Yesterday, Grandma and Grandpa took Avery for her first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Grandpa was the person who introduced me to racing and who first took me to IMS, too!) They enjoyed a few hours of practice as teams are getting ready for Pole Day this weekend.
Here she is behind Takuma Sato's pit box. Sato is the series points leader heading into the 500.
She thought she was pretty cool to be able to wear Mommy and Daddy's scanner headsets.
Here we are at the end of the book of Genesis. This final lesson focuses on fear. Joseph faced the fear and grief of losing his father. And Joseph’s brothers feared retaliation from Joseph after Jacob died.
After Jacob dies, Joseph weeps. Then Joseph orders his physicians to embalm Jacob’s body, not for religious purposes but for practical purposes. This allows Jacob’s body to be transported to Canaan for his burial. Throughout Egypt, Jacob was mourned for 70 days, two days short of the mourning period for a pharaoh.
At the end of the mourning, Joseph asks Pharaoh for permission to bury Jacob in Canaan. Joseph wants to keep his oath to his father. Joseph also promises Pharaoh that he will return to Egypt.
A large funeral procession travels several hundred miles to bury Jacob’s body in Canaan. Pharaoh has such respect and admiration for Joseph that he sends all of his official as well as members of his military to accompany Joseph and his family. After arriving in Canaan, this group observes seven days of mourning before burying Jacob’s body. Then everyone returns to Egypt as Joseph promised.
Joseph faced Jacob’s death in the same way he faced every trial in his life. Joseph focused on God’s promises and had faith that he one day would see Jacob in heaven. Joseph mourned, grieved and cried, but then he returned to his life and his responsibilities.
After Jacob’s death, Joseph’s brothers are afraid he will hold a grudge and retaliate against them. Why would they think this? Joseph clearly had forgiven them and didn’t hold a grudge! The brothers send a message to Joseph, telling him that Jacob instructed Joseph to forgive them. This probably was a lie. The brothers may have had some guilt and may never have forgiven themselves.
Joseph’s first response is to weep. He can’t understand why they wouldn’t trust him. Then Joseph reminds them – what they meant for harm, God meant for good in order to save the lives of many people (50:20). God can turn human wickedness for good in order to serve His purpose. This also applies to Jesus’ death. What Jesus’ enemies meant for harm, God meant for good to save many people! Without Jesus’ death, there would be no salvation, no hope, no personal relationship with God.
Once again, Joseph is a godly example. He had a positive attitude and focused on God. I also must look for the good in all situations, even if it’s only my own spiritual growth or something that I won’t see until eternity.
Joseph lives 110 years. On his deathbed, Joseph reassures his brothers that God will be with them and will bring them to the Promised Land. Joseph also asks them to take his bones with them to the Promised Land. Joseph lived in Egypt for 93 years, but by faith he lived in Canaan, the land promised to him and his family. He wanted to be buried there. Christians also must look beyond our physical lives to the eternal promises of God.
Joseph lived and died with confidence in God and His promises. Do I trust God with everything that happens in my life because He is sovereign?
While this is the end of Joseph’s life on earth, it is the beginning of God working through the nation of Israel.
What fear am I holding on to? This really struck me today because I suddenly have a very real fear in my life. A neighbor’s house was broken into yesterday while Avery and I were at home. I had no idea this happened until much later last night. Since then, I’ve let my mind go crazy with “what if ” scenarios. Instead of fearing this situation, I must focus on God’s sovereignty and trust His character (that He is good, righteous, just, loving, etc.). I don’t need to fear anything. When I do, my life tends to spin out of control. I must grasp God’s truth, not fear.
We saw a lot of beginnings in Genesis – the beginning of the universe at creation, the beginning of the history of man, the beginning of sin, the beginning of God’s promise of a Savior, the beginning of God’s plan for a nation through whom He gave His word.
Genesis also has lots of endings – the end of walking with God in the Garden of Eden due to man’s sin, the end of peace and harmony in the world, the end of life because man is condemned to die for sin, physical deaths, the end of the patriarchs.
But I love this final principle from our study this year – With every ending comes the opportunity to trust God with a new beginning. What new beginning does God have for me? And will I trust God with that new beginning?
Next week, I’ll share the things I learned in BSF this year.
Here is Avery’s final memory verse, and it’s a good one!