A New Dawn
A New Dawn
Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly…
What sort of eulogy can we write for Joseph’s generation as we mourn their passing and ponder all the mysteries they carry with them to their graves? What a Theophanous generation it was! Think of the stories these twelve brothers must’ve passed on to their grandchildren and great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. These guys witnessed God sew their frayed family back together against all odds. They witnessed God raise up a slave to the highest throne in Egypt. They saw God soften Pharaoh’s heart in the midst of a famine to give them pasturelands for their flocks and homesteads for their growing families. They learned firsthand the healing power of confession, experienced the way forgiveness can redeem decades of betrayal, witness how one good deed can overcome hundreds of bad ones. They saw God in their very midst, through nighttime dreams, through wilderness epiphanies, through promises made and promises kept, through the cry of a newborn baby, through the tears of a long-lost brother, through wonder after wonder, and through their stories we have too. Which is why it’s difficult for me to close the book on this special generation. The more time I’ve spent reading their testimonies, the fonder I’ve become of these old-world boys. While many today pass off their biographies as crude, primitive pages in the history of the world, deeming them irrelevant to a sophisticated, post-post-postmodern society like ours, the reality is that getting rid of foundations doesn’t lead to progress, but collapse.
So friend, before we turn our attention to the duties awaiting us today, to the special and immediate commission knocking at our door this very moment, let’s park our minds for a while at this graveyard where these great patriarchs and matriarchs are buried. Let’s leave some flowers, pen some thoughts, offer some prayers of thanksgiving for the fruitfulness of people like Abraham and Leah and Judah, for all they taught us about God, for the trails they blazed in their walk of faith that made our path today just a little easier; and let’s pray that that those who read an account of our own generation a thousand years from now will see God’s wonder too.