Throughout the Bible, we see amazing examples of people who live out their lives in anticipation of a promise given to them by God. Abraham lived as a foreigner in Canaan knowing that it would not be for him but for the ancestors that God promised him. Isaac and Jacob continued to live there with occasional animosity from their neighbors because they were foreigners. David was anointed king of Israel and had to wait many years before he was crowned. The prophets told of the Messiah that they would never see in their lifetime on earth. This is a tough concept to wrap our heads around when we live in a culture where we get everything in moments. We have fast food chains where we only have to wait a few minutes for our food. We have e-readers where we wait a matter of seconds to receive our books. We can have TV and movies streamed to our tablets. If we want to rent a movie, we do not even need to leave our homes. But to understand waiting years for a promise and knowing that it may be something that we will not personally see? Hard to swallow, isn't it? Please read Genesis 47:27-31.
In these verses we read that Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt and the dialogue that we read between him and Joseph shows us that he knew that he would not return to the Promised Land before he died. But he had Joseph swear an oath that he would bury Jacob in the Promised Land with his ancestors. But notice verse 31; we are told that Jacob worshiped as he leaned on his staff after Joseph swore this oath. Why do you think that he worshiped? Hebrews 11 gives us a glimpse of what was going on in his heart. Hebrews 11:13 says, "All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth." Hebrews 11:21 (NLT) says, "It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff." And finally, Hebrews 11:15-16 (NLT) says, "If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."
Was Jacob brought to worship because Joseph was going to bury him in the Promised Land? After reading through Hebrews 11, we can see that that wasn't the entire reason. If his home on earth was so important, Hebrews tells us that he would have gone back.He could be okay with dying in Egypt because He trusted in God's promises and he knew that he would end up in his real home in Heaven. This is the home we long for - our true home. You see, our homes here on earth will never fully satisfy us because this is not where we belong; we belong with our Heavenly Father. We can worship through our longing knowing that there is a great promise we have to look toward.
Do you worship in anticipation of our home?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Fridays.
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