So Joseph and his brothers and their families continued to live in Egypt. Joseph lived to the age of 110. He lived to see three generations of descendants of his son Ephraim, and he lived to see the birth of the children of Manasseh’s son Makir, whom he claimed as his own. “Soon I will die,” Joseph told his brothers, “but God will surely come to help you and lead you out of this land of Egypt. He will bring you back to the land he solemnly promised to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath, and he said, “When God comes to help you and lead you back, you must take my bones with you.” So Joseph died at the age of 110. The Egyptians embalmed him, and his body was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
Dear God, this is a brief chance to see Joseph as a father. It’s actually our second glimpse. The first was when Jacob blessed them, but ignored their birth order and it upset Joseph. Then it talks about him seeing his great grandchildren born. It paints a picture of interest in his children, their children, and their children.
We don’t get any stories about the boys, good or bad, so it’s hard to know, but Genesis certainly isn’t shy about telling us the ugly part of their lives. That’s why I kind of get the impression that things turned out alright for Joseph as a father. First, I don’t know how many wives he had (or daughters), but it appears he only had the two boys so it’s not like he was just having tons of kids by tons of women (that we know of). I don’t know. I’m doing A LOT of inferring here, but Joseph seemed to live a reasonably controlled life that made room for loving his family (children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren) and also his brothers. And he also lived a life of forgiveness, choosing to not punish his brothers for what they did to him.
Father, I don’t know that there is really anything I can take from Joseph as a father and apply to my life, but it is refreshing to see one of these guys seem to care about the development of his children and how their lives turn out for their own sake and not his. As I get into Exodus, I’ll start with Moses’s mother and go from there. It will be interesting to see any parents of note that I haven’t considered before. In the meantime, please help me to be the father, husband, brother, son, etc. that you need me to be for my own family.
In Jesus’s name I pray,