29 Then Jacob gave directions to his sons. He said, “I’m about to join the members of my family who have already died. Bury me with them in the cave in the field of Ephron, the Hittite. 30 The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in Canaan. Abraham had bought it as a place where he could bury his wife’s body. He had bought the cave and the field from Ephron, the Hittite. 31 The bodies of Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there. So were the bodies of Isaac and his wife Rebekah. I also buried Leah’s body there. 32 Abraham bought the field and the cave from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob had finished telling his sons what to do, he pulled his feet up into his bed. Then he took his last breath and died. He joined the members of his family who had already died.
Jacob is dying and repeats his request that his sons bury him in the Land of Promise with his fathers. He wanted to be buried in “Machpelah”, the burial place purchased by Abraham in Genesis 23. He is clear that he wants to be buried in the land with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah. Why? I am not certain, but there was a profound connection between the Israelites and the land, the Promised land. Jacob’s ancestors were to live in peace in the land promised to Abraham and Isaac, and he wanted to be there. Jacob is expressing faith that God’s promises remained firm to the end.
What would be your dying request – would it be an expression of faith like Jacob. I am so challenged by this – here this man of God is stilling confessing his faith right up until the very end – still looking to see what God will do – positioning himself for the future.
Father help me to keep calling on your Name, to keep expressing faith all the way through to my last breath!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta