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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Photo of Gold finches feeding each other
Brooksyne snapped this photo yesterday of two gold finches feeding each other in the feeder about 5 feet from our computer. (Click on photo for larger image)

"Where Home Is"

"By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones" (Hebrews 11:22).

We enjoyed watching Steve Irwin and his enthusiastic approach to wild animals, particularly crocodiles. By now most readers know he was killed yesterday doing what he loved to do, interfacing with animals, in this case filming stingrays underwater. He really seemed to be at home with wild animals but I don't suppose he had any idea how close "his end was near" when he went to work yesterday. I also have no idea regarding what spiritual preparations he had made.

But today's rather obscure verse speaks powerfully regarding the imminence of death and of knowing where home is.

As a youth Joseph was sold as a slave by his own jealous brothers. After some tough bumps and setbacks over a period of thirteen years, including a lengthy imprisonment, he had risen to the position of Prime Minister in Egypt.  He knew of this world's finest.  He had power, wealth and prestige; a tremendous contrast to the years he spent in prison.  Surely with these conditions Egypt would become his home.

Yet on his deathbed he had something else in mind.  Long before the time of the Egyptian bondage even began he was speaking of the Exodus.  In Genesis 50:25 he extracted this promise from his brothers; "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place." 

Another rather obscure verse in Exodus reveals that this promise was faithfully kept over 400 years later!  "Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He had said, 'God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place'" (Exodus 13:19).  Can you imagine this oath being faithfully repeated from generation to generation until its fulfillment?

Even though Joseph had done very well in Egypt, he knew it was not his home.  He had last lived in Canaan as a lad of 17 but the teaching of his childhood had a remarkable, enduring impact on him. Although he had been the Prime Minister since he was 30 and died at 110, Egypt never really gripped his heart. He remembered where home was.

Who has your heart today?  Are you doing well in "Egypt"?  If you are that's great. But it's also dangerous.  We must remember where home is and not forget where our "bones" belong.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily Prayer:  Lord, help us to remember where our home really is!

Personal Update: This morning Brooksyne took Ester to get a chest x–ray and lab work and she will see her local pediatric cardiologist at Hershey Medical Center.  As mentioned yesterday she seems to be recovering well from her heart surgery last week but still has fluid on her lungs.  Once again thanks for the many email expressions of prayer and interest we received during this time.  We read each one and receive encouragement and strength.  Although we try to reply to as many emails as we can in cases like this we will not be able to do so.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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