29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
As I read this record of Jacob’s final words before his death, I was taken by the phrase that he spoke to his sons, “I am about to be gathered to my people”.
I searched out a bible commentary on this phrase, and found a statement which highlighted Jacob’s confidence in facing death: “There is said to be three basic attitudes towards death. Among the ancient Greeks, they held to what can be called the death-accepting view. Our modern world is sold out to a death-denying approach. The Biblical approach is the death-defying attitude”
A death–defying attitude – I like that. As believers, we know that death is not the end of life, but rather a doorway to the next life.
Jacob faced his imminent death peacefully, knowing that he was about to be reunited with his loved ones who had gone before him.
I have faced the death of both of my parents, and knowing that we will one day be reunited is a beautiful assurance. This does not take the sorrow out of death for us, but it gives us a wonderful hope that death is not the end of the story.
Thank you Jesus, that life with You is the end of the story that actually has no end.
Written by Shelley Witt