you will receive an answer (Luke 11:9-10).

Optional Reading: Matthew 17

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:3