Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carrying Joseph's Bones

I love the details of the Exodus. It's a massive and helpful metaphor for those who have been redeemed by Jesus' blood and are now following Christ.

One of those details is that Moses carried Joseph's bones across the Red Sea and into the desert. Joseph had made his brothers promise that they would take his bones back to Israel when they left Egypt."God will come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place."(Ex 13:17) Moses remembered the request. Everyone else is gathering the best of Egypt's bling before their escape, and Moses has to do some tomb raiding? (speculative,but likely seeing as he was Egyptian royalty) And then he has to lead the Exodus, multi tasking as some kind of undertaker. Awkward. Inconvenient.

Obviously it was the desire of one of Israel's great heroes of the faith to be laid to rest in his homeland, and nothing was too much trouble for Moses to oblige him. But I imagine the bones must also have been an incredible reminder of God's Providence. Almost 200 years before the Exodus, Joseph predicts by the Spirit that God would help his people get out of slavery and get back home.
And then it happens.
Maybe carrying Joseph's bones was more for Israel than it was for Joseph? A constant reminder to a forgetful and nostalgiac people of a God who was before them and would go ahead of them. The Already Previous God, as a friend of mine calls it.

Today's is Thanksgiving. America's best holiday, I think. Wish it was a more popular export than Halloween.
For me, carrying Joseph's bones is about thankful remembrance.
Carrying Joseph's bones keeps me from forgetfulness about God. And from nostalgia about Egypt.
It's a happy discipline.
Not reserved for Thanksgiving Day only.


  1. On the weekend I had the privilege of being invited by Mannie & Jack Tsoai to the official opening of Cosmo City Church on their new premises. It was attended by MP's, ward & regional heads from the ruling party, education heads, friends & family. A wonderful celebration!

    What made it special too was the fact that it was their 10 year anniversary! There were eye-opening, heart piercing, faith stirring testimonies of God's providence, but for me the highlight was the honour the eldership gave to Jack & Moratwa, to his mom, to the eldership team, to Mannie & Dawn.

    For me, carrying the bones of Joseph is exactly that, honouring those who have gone before and carrying them as precious deep within our hearts. Like Elisha's bones, there was still a residue of anointing long after he'd died, may we carry the bones of honour, anointing and inheritance from those who have opened the way for us all. Thank you God!

  2. Incredible, Brad. Wish we could have been there. I love Jack and Moratwa deeply, as well as Manny and Dawn. Their long an dloving journey together is an amazing example of the reconciling power of the cross.