Hebrews 11, 20-22
Something to read
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
There is something that binds together these three episodes, and that is that Isaac, Jacob and Joseph were all at the end of their lives.
In addition, all three were men of faith who were looking confidently to the future when they died. They died in hope. None of them entered the Promised Land but all of them died with a confidence about the future.
In many ways all three could have been deeply disappointed with their lives. Violence, betrayal and deception were woven into their lives and yet they ended their days in hope.
I am very grateful that the Bible doesn’t portray men and women of faith as people who lived lives that were trouble-free and endlessly enjoyable! We meet people for whom life was a battle, and who often made mistakes. I find that very comforting!
God invites us to live by faith today whatever our circumstances. And he will go on inviting us to live by faith even when we come towards the end of our lives. Whatever our state of health or strength, God invites us to live lives of faith that are continually full of hope and confidence in the future.
Something to do
Think of one or two of your greatest failures in life (not too many!). Then thank God that he is so merciful and forgiving that he calls you (and me!) to live by faith today. Thank God that throughout history, and today, he invites failed people like us to live for him.
Something to pray
Thank you Lord that you are willing to work with people like us.
Thank you that even though you know everything about us you still love us. We offer to you our worst moments and most damaging failures and stand in amazement at the complete forgiveness that you offer us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
We thank you that he died on the cross for our sins, that he rose from death on the third day and that he is alive for ever more.
Help us to live this day in close partnership with you and in the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today's contributor is the Rev Jonathan Edwards, former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.