Friday, December 09, 2011

Jacob Realizes His Death Is Imminent - Genesis 48:2


When it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed.

“Your child is coming now.  Your child is coming now.”  Those are most welcomed and satisfying words.  Be it a young expectant father whose wife is about to give birth, a young parent who eagerly awaits to see their boy or girl in the school play or on the sports field, a middle-aged parent whose child is returning from an overseas tour of military duty, an older parent whose city-slicker daughter is coming home for Christmas, or an aged patriarch on his dying bed, these words stir the soul and heart of those that hear them.

Jacob was no different as he lay in bed wondering how much longer he would live, wondering what Joseph might be up to in the big city, remembering his days with Rachel and Leah, and all that he had seen and gone through.  Then he heard these words that one of the servants or a member of his family must have shared with him and all of a sudden, he got the strengthen he needed to sit up and await Joseph.

I remember my father who resided alone for a number of years before his death early in his tenth decade of life.  Whenever he knew we were visiting, he wanted to look good.  He wanted to know when we were coming so he could prepare himself and perhaps a meal or a treat for all of us.  Nothing brought more joy to his heart than seeing my wife and I, and especially the children, and later on his grandchildren.

That is the lot of man, and woman -- that each of us may live long and be blessed in the way He has blessed us.  Some of us are blessed with children and grandchildren; others with great friends, or a wonderful spouse to share our last days.

But here’s the necessary ingredient.  Each of us must realize two things: First that our time on earth will come to an end.  Secondly, each of us, unless we die suddenly by accident or heart attack, must be able to realize and beware of the situation when that time actually gets here.  We are not to fight it.  We are to redeem the time wisely to give glory and praise to our God for all He has allowed us to experience and pass through with His protection and love.

Those two dates are very different for each of us.  The first realization, that indeed one day may time on earth would come to an end, came for me, after the death of my father (my mother had died many years previously and I was still young).  My father died when he was almost 91 and I was 59 years old.  With all my ‘elders’ gone, I knew I was now at the head of the line for ‘moving on’.   Not an easy realization to arrive at, but one that becomes so much easier when one knows God’s plan of salvation for mankind through His Son Jesus Christ.

The second realization has not arrived yet, although there are mornings I sure feel it’s on its way.  Only God knows when that time will be and whether or not I’ll get an actual opportunity to realize it has arrived.  Who knows, I may still get to hear my wife say to me, “Ken, your son is here; your daughters are here; your grandchildren are here.”  In the meantime, my joy is in knowing that He has it all under control.  I hope you have that same comfort

 [Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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