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Archive for the ‘death’ Category

So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.
– Genesis 50:7-9 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Joseph went to bury his father Jacob in Canaan, but he did not go alone.  He did not only have his own household with him.  With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household, according to verse 7 and 8 in the English Standard Version.  He certainly was not alone in his grieving and mourning.  Multiple translations of the Bible call it: “a very great company” (ESV), “a very great gathering” (NKJV) and ” a very large company” (NIV). 
Distribution Of Land At Canaan Antique Print ReligionJoseph went to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan as he had sworn to his father, but he was accompanied by a great number of people connected to his father and those connected directly and indirectly to him.  There were those who were connected to Jacob by blood and “household.” There were those who were connected to Joseph directly like his kinsmen, brothers and his own household most probably did not outnumber those who were connected to Joseph through Pharaoh.
On Death and Dying (Scribner Classics)Death at a FuneralThey went on their way to bury one of the patriarchs of Judaism.  They went to bury an old man who had lived to see his “dead” son alive again.  They went on their way to Canaan to fulfill the promise of a son to his dying father.  They went on the journey to the land of Canaan to help Joseph bury his father. 
Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader (The Human Lifecycle: Cross-Cultural Readings)A Grief ObservedThe other brothers might have lived in Goshen and herded sheep, but Pharaoh’s people knew Joseph.  They may not have ever heard of Jacob or any of his sons, but they surely knew of Joseph.  Their paths may have never crossed any other Hebrew during those days, but they surely had some direct or indirect encounter on some level with Joseph.  The Egyptians went to Canaan with Joseph for the sake of Joseph, not Jacob or anyone else.

On the Jericho Road: A Memoir of Racial Justice, Social Action and Prophetic Ministry
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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

7Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites.There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.- Genesis 25:7-10 (NIV)
In the end, “Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac’ according to Genesis 25:5 (NIV).  This same chapters says that he gave other gifts to his other sons, the sons of his concubines, but he left his personal possessions to the son of promise, Isaac.  The other sons received something from Abraham, but the one son received everything that was considered Abraham.
Think about it like this: Abraham had an estate, including herds, property, and servants.  Before he died, he had already given gifts to his sons and sent them away from the son of promise.  When he died, he left everything that he had in his possession to Isaac.  It is peculiar because Ishmael, the firstborn son, is not mentioned by name until the burial of Abraham.  It may be assumed that Ishmael was included in the earlier verse where Abraham’s other sons were given “gifts.” However, he is not mentioned by name prior to the burial of his father.
It is Issac, “the beloved son” as called by J. Vernon McGee, who gains all of his father’s possessions.  imagine the uproar that could have started if Abraham had not blessed the other brothers before his death.  Think of all of the ruckus that would have gone down if each brother sat around the house after laying Daddy to rest, only to find out that every single thing went to Isaac.  I can just picture the depths of discontent and the wealth of woeful feelings that would emerge as every sheep and goat, every acre of land, and every single slave went to Issac.
Parents need to make provisions for their passing on to the next life.  Be sure to deal with your children accordingly in the case of your death.  Let them know what provisions have been made for them and their children.  Do all that you can to leave a legacy that lives on beyond you.  Don’t let your burial become a battle of Daddy’s favorites versus the black sheep flock.  Be sure to handle your business and order your affairs while you have time and a sound mind.

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3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters.5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.- Genesis 5:3-5 (ESV)
The Creation: A Commentary on the First Five Chapters of the Book of Genesis


Okay.  Someone might have missed it, but when you look at Genesis chapter 5, it speaks of itself as “the book of the generations of Adam” in accordance with verse 1.  Thus, somewhere beyond the reiteration of God’s creation of man in His own image and likeness, the Bible breaks down the real deal about man.  The eventuality of Adam in the same for all of us.  According to the last words of verse 5, we are simply told: “and he died.” 

Adam died.  He eventually meet his own end.  At some point, after some 930 years of walking about the earth, Adam ceased to live any longer.  His breathing stopped.  His body simply stopped.  Adam passed away 800 years after the birth of Seth, preceded in death by his son Abel at the hands of Adam’s other son Cain.

Learn this now.  Death is eventual.  Death is inevitable.  Death is the end of all mean.  I believe Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 9: “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten” (v. 5).  It is the thing that patiently awaits us all.  Be sure to never live in denial of that.


But be sure to live.  Adam did not stop living because he lost a son due to murder.  Adam did not stop living to simply mourn his son.  He did not start a memorial fund in the name of Abel.  He did not erect a shrine of sorts at the place where his other son killed the lad in the open field and shed his blood, taking his innocent life.  Adam lived on.


Adam lived on.  He did not put up a ransom for Cain to be returned home.  He did not make an appeal for Cain to come back after being cast away by the Lord.  No, Adam simply lived and he lived on.  He had more children, starting with Seth, and he gives us an example to live fully while we still have life. 

Live on.  Live on with all of your energy and effort.  Live on.

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

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From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.- Proverbs 12:14 (NIV)

There is either a reward or punishment for what we say and do. We can either be blessed or burdened by what we say or do. It is up to us. We make the choice. We can’t get mad at God and call Him unfair or unjust. We have to realize that it is on us.  We are the ones who need to shape up.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.- Proverbs 18:21 (ASV)

We need to be mindful of what we say and what we do.  We can give life or cause death by the power of our tongues.  We can give birth to something or kill it before it has a chance to grow.  We have to keep this in mind.

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue Keepeth his soul from troubles.- Proverbs 21:23 (ASV)

Watching what you say and do can keep you out of trouble.  I remember people saying that your mouth could get you into more trouble than your behind could take.  That is a real life lesson when you discover that what you say has an impact on others and can come back to haunt you.  Have you ever shared someone else’s secret with others? Have you ever said something about someone, only to have that someone confront you about it? It’s real.  It can cause real trouble for you.

 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?- James 3:9-11 (NIV)

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Dear Pastor/ Bishop/ Elder/ Reverend XXXX:

The church that God has blessed you with is sick.

Sincerely,
Concerned Christian

Can you imagine that popping up on your Blackberry Messenger app right before Sunday services? How about if it was a note passed up to you via the ushers or deacons just as you are getting ready to start prayer meeting? Either way, it is alarming. In either case, you are taken aback at least for a moment. You may even be startled.

Someone didn’t send you an instant message on your mobile. No one within your church or outside of it scribbled you a message about it. God didn’t set a bush on fire nor did He send an angel to deliver you the news. It’s been swimming and swirling around in your gut for some time now. It has preoccupied your sermon preparation and personal devotion. The signs are all around. There’s something drastically wrong with your church and your ministry. In fact, it may not just be sick. It may be debilitating to the point of near-death. It may very well be in Lazarus Mode.
 
When I posted Signs of a Dying Church, I was already prepared to go further into it by addressing Lazarus Mode. The scenario is similar to the story. There are plenty of churches who are like Lazarus. The Lord loves them, but they are “sick” and closer to death than they think. Unfortunately, unlike Lazarus, this sickness may not glorify God at all. Such churches and ministries are in need of a “spiritual wake-up call.” You don’t want to look up and discover that your ministry has been declared dead by the Divine.

Keep aware of the signs. Be sure to make the necessary changes. Stay on fire and keep blessing and boasting on the Lord.

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Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.- John 12:11 (KJV)

Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus.  He emerged from the grave and lived on.  His living was not in vain by any means.  Surely, Lazarus lived on as a testimony of the very power of Jesus.

The Gospel of John speaks of Jesus as deity, as God, and as part of the Holy Trinity.  Jesus demonstrated His power in raising Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus’ life testified about the power of Jesus over the grave simply by his living.  It is said that many believed on Jesus because of him.  The people came not  just to see Jesus but to also see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead  (John 12:9, KJV).   Even the chief priests sought to kill Lazarus, according to John 12:10.

How live our lives will serve as a testimony to others.  Some will accept it and embrace us.  Others will reject it and seek to diminish our testimony.  Just live it out in faith.  Someone will see what the Lord has done in your life.  Perhaps, after they hear your life’s story and your testimony, they will seek the Lord for themselves and allow Him to enter into their heart.

 

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Isaiah was clear and concise with Hezekiah with a word from the Lord:
Get your house in order. The swiftness of Hezekiah’s actions speaks volumes to many astute Bible readers and others. This episode serves as a reminder of how futile life may be and how we must live in the moment, not for the moment.
Has God given you a similar warning? Was it that heart attack that felt like “gas” at first? How about when God got your attention by causing you grief on your job? Or, what about all of those funerals that you had to attend week after week? did you get the message? Was it clear to you?
Listen to God and do exactly what He says for you to do. As the famed theologian John Wesley stated: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, … you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”
Read James 1:22. We are to be doers of His Word, not hearers only.
To God be the glory. . . Now and forever.
Rev. Bruce Jackson
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