As he reached the end of his life, Joseph gave instructions to his loved ones about what to do with the bones he left behind.
Hebrews 11:22 says, “By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.”
Joseph had faith that God would deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, so much faith that he asked that the Israelites take his bones with them. When we understand the blessing in his box of bones, we will learn how to live confidently and die without fear.
First, faith remembers the unbreakable promises of God.
In Genesis 50:24, Joseph tells his loved ones, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
Adrian Rogers says, “Faith is getting a promise from the Word of God.”
Though Joseph was placed in a coffin in Egypt, he believed his bones would see this promised land, because his faith was rooted in God’s promises.
Second, faith relies on the unshakeable power of God.
At this point, the Israelites did not have reason to leave Egypt. There was a famine in Canaan, and they had made themselves comfortable in Egypt. Joseph’s faith was contrary to evidence; it was not shaken by fickle emotions or circumstances. Joseph knew time must pass and that what would be left of him would be bones. But centuries cannot erode away the promises of God.
Finally, faith results in the unmistakable peace of God.
Joseph reached the end of his life in perfect peace. The Book of Joshua tells us that Joseph’s bones did, in fact, make it to the promised land. Rather than building a monument of pride in Egypt, he chose his humble box of bones to be a monument of faith in Canaan. Joseph’s faith reminds us that our citizenship is in Heaven. We no longer have to fear death; we can make it our friend, if only we keep our eyes on Jesus all our days.
Apply it to your life
Does your faith remember the promises of God? Do you rely on His power and rest in His peace? Do not let your circumstances, emotions, or seeming delays erode your faith. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
anybody who’s afraid of death is in bondage. Are you afraid of death then? Satan has done a job on you and you have failed to understand what jesus christ has done for you and I want to say clearly and plainly, no one is ready to live until he’s no longer afraid to die. Adrian Rogers ability to apply biblical truth to everyday life was one of the many things that made him such a remarkable pastor, teacher and writer today on love worth finding. He’ll be bringing that uniqueness to this series of messages that were calling champions of faith. Have your bibles open to Hebrews chapter 11 And join us for today’s message. And if this message is an encouragement to you, remember, you can stream this message again and download Pastor Rogers outlined notes and other resources to go along with this message all at L WF dot org. Now, let’s join Adrian Rogers Take your bibles and turn to hebrews chapter 11. And in a moment we’re going to read verse 22, this is the story of another champion of faith whose name is joseph now beyond the shadow. Minute out of her adventure, joseph was a great man. He lived as a great man, But he also died as a great man. Here’s the delineation of his life of faith that’s found here in verse 22 by faith, joseph when he died. Made mention of the departing of the Children of Israel. Now watch this and gave commandment concerning his bones. That’s it. I mean of all of the life that joseph lived so much in the old testament. And then just this one verse and a very short, pithy verse, joseph is dying. He’s the prime minister of Egypt. He has incredible wealth and power. And he says, we’re leaving here and I want to tell you what to do with my bones. Tired of the message today. The blessing in a Box of Bones, We’re gonna be talking about bones today. Now look at the verse again, Hebrews 11 verse 22 by faith, joseph when he died, made mention of the departing of the Children of Israel and gave commandment concerning his bones. What was the commandment concerning his bones? He said, look, you’re going to leave Egypt. We’re down here in Egypt. We have it good, we haven’t made in Egypt right now, but we’re going to leave Egypt and I’ll be dead. But God’s gonna bring you out. You’re going and when you go, take me with you, put my bones in a box and take them with you. I wouldn’t be caught dead here. And so he’s wanting to go. He’s going with him. He’s saying, don’t you leave me behind Now. There’s a great blessing in this box of bones that we’re gonna study about today because it will teach you number one how to live confidently and number two how to die expectantly and to no longer fear death. Three thoughts I lay on your heart and on your mind that come out of this simple verse. And we’re going to go back if you will uh to the story that is referred to here in the new testament. Go back to the first book of the bible genesis and go back to chapter 50 if you will. And in genesis chapter 50 you’ll find what the writer of Hebrews was talking about. Now here’s the first proposition that Faith does to help you to live confidently and to die expectantly. Faith remembers the unbreakable promises of God. Faith remembers the unbreakable promises of God. Now, joseph had said in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 22 that God is going to bring you out and uh now look if you will in Hebrews genesis chapter 50 verses 22 through 26. And joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s house and joseph lib and 110 years and joseph saw frames Children of the third generation that is he saw his great grandchildren. There they are upon his knees and the Children also a nature. The son of Manasseh were brought up upon joseph’s knees 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 swear 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 hints that is from this place. So joseph died being 100 and 10 years old and they embalmed him. And he was put in a coffin in Egypt a coffin in Egypt. Now the key to all of this is in verse 24. And in verse 24 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 swear to Abraham to Isaac and to uh Jacob. Now, here’s the point. They were down there in Egypt. They were down there by the uh the protecting hand of God. But God was going to bring them out of Egypt into the land of Canaan. Now, how did joseph know this? How did joseph know that they were coming out? Why was joseph so sure that the jews would not stay in Egypt because God had made a promise. I’ll read the promise to you. Put it down in your margin in Genesis 15. God is speaking to Abraham about 300 years prior to this and he’s making a promised Abraham and he said unto Abram that was his name at that time. Not Abraham. But Abram. He said to Abraham know of a surety that I see that is your Children. Abraham should be a stranger in the land. That is not theirs. That’s Egypt And shall serve them and they shall afflict afflict them 400 years. And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge and afterward shall they come out with great substance. There’s a clear promise, God said Abraham, you’re gonna have some descendants, your descendants are going to go into a strange land. They’re going to stay there for 400 years. They’re going to be afflicted. But after 400 years I’m going to bring them out and they’re gonna have great wealth. Now that is a clear promise in the word of God. Is it any wonder then that after 300 years Joseph could save his brothers. Look, I’m going to die after I die. You are coming out of here and take me with you don’t leave my bones here. Now get the point, we’re talking about joseph’s fate. What was the root of his faith? He had a promise from Almighty God. It is so evident that joseph had saturated and marinated his heart and his mind, his soul, his will. In the word of God, the faith is the byproduct of hearing from God. You can’t have faith. If you’re merely guessing at the will of God, you can’t have faith if you’re just following a hunch. But when you say God said it, God said, I believe it. You see joseph said, you’re surely coming out, how did he know this? Listen, his faith is resting in the unbreakable promises of God. Now not only does faith rest in the unbreakable promises of God. But secondly listen, faith relies on the unshakable power of God. Why can’t you have faith. On the one hand, God says he can do it, we’ll do it. On the other hand, we know that God is able to do it. Now look again in in genesis chapter 50 verse 24 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 swear to Abraham and Isaac and to Jacob now he has, he believes in the unshakable power of God. Now his faith was there contrary to evidence contrary to evidence. I mean human evidence when joseph said this, there was no reason they should leave. I mean after all, they’d already left Canon because of a famine. Now there there in Egypt, they have it made they are in a place of favor. Uh they are in comfortable circumstances outwardly. There was no reason that they should leave now. What they might have done had they been like some moderns, they may have said, well we better reexamine the promises in the light of present day circumstances. Have you ever done that? Have you ever taken uh the promise of God and paraded it passed the judgment bar of human reason, looked at circumstances and said, well perhaps it won’t happen. No, the unshakable power of God overcomes circumstances. Also listen, joseph’s fate was not shaken because of fickle emotions do you sometimes say well I just don’t feel God is going to do this, I just don’t feel it’s going to be that way. Well, really, joseph’s emotions didn’t have anything to do with it. Feelings come and and feelings go and feelings are deceiving. Don’t base your faith on how you feel about it. Joseph’s faith was not stampeded by circumstances. Joseph’s faith was not challenged by his emotion, nor was joseph’s faith eroded by long delay. Now, friend, it had been a long time. God made that promise. 300 years have passed three solid centuries and there was more time yet to come notice, joseph said, Take my bones with you didn’t say take my body with you, joseph knew that his body would be turned to molder and dust. The only thing would be left is a box of bones. But he says, take my bones with you. Joseph knew that time must pass. There was going to arise a pharaoh who knew not joseph, and yet joseph is standing on the word of God, listen to your pastor. Now don’t you let circumstances, don’t you let emotions? Don’t you let seeming delay? Keep you from believing the word of God, joseph was a man of faith and joseph said, Take my bones with you. You see somebody said, the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine. That the promises are not eroded away by time, not by emotion and not by circumstances are you following? I said that joseph’s faith, Number one was rooted in the unbreakable promises of God. And then I said #2, that Joseph’s faith relies on the unshakable power of God. God will surely bring you out. Do you believe that God has the power to do what he says? He will do. I hope you do. I hope you do. And I hope that you don’t let your emotions and circumstances and time. He rode away the promises. Now uh let me tell you friend that when God says something he’s going to do it, I’m glad that joseph did not try to Al Agha rise or explain away these promises like some do in the bible today. I like what that little girl said. If God didn’t mean what he said, why didn’t he say what he meant? Now some of us are wondering is jesus coming again. We say it’s been so long. The bible prophecies are gonna be people like that. Second Peter chapter three and verse four, they’re gonna be saying, where’s the promise of his coming for? Since the fathers fell asleep. All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. Uh but he says in second Peter chapter three and verse eight. But beloved be not ignorant of this. One thing that one day is with the Lord is 1000 years and 1000 years as one day. Now God doesn’t punch a time clock when he goes to work, God doesn’t wear a wristwatch. God is not concerned with time. God will do what he says, he will do, joseph said, God will surely bring you out. He had the promise he knew the power. Now let’s come to the third and final thing of this. Uh, this study today, faith that believes the unbreakable powers, Promise of God, that that that relies on the unshakable power of God. Uh, that results in the unmistakable peace of God. The unmistakable peace of God. Now, look again in genesis, chapter 50 verse 24 God joseph said, look, I die and God will surely visit you and he’s going to bring you out and here’s a man dying in peace. Do you know how he’s dying? Here’s old joseph, he’s there, they’re bringing his grandchildren into him and he’s dangling his grandchildren there and his great grandchildren upon his knees. There’s not a hint of panic here. Here’s a man who’s stepping into glory in perfect peace. He said, look, take my bones with you. Now, did did this happen? Let me give you some verses Exodus chapter 13. Now, just put it in the margin. You don’t have time to turn to it. I’ve copied it out for exodus 13 verses 18 and 19. But God led the people about through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea and the Children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. Now watch this verse 19 and moses took the bones of joseph with him. For he had straightly sworn the Children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you and you shall carry up my bones from from hence with you. And so when they got ready to go, they said, get old joe’s bones. Here we go, moses said, man, you carry the bones, let’s go on through the wilderness. Now, Moses led them all the way to canon. But you know, Moses didn’t get to go into cannon. It was Joshua that led them into canon. So read now in Joshua, chapter 24 verse 32. And the bones of joseph, which the Children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shek um in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of ham or the father of Shek um for 100 pieces of silver. And it became the inheritance of the Children of joseph. Now, just as joseph believed and prophesying moses carried the bones across the burning sands of the Sinai and then Joshua carried his bones across Jordan’s and indicated. Big question, why all this fuss about his bones anyway, what difference did it make to joseph? Why did joseph say take my bones with you Now, have you been to Egypt? I’ve been to Egypt on a number of occasions. I’ve seen the pyramids. I’ve been inside the great pyramid, I’ve been in the Egyptian museum. I’ve seen the sarcophagus of Old King tut and all of the immense uh accouterments that were surrounding his death and burial, joseph could have done that. Joseph could have built himself a monument there in Egypt, joseph could have had himself embalmed and enshrined there with great glory and circumstance. And pump why did he not do that himself? He had the power to do it. He had the wealth to do. I’ll tell you why joseph is saying I want to be a part of what God is doing. Joseph knew he took the long look, he knew that success and wealth and power and everything else this world has to offer is so temporary that I believe that’s the reason God could trust him with such wealth and with such power now had he built a magnificent tomb doubtless it would have been plundered. All of those tombs have been plundered. They’re looking for more of them so they can plunder them. I’ve been to the british museum. You need to go sometime go into that room where they keep the mummies. I’m so glad joseph is not there. We didn’t say this is the mummy of old joseph. No it’s not there. Uh joseph you can’t you don’t find him in any of this. Joseph is buried in an obscure grave somewhere in in the land of Canaan called Sheck. Um why did he do this. He is wanting not a monument for to pride but a monument of faith that he believed God, he’s identifying with what God is doing. You see joseph knew that when he died and they put his bones in a coffin. That God was not finished with those bones and you’re gonna die. If jesus carries And if we wait long enough, our bodies are going to turn to dust and our bones will be about the only thing left. But notice what the Bible says in Daniel chapter 12 verse two and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall await someday everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt or listen to what jesus said in the new testament, john chapter five, verses 28 29 marvel. Not at this, for the hours coming into which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and they shall come forth. They that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. I’m telling you everybody here is gonna be raised from the dead, Everybody there’s a resurrection coming and I wonder are you ready for that resurrection? First Corinthians chapter 15 verses 54 and 50 through 58. So when this corruptible, that means that which decays when this corruptible shall put on in corruption and this mortal, that means that which dies, shall shall put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory and then here’s old paul as he taunts death. Oh! Death! Where is thy sting her grave! Where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord, jesus christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord, I don’t know how much of this old joseph knew, but I know that he by faith gave commandment concerning his bones. Death is a fact, my friend, you say you’re trying to frighten me, you know, I’m trying to comfort you. I’m trying to take away the fear of death. one of these days death will lay his icy hands on you. One of these days Death will blow his cold breath on you. There was a time when Death laid his bony hands on the Lord jesus christ drug him into a dungeon, put him on a cold slab, jesus was bound with the chains of death. One day passed, two days passed. Three days passed, and death that old monarch of terrorist laughed his horse laugh and clapped his bony hands and says, I have him. On the 3rd day he broke those chains rose up. A look of fear is on the face of the sinister Minister of Fear. Death himself, jesus reaches up, pulls death from his throne and throws him to the dungeon floor the crown rose off Death’s head. Jesus reaches in and pulls the sting out of death, puts his heel on the neck of death, puts the crown on his head and walks out of that tomb, risen, living victorious. A savior. And because he lives, we live with him. We no longer fear death. We’re no longer for your dad. Because we have a savior. A dear loving savior. Faith, Faith relies on the unbreakable promises of God. Faith recognizes the unshakable power of God and faith rest in the unmistakable peace of God. Aren’t you glad that we have such a savior? Why don’t folks get saved? Why would people refuse, jesus? Can’t you see the sinfulness of the human heart that people would refuse such a savior? Don’t you want to receive him as many as received him to them, gives you the power to become the sons of God. Did you buy your heads in prayer? Heads about and eyes are closed. I want to help you to pray right now to ask, christ in your heart, would you pray this way? Lord jesus, I believe you’re the son of God. I believe you shed your blood on the cross and paid my sin debt. I believe you were raised from the dead and now by an act of faith, I receive you into my heart as my Lord and savior. I’m ashamed of my sin. I’m sorry for my sin. I repent of my sin. I turn from sin. I turn to you. Lord jesus come into my heart, forgive my sin. Save me, jesus friend. Say it and mean it. Save me. Lord jesus. Did you mean it? If you really mean pray this Lord jesus, I now will live for you because you died for me and I will not be ashamed to confess you openly because I believe that you’re the son of God. Amen friend. We are so grateful that you watched the program today. And if you prayed with us to receive jesus christ as your personal Lord and Savior, we rejoice with you and perhaps you’d like some literature, some help, some suggestions for living the christian life. We’d like to help you to do just that we have some incredible material literature that I promise you sincerely will help you to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, jesus christ to understand more and more what happened to you when you receive jesus. It’s important, very important that you have this help so write to us and let us know and we will send you absolutely free some material to help you get started in your christian life. We hope that you’ve been encouraged by these character studies from Hebrews chapter 11 that we’re calling champions of faith. You can stream this message again share this message with a friend and download other resources related to this message all at L WF dot org or the my L W F out while you’re there. Be sure to check out our new bible studies on today’s topic as well as many other topics at L WF dot org. You can also subscribe to our day, daily heartbeat emails. Each heartbeat contains a daily devotional from Adrian Rogers 90 seconds. A profound truth also from Adrian Rogers as well as a link to our daily radio program, all in one place, delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each day. Or you can catch up with our program each week on our facebook page or Youtube channel and on the my L WF app. Thanks for joining us for today’s message. We’ll see you next time. Well early on in my ministry, I decided I wanted our people to be grounded in the faith. So I began to teach new christians what I considered to be the basic fundamental truths of the christian life, something they could put the bible in one hand and this book in the other and say yes, that is truth, not only truth to understand, but truth to live by. At love worth finding Our mission is to bring people to christ and help them grow deeper in their faith through the timeless biblical teaching of Adrian Rogers and to thank you for your gift to the ministry. 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