40.Day.Week3

JULY 18

REMEMBER THE FUTURE

HEBREWS 11:20-22 | By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and bowed over the end of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, remembered the exodus of the children of Israel and gave instructions concerning his bones.

Joseph remembered the future—before it happened. The Greek text of Hebrews 11:22 literally says that Joseph remembered the Exodus. But that event was 400 years down the road. How could Joseph remember it? In one sense, he simply recalled the promise handed down by his ancestors that God would deliver Israel from Egypt (GENESIS 15:13-16). But there is more to it than that.

The author of Hebrews insists on a quality of faith that lays hold of a future shaped by God. Faith is the proof of things not seen (HEBREWS 11:1). In this sense, Joseph remembered the future before it happened. The faraway Exodus was more real to him than the pyramids of Egypt, and more certain than his own death, which now stared him in the face. With one foot in the grave, Joseph remembers the future. Incredible faith!

Biblical faith is not only future oriented. It’s also presently involved. Before they died, the Patriarchs of Israel did things by faith to lay foundations for future generations: Isaac invoked blessings on his sons. Jacob blessed his grandsons. And Joseph left a most bizarre token of faith for the next four generations. His mummified body! (11:20-22)

The Book of Genesis ends on a lethal note: Joseph was embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt (GENESIS 50:26). According to tradition, his coffin remained unburied—a silent sermon to the next four generations of Israelites that their destiny lay elsewhere. Egypt will not have the last word. The tyrants who forget Joseph and enslave Israel will not prevail forever.

Joseph, therefore, would not be denied. Not even by death itself. At the end of his life-in-exile, he takes hold of God’s future. Dead or alive, he’s going into the Promised Land. He dies in faith unwavering: God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here (GENESIS 50:25; EXODUS 13:19).

In this way, Hebrews urges its readers to look beyond all that rankles the human heart, including death, and put full faith in the promise of God. Our destiny is neither a brick factory in Egypt nor a niche in Mount Vernon, but a mansion in the City of God. In the meantime, rest in peace.

REMEMBER THE FUTURE

HEBREWS 11:20-22 | By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and bowed over the end of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, remembered the exodus of the children of Israel and gave instructions concerning his bones.

Joseph remembered the future—before it happened. The Greek text of Hebrews 11:22 literally says that Joseph remembered the Exodus. But that event was 400 years down the road. How could Joseph remember it? In one sense, he simply recalled the promise handed down by his ancestors that God would deliver Israel from Egypt (GENESIS 15:13-16). But there is more to it than that.

The author of Hebrews insists on a quality of faith that lays hold of a future shaped

 

JULY 18

by God. Faith is the proof of things not seen (HEBREWS 11:1). In this sense, Joseph remembered the future before it happened. The faraway Exodus was more real to him than the pyramids of Egypt, and more certain than his own death, which now stared him in the face. With one foot in the grave, Joseph remembers the future. Incredible faith!

Biblical faith is not only future oriented. It’s also presently involved. Before they died, the Patriarchs of Israel did things by faith to lay foundations for future generations: Isaac invoked blessings on his sons. Jacob blessed his grandsons. And Joseph left a most bizarre token of faith for the next four generations. His mummified body! (11:20-22)

The Book of Genesis ends on a lethal note: Joseph was embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt (GENESIS 50:26). According

to tradition, his coffin remained unburied—a silent sermon to the next four generations of Israelites that their destiny lay elsewhere. Egypt will not have the last word. The tyrants who forget Joseph and enslave Israel will not prevail forever.

Joseph, therefore, would not be denied. Not even by death itself. At the end of his life-in-exile, he takes hold of God’s future. Dead or alive, he’s going into the Promised Land. He dies in faith unwavering: God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here (GENESIS 50:25; EXODUS 13:19).

In this way, Hebrews urges its readers to look beyond all that rankles the human heart, including death, and put full faith in the promise of God. Our destiny is neither a brick factory in Egypt nor a niche in Mount Vernon, but a mansion in the City of God. In the meantime, rest in peace.

Prayer Track

■ Remember the future. The Exodus promise was passed down faithfully from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Joseph and all the way to Moses. Faith must be passed down from generation to generation. Pray the Word: One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts… They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness (PSALM 145:4,7).

■ Remember the future. Pray for a great awakening from the ground up. Think Faith at Home. Wake up to the fact that we can’t outsource our children’s spiritual formation. Our faith is not passed down through our DNA. It must be faithfully taught, parents to children (RAY STEDMAN). Home-based learning is an ancient idea from the all-wise God. Declare aloud: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (DEUTERONOMY 6:4-9).

■ Remember the future. Our young are growing up in a cynical world that constantly undermines their faith. Think spiritual defence. Ask God to summon fathers to act: Take full ownership of this sacred trust. Restore the Family as the basic unit of discipleship. Plant deep spiritual roots by diligently teaching their children God’s Word. Model true love for God by living his Word. Make faith conversations a natural part of family life. Share memories of God at work. Seize these teachable moments to grow faith, mould minds, and shape values. Invoke God’s blessings on each child through the laying on of hands. Be intentional in all the above.

■ Remember the future. Faith looks beyond the pandemic and all that paralyses us. Covid-19 will not have the last word. How will future generations remember us? Did we defy the odds? Did we keep our spirits up and show the world what resilience and unity look like? Did we honour the best efforts of our leaders, nurses and doctors? Did we protect one another, did we lend a helping hand? And were we, in our own small ways, a part of the solution? Today we stand at the crossroads of history and we have a choice. Now is the time to prove who we are. The future is watching (TIMOTHY WEERASEKERA). We had better behave ourselves! Pray.

■ Remember the future. God is there. God will surely visit you (GENESIS 50:25). For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (JEREMIAH 29:11). Shalom Singapore.

Prayer Track

■ Remember the future. The Exodus promise was passed down faithfully from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Joseph and all the way to Moses. Faith must be passed down from generation to generation. Pray the Word: One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts… They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness (PSALM 145:4,7).

■ Remember the future. Pray for a great awakening from the ground up. Think Faith at Home. Wake up to the fact that we can’t outsource our children’s spiritual formation. Our faith is not passed down through our DNA. It must be faithfully taught, parents to children (RAY STEDMAN). Home-based learning is an ancient idea from the all-wise God. Declare aloud: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be

on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (DEUTERONOMY 6:4-9).

■ Remember the future. Our young are growing up in a cynical world that constantly undermines their faith. Think spiritual defence. Ask God to summon fathers to act: Take full ownership of this sacred trust. Restore the Family as the basic unit of discipleship. Plant deep spiritual roots by diligently teaching their children God’s Word. Model true love for God by living his Word. Make faith conversations a natural part of family life. Share memories of God at work. Seize these teachable moments to grow faith, mould minds, and shape values. Invoke God’s blessings on each child through the laying on of hands. Be intentional in all the above.

■ Remember the future. Faith looks beyond the pandemic and all that paralyses us. Covid-19 will not have the last word. How will future generations remember us? Did we defy the odds? Did we keep our spirits up and show the world what resilience and unity look like? Did we honour the best efforts of our leaders, nurses and doctors? Did we protect one another, did we lend a helping hand? And were we, in our own small ways, a part of the solution? Today we stand at the crossroads of history and we have a choice. Now is the time to prove who we are. The future is watching (TIMOTHY WEERASEKERA). We had better behave ourselves! Pray.

■ Remember the future. God is there. God will surely visit you (GENESIS 50:25). For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (JEREMIAH 29:11). Shalom Singapore.