Fast forward some two-hundred years to the night of the exodus. The grip of Pharaoh was finally broken by the death angel, and the Children of Israel were in a hurry to leave. Remembering the promise, Moses gave the order, “Go get Joseph’s bones! We can’t leave without them!” So they dug up the coffin, and for the next forty years someone had the unique assignment of hauling Joseph’s bones all over the Sinai wilderness.
In the meantime, Moses died making Joshua the new leader. Under Joshua the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land and launched the conquest of Canaan. Everywhere they went, Joseph’s bones went with them. Finally, in the next to the last verse in the book of Joshua we are told they buried Joseph’s bones in the family cemetery in Shechem. He made it!
I think it’s interesting that in the roll call of the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11) the Hebrew writer said nothing about Joseph resisting Potiphar’s wife. Not a word is said about Joseph’s continued faithfulness in prison, or his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, or his role in saving undoubtedly millions from starvation during the seven years of famine.
What did the writer say about Joseph? Here it is, “By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22). That’s it! Joseph told his people, “Someday you are going to leave this place, and when you do, take me with you.”
Joseph lived his entire adult life in Egypt. He acquired fame and fortune in Egypt. He married and raised a family in Egypt. But Joseph never considered it his home. He knew he was a stranger living in a strange land (Hebrews 11:13). As nice as Egypt must have been, Joseph never felt like he belonged.
Do you ever feel the same way? This world is not our home. We’re just passing through on our way to the place Jesus is preparing for us. So don’t get too attached to this old world because it’s just a temporary stop on the journey. Heaven is our forever home. And like Joseph, we are going to make it!
Pastor Todd Weston