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Genesis 50:1-26 - Homilies By R.a. Redford

Retrospect and prospect.

The fellowship of Egypt with the children of Israel in the burial of Jacob is full of significance. " A very great company went with them." "Abel-Mizraim" the Canaanites called it, "a grievous mourning to the Egyptians." It seemed to them altogether an Egyptian funeral. Yet we know that it was not. The work of God's grace will transform the world that it shall not be recognized. The funeral itself said, Egypt is not our home. It pointed with prophetic significance to the future of God's people. Canaan, the home of God's people, is the symbol of the everlasting home. Strange that the conscience should wake up in the brethren of Joseph after the father's death. How great the power of love in subduing fear! The true-hearted, tender piety of Joseph both towards God and towards his father and his kindred, is not influenced by such considerations as affected the lower characters of his brethren. They feared because they were not as true as he. "Joseph wept when they spake unto him," wept for them, wept to think they had not yet understood him. It is a great grief to a good man, a man of large, simpler loving nature, to be thought capable of unkindness and treachery. Joseph recognized that his life had been a Divine thing. He was only an instrument in the hands of God, in the place of God. He saw Providence working with grace. The influence of real religion is to sanctify and exalt natural affections. Joseph's end, like his father's, was a testimony to the faithfulness of God, and a fresh consecration of the covenant people to their Divine future. " I die, and God will surely visit you. He was a truly humble man to the last. His people's blessedness was not of his making. His death would be rather their gain than their loss. Yet "by faith he gave commandment concerning his bones" ( Hebrews 11:22 ), not in any foolish feeling of relic worship, but because he would have the people while in Egypt not to be of Egypt. Those who live on the promises of God will feel that" faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," and confess, not by word only but by deed, and to the last moment of life, "that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth," "seeking a better city, even a heavenly."— R .

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