So Joseph died at the age of 110. And they embalmed his body and placed it in a coffin in Egypt.
1 John 3:13); in his unmerited sufferings; in his steadfast loyalty to God and to his master; in his exaltation, and the wisdom with which he ruled Egypt; and in his forgiveness of those who had sold him as a slave, we feel for him and with him. But Joseph died. His trials and his triumphs passed away. The scene where he had played so conspicuous a part is filled by other forms. And he who was the means of saving a nation must share the lot of the most commonplace life. One event happens to all (Ecclesiastes 2:15).
I. THE UNCERTAIN TENURE OF EARTHLY GOOD. No care can keep away misfortune, not even care to walk uprightly before God. Sin brings sorrow sooner or later; but it is a great mistake to think that all sorrow springs from faults committed (Psalm 73:5). Joseph's slavery was because his Godward life condemned his brothers and made them angry. His being thrown into prison was because he would not yield to temptation. This often a stumbling-block. If God really marks all that is done, why are his most faithful servants often so sorely smitten? We can neither deny the fact nor trace the reason of the stroke. Enough to know that it is part of God's plan (Hebrews 12:6), to fit us for the end of our being. As Christ was perfected by suffering (Hebrews 2:10), so must we be. And just because to bear the cross is needful for a follower of Christ (Matthew 16:24) - and this is not the endurance of suffering at our own choice, but the willing receiving of what God is pleased to send - the uncertainty of life gives constant opportunity for that submission to his will which is the result of living faith.
II. THE ONE END OF ALL LIVING (Exodus 1:6). How varied soever the outward lot, wealth or penury, joy or mourning, one day all must be left behind. To what purpose then is it to labor for good, or to dread impending evil? Can we not remember many whose name was much in men's mouths, full of youthful vigor or mature wisdom? And they are gone, and the world goes on as before. Joseph, embalmed in Egypt with almost royal honors, was as completely separated from all his wealth and power as if he had never possessed them. Others filled his place and occupied his gains, in their turn to give them up, and awake from the dream of possessions to join the company of those who have left all these things behind. And is this all? Has life nothing worth striving for? Is there no possession that we can really regard as our own?
III. LIFE HAS ABIDING TREASURES. Was it nothing to Joseph that he possessed and showed a forgiving spirit (Matthew 6:14, 15), and singleness of heart, and earnest benevolence, and watchful consciousness of God's presence? These are treasures the world thinks little of. But these are treasures indeed, ministering comfort without care. And when earthly things slip from the grasp these abide, reflections of the mind of Christ, and telling of his abiding in the soul (Revelation 14:13). - M.
So Joseph died.I. JOSEPH'S DEATH WAS THAT OF EMINENTLY GOOD MAN. Perhaps the best man of the Old Testament. He was not surprised by death, nor dismayed at its coming. He had lived to meet it — lived for the life beyond death — not for present indulgence, nor in heedless disregard of his highest good — but with wise and faithful reference to the will of God and the monitions of the Holy Spirit.
II. JOSEPH'S DEATH WAS THE DEATH OF A GREAT PROPHET.
(P. Whitehead, D. D.)
(J. Parker, D. D.).
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