28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”
“I will do as you say,” he said.
31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. Genesis 47:28-31
Why was it important to Jacob to be buried in Canaan? Was it mere sentimentality or something deeper?
W.M. Taylor, D.D. put it this way in BibleHub:
The land of Canaan was his by God’s covenant. He had not yet obtained it. For aught that he could see, he was to die without entering on its possession; but even in his death he would show that he still believed that his children would have its ownership, and therefore he made Joseph swear that he would bury him in the sepulchre of his fathers. Nor was this all. He wanted his sons and his descendants to know that Egypt was not their rest. He desired to fix their minds on Canaan, and to fan in their hearts the desire to return thither when God should open up the way.
In other words, Egypt wasn’t Jacob’s home nor was it their home. They were promised another land.
We too as Believers have been promised another home. The world we live in, it’s not our home. God has something much better in store for us. Those of us who live in the West don’t have it too bad as far as life goes. But for many around the world, heaven will be a very welcome change.
While we don’t know much about it, we do know that it will be infinitely better than what we’re experiencing here, even for us who live in the West.
Think heavenly thoughts today. We’re only passing through.
Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3