FULFILLMENT OF PROMISE
Joseph had seen a revelation of the future in his dreams. He also saw where he would be going even after his death. He demanded a promise of his children.
And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. Genesis 50:22-26
Moses later remembered this promise and fulfilled the wishes of Joseph:
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. Exodus 13:19
So Israel carried Joseph’s bones over 40 years of wandering in the desert. Moses did not live to see those bones buried in the Promised Land. That fell to Joshua to complete the mission.
And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. Joshua 24:32
Paul remembered this in his writings to the Hebrews for the New Testament. Joseph had shown faith for Israel to gain their freedom and for his burial in the Promised Land. He trusted God to complete the promises he made to the patriarchs.
By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. Hebrews 11:22
Without the promises that God had made, this oath might have been impossible. We are not to make a promise or to swear to things we cannot do. Joseph could trust the promise of God to bring Israel out of Egypt. He also trusted that Israel would be able to take his bones along, because God is faithful. He had assurances before he made his request.
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matthew 5:34-37
It’s interesting to see that answers should be simple. If we get into more than yes or no answers we are at risk. We should not complain or speak evil against those who are demanding. In the end, Israel’s tribes all left the land of bondage.
Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Exodus 1:1-7
They had become a nation and they were ready to inherit their land. In a similar way, the Christian Church grew from a few to a kingdom. We also may find ourselves in the bondage of traditions if we do not find deliverance from man made dogma. There comes a time when the church needs to have renewal, and grow to become mature sons of God. Renewal is not automatic, or easy, but it is a promise that is available to us.
Israel will need revival again in their future, and God will send a prophet with a promise for their time again:
And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: Ezekiel 37:3-5
God explained the vision of bones as being a representation of backslidden Israel. Yet his promise to them was alive then even as it is yet today. His promise is greater than the despair of our times. Israel will know their Messiah.
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Ezekiel 37:11-12