Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”
It’s strange, but at the worst or best of times in their lives, people sometimes say, like Jacob, that they are ready to die.
Earlier in his life Jacob had said he would welcome death because he had lost his favorite son, Joseph (Genesis 37:35). However, though he mourned and mourned and refused to be comforted, Jacob did not die out of grief.
Now, reunited with Joseph and ecstatic to have this dear son in his arms again, Jacob repeats that he is ready to die. But this time, rather than grief, he expresses joy at having been reconciled to his sons, both to his son lost in slavery and to his sons who betrayed their brother.
Let’s note this tender moment: Joseph, so eager to see his father, orders his chariot to be prepared and races out to meet Jacob in Goshen. As soon as he arrives, Joseph wraps his arms around his aged father and weeps “for a long time.” What delirious joy! In this way, over 20 years of aching separation comes to an end.
Many of us have also struggled with aching separation in our lives. And the worst kind is separation from God. But God promises that we can live forever with him because his Son, Jesus (who was descended from Jacob through Judah), came to take our place and pay for our sins to reunite us with God. May we praise his name forever!
O God, thank you that in both life and death we can have the comfort of being with you forever, through Jesus. Amen.
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