27 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly. 9 And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.”(Genesis 47:27-30)
The famine is over, but God’s people don’t go back to Canaan. Egypt was not the land God swore to give to Israel. And deep down, I think Jacob knows this, which is why in the next verses he makes Joseph swear to take his bones back to Canaan to bury them after Jacob dies. Maybe Jacob sees his sons getting too comfortable in Egypt, so he wants to give them a reason to leave. But as we will see in tomorrow’s reading, even when they did leave, they made sure they had plenty of reasons to return to Egypt.
This is a great word for us as well. Here in America, we are incredibly blessed, especially when compared to the rest of the world. Speaking personally, I love my house. I love all the comforts of home. And I love this country. I’ve been all over the world and seen some amazing sights. But none compare to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Muir Woods in San Francisco, or Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida.
I love our people. I love our system of government. Flawed as it is, it’s still the best idea for running a country that human beings have come up with.
I love everything about my home except for one thing.
This world is not my home.
I should continually long for the home God is preparing for me in heaven. As beautiful as this world is, we will always and forever be strangers and aliens in it (1 Peter 2:11). As Rich Mullins so beautifully put it,
Nobody tells you when you get born here, how much you come to love it, and how you never belong here.
So I’ll call you my country, but I’ll be lonely for my home.
I wish that I could take you there with me.Rich Mullins, “Land of My Sojourn”
However sweet we might have it in the Land of Goshen, this world is not our home. Lord, don’t let me get so attached to this place that I forget where my bones are supposed to be.