“‘I am about to die; but God will visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. … and you shall carry up my bones from here.” Genesis 50:24,25
Egypt is a mighty empire. One of the world’s great rivers provides water for its fields. Great monuments of the pharaohs stand the test of time. Men from other nations continue to learn from the scientist and scholars. Priceless treasures of antiquity abound there. Joseph had achieved much in Egypt rising from a slave to being the governor who sustained the people through the great drought. And yet, he didn’t want to remain there after his death. He knew the Lord had a place of promise for him and his people.
The Israelites place in Egypt was temporal. Another pharaoh had no knowledge of the Hebrew governor and enslaved his people. No, Canaan was the place the Lord had promised to the descendants of Abraham. This semi arid land lacked the great resources and wealth of the mighty empire that enslaved them. But those who would inhabit the land needed only to be obedient to their great God to be provided for and protected. The Israelites could neither fight the Egyptian army nor cross the Red Sea by their own strength to reach the promise. Only the Lord their God could make the pathway for them to cross and overcome their enemies.
Like Joseph, we must be wise enough not to settle for earthly wealth and authority. Our eternal place of promise may seem far and we may lack worldly leisure and luxuries in our Canaans. But, have faith and be obedient and we will have all that we need and more. Have faith in the One whose light cannot be overcome by the darkness of our temptations and has parted the partition of sin that separates us from the Kingdom with his blood shed on the cross. No, don’t settle for Egypt. God has promised us so much more than this.
Yours Brother in Christ
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene