Every Thursday morning the staff men here at Beacon gather for a devotional thought and prayer time. A while back, it was Pastor Rabon’s turn to bring the devotional thought.  He shared about Joseph, and in his thoughts, he shared how Joseph had asked his brothers and family and fellow Israelites to take his bones with them after he died, whenever God finally allowed them to leave Egypt and head to the Promised Land, their future home. He did not want his bones staying there in Egypt, but rather, he wanted to be in his homeland.

That did not happen for another 144 more years after Joseph’s death.

“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”  Genesis 50:24-26

If you count generations in amounts of twenty years, then that is another seven generations that had to pass this along so that they would not forget to take Joseph’s bones with them whenever they finally left Egypt and went back home to their Promised Land that God had given them.

“And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.”  Joshua 24:32

As Pastor was sharing his thoughts about Joseph, my mind was just stuck on the math of this promise Joseph made his family give him regarding his wishes after his death. If you subtract the 144 years from our current year of 2021, that comes to 1877. Can you even imagine your ancestor in your family lineage back in 1877 making his family promise him to do something 144 years later? (Now, of course, Joseph had no clue how many years it would be, but he did not want to get left behind in Egypt whenever everyone else went back home.) If it were you right now, living in 2021, would you still know what it was that your ancestor wanted, and even more importantly…would you DO it for them?

That led my mind to the next sobering thought of “Hey Dan, what are YOU teaching, impressing upon, and instilling into your three-year-old son Jozef right now that he will be able to pass on after you are long gone and have left this earth?” What am I doing today that my ancestors living in 1877 would have wanted for me to be doing? What will still be going on in your family lineage 144 years from now because of what YOU are doing TODAY? What are you passing on?

That led my thoughts to all the others involved in the early history of the nation of Israel. Consider who came from Abraham’s nephew Lot…both the Moabites and the Ammonites. From Abraham’s first son came the Ishmaelites, who are believed the be the origin of the Muslim people through which Islam entered into the world. Isaac’s older twin boy Esau brought the Edomites and the Amalekites. ALL of these nations of people fought, warred against, and battled with the nation of Israel for YEARS after throughout their history. In fact, all of these other nations just mentioned were many of the people Israel had to drive out of the Promised Land before they could even possess it, and some are still to this day causing the nation of Israel problems.

What will your children, your people, your lineage be doing and how will they be acting 144 years from now, because of your influence on your family today? What will you ask your children to do for you once you are gone from this world as Joseph did? What heritage will you and will I leave to the world around us after we are gone through our family as Joseph desired to do? “The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever.”  Psalm 37:18