all these are the twelve tribes of israel. this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. then he commanded them and said to them, “i am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of ephron the hittite, in the cave that is in the field at machpelah, to the east of mamre, in the land of canaan, which abraham bought with the field from ephron the hittite to possess as a burying place. there they buried abraham and sarah his wife. there they buried isaac and rebekah his wife, and there i buried leah— the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the hittites.” when jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people. [genesis 49:28-33]
what an amazing opportunity we have to see jacob’s life from beginning to end. God’s promises to him, his steadfast covenant with him, and his faithfulness through all seasons of his life. and right here at the end, we see jacob showing his trust in those promises and his trust in God’s steadfast covenant. he acknowledges that this is not his home, but his home is in the land that God has set aside for him. the land of promise. and so he takes this last step of obedience to God’s command before he dies.
and what a beautiful foreshadowing of Christ himself. we see Jesus even as a young child seeking the Father through his word, clinging to those same promises, trusting in that same steadfast love, and all the way through his ministry to the end of his life we see his trust in his Father’s faithfulness. as Jesus hung on a cross, we see him forsaking himself, turned outward and forgiving others, asking the Father to pour out mercy on his murderers. in the midst of such agony as he endured, he was looking forward to the promised land, because he knew this was not his home.
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [hebrews 12:2]
Jesus knew what glory was to come. he looked forward to the satisfaction of being seated at the right hand of his Father, interceding for his bride who would soon be brought to him, because he has made her clean.
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. [ephesians 5:7]
then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. [1 thessalonians 4:17]
and i heard a loud voice from the throne saying:
“behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and he will dwell with them.
they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
‘he will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’ and there will be no more death
or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.”
and the One seated on the throne said, “behold, i make all things new.” then he said, “write this down, for these words are faithful and true.” and he told me, “it is done! i am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. to the thirsty i will give freely from the spring of the water of life. the one who overcomes will inherit all things, and i will be his God, and he will be my son. [Revelation 21:3-7]
church, this is our promised land! to dwell in the presence of our Almighty Creator and Father forever and ever, praising his glory together, filled with inexpressible and everlasting joy. do you trust this promise? are you living a life of trust in this promise? trust in our faithful God, he will surely do it!