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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Daily Devotion for October 3, 2017


Jacob funeral procession Bible
"Jacob’s Funeral Procession", illustration from The History of Joseph and His Brethren by Owen Jones, 1869

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.




Prayer for Holiness

All provident Lord, place Your holy fear as a guard before my eyes so they may not look lustfully; before my ears so that they may not delight in hearing evil words; before my mouth so that it may not speak any falsehoods; before my heart so that it may not think evil; before my hands so that they may not do injustice; before my feet, that they may not walk in the paths of injustice; but so direct them, that they may always be according to all Your commandments. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

Amen.

Because Of You

Because you picked me up, when I struggled to get through.
Because you healed my heart, when it was thrown and shattered.
Because you gave me hope, when it seemed so out of reach.
Because you filled me with peace, when chaos flowed through my veins.
Because you showed me the light, when there was only darkness.
Because you gave me comfort, when my voice cried out in pain.
Because you reassured me, when the doubts screamed in my head.
Because you kept me going, when there seemed nowhere to go.
Because you sustained me with strength, when weakness became all I knew.

Because you came and stayed, when everyone else turned around and left.
Because you gave me a purpose, when life seemed so pointless.
Because you restored my happiness, when life seemed to snatch it away.
Because you filled this emptiness, when the void echoed with loneliness.
Because you helped me let it all go, when I gripped the tightest to hold on.
Because you showed me the beauty of life, when the world showed me nothing but hate and corruption.
Because you gave me a better life, when the old one fought to come back.
Because I am nothing without you, nothing but a hopeless being.
Because only You could tear down my wall of pride, and instead build it back up with love and humbleness.

Because of all this, I give you my life Lord.
I will put all my fears and failures in Your hands, my worries that consume me, my pain that destroys me.
You were always there, even when I rejected You.
Because of all You are, my life, oh God, is yours.

Amen.

Meditation

[Christ can fill a void echoing with emptiness.]


Dedication

Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.

Amen.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.





Devotional painting of Jacob and Joseph Reunited
Jacob and Joseph Reunited, artist unk.

Procrastination

”Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

~ Benjamin Franklin


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 50:1-14 (ESV)

Joseph Buries His Father

Then Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.

And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, ‘My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return.’” And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.”

Jacob Bible story, funeral processions
Jacob’s Funeral Procession
(James Tissot)

So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.

When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan.

Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them, for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.


Notes on the Scripture

A

nd so end the days of Jacob, called Israel, father of the twelve tribes that still bear his name today, over 3,000 years later. Joseph mourns and buries him like a prince of Egypt, embalmed by the best-known embalmers of all time and mourned for over two months. It was fortunate for Joseph, actually, that the Egyptians were so adept at embalming, because he had promised Jacob to bury him near Hebron, which meant a long journey through a hot climate; and such a journey with a raw corpse would have been -- well, fragrant.

There is a puzzle to the route taken, because they cross the Jordan River, overshooting their goal, before they turn north. Mamre, a very ancient spot near Hebron (southwest of Jerusalem) is far to the west of the Jordan. The most likely explanation is that the company was huge and had a considerable military escort. If they had marched straight up into Canaan, it would have looked like an invasion.

So they take a roundabout route, due east across the Jordan and then up the east side of the Dead Sea, until they reach a spot, now unknown, identified only as the “threshing floor of Atad.” This would have been a large clear area out in the open air. There they mourned him, and the Canaanites were convinced that this was indeed a funeral procession. The event was sufficiently impressive that they named the spot “Abel-mizraim,” which means “the meadow of Egyptian mourning.”

At that point, the Egyptian retinue again shows its reluctance to enter Canaan and stops. The brothers transport Jacob west across the Jordan, to the tomb of Abraham and Sarah. (They would have gone 30 miles southeast, back towards Egypt, practically circling the Dead Sea - see map.)

Oddly, this is the same indirect route that Moses will take from the Sinai into Canaan 300 or 400 years later. Moses, like Jacob’s Egyptian honor guard, would never cross over into the “Promised Land,”, but would die on the east bank of the Jordan.



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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, . . . so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.



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