February 17, Saturday

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

“Dying Well”

Genesis 46:28-30

He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. 29 Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” 

Death is something that few like to think about or talk about, but we all know that death is inevitable and unavoidable.  We would rather talk about living a good life, but sooner or later, we have to face our mortality.  Though it may seem morbid and depressing, maybe we would be much better off, if— instead of thinking about having a good time and avoiding death—we thought about what it means to die well.

When we look at Jacob in this latter part of Genesis, he keeps referencing to his own death.  At the end of Genesis 45, Jacob is excited to find out that his son Joseph is still alive, and so he says, “I will go and see him before I die.”  And then in Genesis 46:30, Jacob says, “Now let me die.” Unlike us, Jacob had no fear of talking about his own death.  Why was Jacob so fixated on dying?  It was because he was very old at this point and he was staring at his mortality in the face. But Jacob doesn’t talk about death because he just wanted to get it over with—Jacob was looking forward to dying well.

Jacob had lived a tumultuous life—a life full of scheming, conflict, and struggle.  And at this point in Genesis, he had lived over a decade, thinking that his beloved son Joseph was dead.  Now as he was advanced in age, he saw that he had this opportunity to be reconciled to his son and be with all of his family.  And now he was “ready to die,” because he could now die with peace. His family relationships were reconciled, he knew his whole family was taken care of, and he knew that his God was walking with him and his people.

We should all consider what it means to die well and to die with peace.  At the end of your days on this earth, what do you want your relationships to be like?  When it’s your time, what kind of legacy do you want to leave?  What do you want your walk with God to be like?  It is uncomfortable to talk about death, but perhaps if we think about dying well, it can lead to living well and to walk humbly with our God.  Let us pray that whenever our time comes, we can die with peace, knowing that we have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith!

Prayer: Jesus, I pray that for my life I will be able to say, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Help me to walk humbly with You and to live a life worthy of Your gospel.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Joshua 2-3

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