Genesis chapter 50 explained the story of the death and burial of Jacob, also known as Israel, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. The chapter also includes the account of Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers, who had sold him into slavery years earlier.
The story begins with Jacob’s death. His sons carry him back to the land of Canaan, where he had lived as a stranger and a sojourner, and bury him in the cave of Machpelah, alongside his wife Leah and his father Isaac. The chapter then relates the news of Jacob’s death to Joseph, who was living in Egypt at the time.
Upon hearing the news of his father’s death, Joseph weeps and mourns. His brothers, who had sold him into slavery years earlier, become afraid that Joseph will now seek revenge on them for their wrongdoing. They approach Joseph and ask for his forgiveness, saying “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul when he begged us, and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.”
However, Joseph responds with grace and forgiveness, saying “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Joseph goes on to tell his brothers that they should not be concerned with the past, but rather should look to the future and to the promise that God had made to their father Abraham, that through his descendants all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
The story of Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers serves as a powerful lesson for the church today. It reminds us that, no matter what wrongs we may have committed in the past, God is always willing to extend his grace and forgiveness to us. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of looking to the future and to the promises of God, rather than dwelling on the mistakes of the past.
In addition to the theme of forgiveness, the story of Jacob’s death and burial also serves as a reminder of the importance of caring for and honoring our ancestors. Jacob was a man who had lived a long and difficult life, but he was ultimately able to see the fulfillment of God’s promise to him, as his descendants became a great and numerous people. His burial in the cave of Machpelah alongside his ancestors serves as a reminder of the value of preserving and remembering our heritage, and of the connection that we have with those who have gone before us.
Overall, the themes of forgiveness, hope for the future, and the importance of preserving our heritage are all evident in the story of Jacob’s death and burial, as related in Genesis 50. These themes continue to be relevant and applicable to the church today, as we seek to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and to live out the promises of God in our own lives.