Read: Genesis 50:15-26
Throughout his lifetime, Joseph saw delayed promise after delayed promise. As the favorite of Jacob’s 12 sons, his brothers already hated him. It makes sense that his prophetic dream (Gen. 37) about one day ruling over them landed him a trip to the bottom of a cistern and into slavery.
Joseph’s impeccable work-ethic led him to a forgotten jail cell where the promise of freedom took two full years to be realized (Gen. 39-40). Then there was the promise that had been handed down from God to Abraham then Isaac and on to Jacob. It was the promise. The Promise.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you . . . and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:2, 3).
Here’s the thing, though: after all of those years, Joseph saw nearly every single one of those promises fulfilled. His brothers bowed down to him when they came to get grain. And now, as Pharaoh’s right-hand-man, he found himself blessing “all peoples on earth” (Gen. 12:3).
Although there were no doubt times of wondering, Joseph lived to see many of those promises fulfilled in God’s precise timing and in His often perplexing ways. When his dream prophesied his 11 brothers bowing down to him so many years before, I seriously doubt that Joseph imagined himself working for the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time.
There was still one promise Joseph would not see fulfilled in his lifetime. Not with the eyes on the front of his face, anyway. It was God’s promise to bring His people back to the land of their fathers. Still, here he was on his deathbed proclaiming the promise yet again.
“God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Gen. 50:24).
Joseph did not need ocular lenses to see what the promise fulfilled. He needed faith lenses. And that is exactly what gave him the wherewithall to prophesy the Israelites’ return to Canaan more than 400 years before it happened.
Although our eyes of faith might see something different, it takes the same kind of faith to use them. God’s promises are many. So what can we see? We see a God who doesn’t walk away even when we walk through a really, really long trial. We see a Savior sho is working His best even through what seems to be our worst.
We see hope fulfilled. True hope. The promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.