22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. Genesis 50:22-26
The first book of the Bible concludes with Joseph’s death and burial. Notice, however, that it was in Egypt and not in Canaan where his father was buried.
Interesting that he told his brothers prophetically that God would come to their aid. Oh, and when He does, take me with you!
The Israelites at this point were not enslaved, but they would end up being in Egypt for 430 years. Of course by that time, all of Joseph’s brothers and their families would have passed from this world.
So, even as Joseph was dying, he knew that he didn’t want to stay in his naturalized country forever, though he ultimately had no control over it. He would have to “wait” 300 years before he would return to the land of his fathers. He had to have faith that those who followed him would pass it down the line that Joseph was not at his final destination.
That they carried out his wishes 300 years later is a testament to the Israelites’ respect for the patriarchy in general, and Joseph in particular. Ultimately, though, Joseph trusted God to keep it on the hearts of the Israelites to make it happen.
Many of us shake our heads at the society that our children and grandchildren will be growing up in. Of course our parents worried and fretted about the same thing. As society deteriorates or improves, people adapt. After we go, it’s completely out of our hands.
We have to leave tomorrow in God’s hands, and trust Him for the tomorrows of our children. We can have it no other way.