28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
The Death of Jacob
29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”
33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people. Genesis 49:28-33
Jacob knew he was dying and told his sons where he wanted to be buried, where the rest of his family was buried. When he was blessing them, he was still in Egypt. It wasn’t his home. He wanted to be home in Canaan, the land of promise. He had the assurance that his sons would in fact take his body back to Canaan.
The last phrase in this chapter is interesting: “gathered to his people.” It implies that they are waiting around for him to come to them. That certainly is a fascinating way to look at death. There is hope in that kind of thinking.
Of course there is greater hope in knowing this life we live is not the end…at all. People we know are waiting on the other side. What does that even look like? We don’t know. What are they doing there right now? We don’t know. How will they know when we arrive? No idea. Will they know? Probably.
You see, throughout the Scriptures we get glimpses of heaven. We don’t get the full scene, but mere glimpses. We try to put it all together with our finite minds and it falls short, woefully short. We can’t comprehend a minute in heaven let alone full eternity.
Take a few moments to think about heaven. What do you know about it? What do you think about it? What does the Bible say about it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on it as we learn together.