"And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people." (Genesis 49:33)
In my reading assignment this A. M., I read about Jacob's last days on earth. He lived to be one hundred forty-seven years old!
It is not a pleasant thing to think about, but, if Jesus tarries, death will eventually come for each of us. We must be ready for it. Our preparations begin with accepting Jesus as our Savior. I have done that, and hope that each of you have done the same.
Jacob was as ready as anyone could be. He had walked with God most of his life, and knew that his ancestors were already in eternity, waiting for him.
This verse puts the passing of the believer into a proper perspective.
1) Jacob knew that he was mortal, therefore he knew that he would not live on earth forever. This was not his "forever" home.
2) Jacob knew his time grew short, so he said what he needed to say to his family.
3) Jacob was at complete ease concerning his death. He completely trusted his Lord to take care of him, and his family after he was gone.
4) He picked his feet up from off the floor, and laid in his bed. (I think he died in his sleep. What a peaceful thing that would be.)
5) Jacob "...yielded up the ghost,..." That is what death is! Our spirit leaves our body, and goes before God.
6) Jacob "...was gathered unto his people." Isn't that a comforting thought. We go see the ones who went before we did! Talk about a homecoming celebration!
Several weeks ago, we had some bad weather come through the area. A tornado was sighted in the area. The next morning, a friend called to talk to me. She was absolutely surprised to find out that Donna and I had slept through the whole thing. She asked, "What if you had been killed last night?"
I told her:
1) I would have died in my sleep, and that's a good way to go.
2) I would have been carried by the angels into God's presence, and that's a good place to be.
3) I would have seen Jesus, and I have waited for that a long time.
4) And, I would have seen a lot of people that I have missed seeing, which would be wonderful. (One of those people would be her husband.)
There are a lot of things that are worse than a believer dying. Death is a kindness from God. He didn't leave us here to suffer forever. I can't bear the thought of having a cancer for ten thousand years. Nor can I bear the thought of someone that I love living in pain for a million years.
Jacob is an inspiration to those who believe in the Lord. Let us live out our days serving Him, and when our time comes, let us go home with Jesus.
"LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, in FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY"
From my heart to your heart.