Scripture Reading: Genesis 50:7-11
This must have been an amazing spectacle; a caravan coming out of Egypt with a great number of people, “a very great company,” carrying the body of the patriarch back to Canaan for burial. When they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, they stopped for seven days for mourning. When the people of the area saw the great mourning, they called the place, “Abelmizraim.” The word comes from a compound of two Hebrew words; “aw-bale” meaning a meadow, and “Mits-rah-yim” meaning Egypt. Mizraim was the second son of Ham, settling in Northern Africa, in the area of Egypt, which was called by his name. The “Meadow of Egypt” was from the time forward a reminder of the great event of the funeral procession that went all the way from Egypt to the Cave of Machpelah in Canaan.
This great company was testimony to the influence that Joseph had in Egypt. Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, dying at the age of 147. Joseph lived in Egypt from the time he was seventeen, until his death at the age of 110. For the final eighty years of his life, Joseph held a high ranking position of authority and honor in Egypt. This is why we read that so great a company, including all of the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house and the elders of the land of Egypt, made the journey to bury Jacob in Canaan.
Christians should be influential in their world and in their day. They may not be in an exalted position in life as was Joseph, but they can maintain effective and productive testimonies before the unsaved around them. Joseph serves as an example of the believer’s influence in the world around him. May God instill in our hearts the desire to be so used by Him in our world!
Pastor Steve Smith