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Monday, May 9, 2011

Gathered to our people...

"Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him."--Genesis 35:29.  By this point in the Genesis account, Jacob's a.k.a. Israel's twelfth son Benjamin has been born.  Also Jacob and Esau have reunited and set aside their differences.  The tragedy is that Rachel died after Benjamin's birth. In Genesis 35:9-22 is when Jacob's name Israel originally given in Genesis 34:24-32 would take official effect and the nation of Israel with it's twelve tribes would be born. The twelve tribes or sons of Israel (Jacob) are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Isaachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Joseph and Asher.  After all this takes place, Jacob is in Canaan (the Promised Land) the the stage is set for God to kick His redemptive plan into full gear.  When the stage is set, Isaac, the father of Jacob dies.  He is gathered to his people.

Gathered to our people.  I have always found this to be a very interesting phrase in the Scriptures.  I believe this phrase is proof that there is life beyond the grave.  This phrase grabs my attention personally because of the two recent deaths in my family.  Other than the hope that we find in the pages of the New Testament which is ultimately given through Christ, this phrase "gathered to his people" should be an Old Testament reminder that we who are in Christ will one day be reunited with our brothers and sisters that have gone before us to their reward.

Gathered to our people.  Another interesting phrase in Genesis 35:29 is that Isaac died "an old man of ripe age." According to a footnote in my Bible, this means that Isaac died satisfied with days.  Isaac lives a total of 180 years.  People lived longer in that day then they do today.  I want to ask you, if you were to go today, would you die knowing you did all you could for God and most importantly would you die knowing without a doubt you would be going to heaven to be gathered to His people??? If not click on the "Are You Sure of Your Eternal Salvation?" link.

Gathered to our people. Finally one last point, notice that Jacob and Esau reunited to bury their father. Both Jacob and Esau have grown up enough to set aside their differences and come together to bury their father. Jacob did Esau wrong early on no doubt.  There are times when our brother or sister in Christ may do us wrong but there comes a time when we need to set those differences aside and let go of the past. If there is a problem you are having with your brother or sister, don't allow the death of someone who you are both close to be the reason you come back together.  Resolve the problem before then.

Gathered to our people. My encouragement to you is this, no practical application other than examples given throughout my thoughts but take this one verse as a simple reminder that one day we will be reunited with those brethren who have gone before us. If you aren't sure if you would be gathered to His people, please click on the link I provided.  Also, please feel free to comment or email me at if you have any questions.


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