Faith – the substance of things hoped for

One hundred miles NW of London you’ll find the Church of the Holy Trinity where 400 years ago, AD 1616, William Shakespeare was buried.  Four centuries later men are still reading his works, performing his plays and quoting him in personal conversations. “All the world‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”  “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”  “To thine own self be true.”  “All that glisters is not gold.”  “…it was Greek to me.”  “I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.”  “We have seen better days.”  The greatness, the words and art of this man have not been forgotten.

Earlier today I read in Exodus 13:19, “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”  The reason I connected this with Shakespeare was because from the time Joseph spoke about his bones just before his death, Genesis 50:25 and Joshua buried them in Shechem, Josh 24:32, four centuries passed.  Then we read fifteen hundred years later in the book of Hebrews (11:22), “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.”

What was seemingly a strange request by Joseph was really his declaration of faith.  Faith, as you’ll remember, is ‘the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen’, Hebrews 11:1.  After all Joseph had gone through and having lived 90+ years in Egypt, he knew, he believed, the promises of God to Great Grandpa Abraham, Grandpa Isaac and his father, Jacob.  There was, there is, a Promised Land and whenever God delivered the nation from Egypt, Joseph wanted his bones taken ‘home’.

For the past ten, twenty, thirty, forty, forty-six years, I have by faith been waiting on that time when God will take me Home.  It may take place in two stages – my spirit at death and my body at the resurrection or it may happen all at once in the Rapture, but I know, I believe, one day just like Moses led Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land, that my Deliverer, the Lord Jesus, will come to take me Home.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: …and… I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14.  And so shall I ever be with the Lord!  1 Thessalonians 4.

Think about it.