Genesis 50* The mourning for Jacob. (1-6) His funeral. (7-14) Joseph'sbrethren crave his pardon, He comforts them. (15-21) Joseph'sdirection concerning his bones, His death. (22-26)1-6 Though pious relatives and friends have lived to a good oldage, and we are confident they are gone to glory, yet we mayregret our own loss, and pay respect to their memory bylamenting them. Grace does not destroy, but it purifies,moderates, and regulates natural affection. The departed soul isout of the reach of any tokens of our affection; but it isproper to show respect to the body, of which we look for aglorious and joyful resurrection, whatever may become of itsremains in this world. Thus Joseph showed his faith in God, andlove to his father. He ordered the body to be embalmed, orwrapped up with spices, to preserve it. See how vile our bodiesare, when the soul has forsaken them; they will in a very littletime become noisome, and offensive. 7-14 Jacob's body was attended, not only by his own family, butby the great men of Egypt. Now that they were better acquaintedwith the Hebrews, they began to respect them. Professors ofreligion should endeavour by wisdom and love to remove theprejudices many have against them. Standers-by took notice of itas a grievous mourning. The death of good men is a loss to anyplace, and ought to be greatly lamented. 15-21 Various motives might cause the sons of Jacob to continuein Egypt, notwithstanding the prophetic vision Abraham had oftheir bondage there. Judging of Joseph from the general temperof human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself onthose who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able toresist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him byhumbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants ofJacob's God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this completefulfilment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, butto fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seekthe Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness tothem. See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn ofhim to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banishall their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must bebound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must notonly do well for, but speak kindly to. 22-26 Joseph having honoured his father, his days were long inthe land, which, for the present, God had given him. When he sawhis death approaching, he comforted his brethren with theassurance of their return to Canaan in due time. We must comfortothers with the same comforts with which we have been comfortedof God, and encourage them to rest on the promises which are oursupport. For a confession of his own faith, and a confirmationof theirs, he charges them to keep his remains unburied tillthat glorious day, when they should be settled in the land ofpromise. Thus Joseph, by faith in the doctrine of theresurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandmentconcerning his bones. This would keep up their expectation of aspeedy departure from Egypt, and keep Canaan continually intheir minds. This would also attach Joseph's posterity to theirbrethren. The death, as well as the life of this eminent saint,was truly excellent; both furnish us with strong encouragementto persevere in the service of God. How happy to set our earlyin the heavenly race, to continue stedfastly, and to finish thecourse with joy! This Joseph did, this we also may do. Even whenthe pains of death are upon us, if we have trusted in Him uponwhom the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles depended, we neednot fear to say, "My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is thestrength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
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