Not Home Yet


The book of Genesis closes with Joseph’s final wish. Certainly, God had a remarkable plan for Joseph. Let’s do a quick review of some highlights from Joseph’s life: sold by his brothers into slavery, wrongfully accused of a crime, forgotten in prison, and then placed in authority over Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. I’m sure Joseph, in his wildest dreams, could never have imagined the scenario that unfolded when his brothers started that turn of events. Yet, here he is, winding down an amazing life of faith.     

  • Is there a dire time in your life that somehow turned out much differently than you ever imagined it could? 


22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s house. Joseph lived 110 years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph’s own. 24 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What were Joseph’s last words? What character traits are demonstrated in Joseph’s statement in verse 24?
  2. Joseph gave his brothers a confident reminder, then made a request. Why do you think he made this statement with such confidence?  
  3. Is there a promise from God that you might need to reflect upon today, one that will prepare you for a request that might come later?


In Joseph’s last wishes, it is clear he wanted to remind his family, and the Israelites, that they were not home yet. Joseph recognized that Egypt was part of the plan, but not part of the promise. Like his father, Jacob, Joseph had based his life squarely on God’s promises, not on the fleeting glories of Egypt. He was not able to experience the Promised Land during his lifetime, but he certainly had no doubts it would come.  

God gives us the ability and opportunity to live life with him, and to experience his purposes. In doing so, we catch very small glimpses of the Big Picture. Joseph certainly did not grasp all of the Big Picture, but he was wise enough to understand that there was much more to the story.

  • Pray that you will take the opportunity to live your life yielded to God, resting on his promises and not clinging to fleeting comforts.
  • Thank God that he doesn’t ask us, or expect us, to be in control. He does, however, have a great purpose for us if we yield to him.