Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob’s life was a hundred and forty-seven years. And when the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh and [promise to] deal loyally and faithfully with me. Please do not bury me in Egypt, but when I lie down with my fathers [in death], you will carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place [at Hebron in the cave of Machpelah].” And Joseph said, “I will do as you have directed.” Then he said, “Swear to me [that you will do it].” So he swore to him. Then Israel (Jacob) bowed in worship at the head of the bed. Genesis 47:27-31(AMP)
From the title of today’s devotion, we are going to study what exactly finishing well means and whether Israel did finish well. Finishing well is a phrase used when one comes to the end of their lives and they still have faith in the Lord and they also fear the Lord, this is demonstrated by having lived a surrendered life unto the Lord which results in doing mighty exploits for the Lord as one works with Him.
The great apostle Paul puts it like this:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6-7(NKJV)
Throughout the bible our life is compared to an obstacle course race that God had has already set before us. Each race is custom made to each person’s life and none is alike to another. It is an individual race where we are refined to be the best version of ourselves and not compete against each other. In fact our eyes must be set upon the Lord Christ Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and not each other. This is well articulated by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 12: 1-2 (TPT).
As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.
Running our race and finishing it well denotes the Christian overcoming life. The race is already set before us by the Lord. The race is not necessarily easy but we are never alone God is always with us guiding us and instructing us along the way. We even surrounded by witnesses who cheering us along the way, how awesome is that!! So The Psalmist advises that we obey the Lord and trust Him especially when nothing seems familiar anymore.
I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!” Psalm 32:8-9(TPT)
Jacob run his race and he finished it well. He finished it in faith in God, infact he wanted to be assured that Joseph will to bury him in the promised land which the Lord promised to give his ancestors. Afterwards he bowed in worship on his bed unto the Lord. This moment was so precious in Jacob’s life that he makes it to the great hall of the heroes of faith in the bible in Hebrew 11:21.
Jacob worshiped in faith’s reality at the end of his life, and leaning upon his staff he imparted a prophetic blessing upon each of Joseph’s sons.
What I love most about this is that the Holy Spirit uses the name Jacob and not Israel. Which is meant to encourage us that no matter how far we have strayed off from the Lord, we can still finish our race in faith. It reminds of Samson though captured and his eyes gorged out at his death he kill more of the enemies of God than during his entire Christ time on earth. How gracious is our God His power is made manifest in our weakness. Praise His name forever.