Sermon #50               Miscellaneous Sermons:

     Title:       Joseph’s Bones

     Text:       Hebrews 11:22


     Subject:  The steadfastness of faith

     Date:       Tuesday Evening - , 2001

     Tape #   




     At the early age of seventeen Joseph was carried away into a foreign, heathen country. There he remained for many years surrounded by idolaters. It is probable that during all that time he never came into contact with a single child of God. Moreover, in those days there was no Bible to read, for none of God’s Word had been committed to writing. Yet amid strong temptations and various trials he remained true to the Lord. Thirteen years of prison did not embitter him; being made lord over Egypt did not spoil him; and evil examples all around did not corrupt him. O the mighty power of divine grace to preserve its favored objects! We should bear in mind that in his early years Joseph received much godly training. How this ought to encourage Christian parents. Faithfully train your children and, with God’s blessing, it will abide with them even in a heathen society.


     It would appear remarkable to many that the Holy Spirit has selected this particular act of faith to illustrate the faithfulness of this man Joseph. It is surprising to the natural reason that the inspired Apostle makes no mention of Joseph’s faithfulness in declaring what God had made known to him, his charity, his wisdom and prudence, his fear of God, his compassion, his overcoming evil with good, his reverence and obedience to his father; instead, the whole of his memorable life is past over, and we are introduced to the final scene of his pilgrimage. But this seeming difficulty is easily removed if we bear in mind the purpose of this chapter. It was Paul’s purpose to encourage the fearful and wavering Hebrews, by setting before them striking examples of the efficacy and sufficiency of faith to carry its favored possessor safely through every difficulty, and ultimately conduct him into the promised inheritance.


     A question which is of deepest interest to all is, “Do we have a faith which will support us amid the frailties of age and the pains of decaying nature? We all profess faith now: the hour which will try whether we possess it or not is fast approaching. The reality and strength of our faith must at some time - God only knows how soon - be put to a severe trial. How many who thought that they had faith in health, find that they have none in sickness. How many who thought their faith was strong, have found that it was not even as “a grain of mustard seed”. Let us now, by seeking clear, distinct views of Christian truth and its evidences, lay up a good foundation for the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life.




     Nothing but the faith of Christ can enable  rationally thinking man to enter with composure and delight into the unseen world. It is the faith which is wrought in man by Christ, and that alone, which can enable the expiring mortal to rejoice in the dissolution of “the earthly house of this tabernacle”, and to say, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”




1.     The power of his faith.

2.     The performances of his faith.

3.     The profession of his faith.

4.     The pattern for our faith.


I. The power of his faith.


     A. He had power over worldly prosperity.


     1. God does call some men to high positions (1 Cor. 18).


     2. Joseph’s faith was severely tried.


     a. His position (He was a high official among idolaters).


     b. His prosperity


        (1). Riches of themselves do not injure.

        (2). Faith must be active moderating the affections of the rich (Phil. 4:12; Psa. 62:10).

        (3). Faith must set greater store by the things of heaven than by every earthly charm.


     c. His prudence.


     B. By faith Joseph had power to triumph over death.


     1. Death is a great tester of man’s sincerity. It shakes down bowing walls and tottering fences.


     2. The brightest instance of faith in this grand old man was at his death.


     a. In his death he remembered God’s covenant.

     b. His heart was totally baptized with the thoughts of heaven.

     c. He did not dwell upon the past, but hoped for the future (Heb. 11:1).

     d. He rested on God’s testimony.


     C. By faith Joseph triumphed over all improbabilities.


     1. Israel was in Goshen. Why should they leave?


     2. When they came to slavery, how could they leave? Faith does not reason, but believe.


II. The performance of his faith.


     A. He refused to be an Egyptian


     NOTE: “In Sakhara, hard by the pyramid of Pharaoh Apahis, stands at this day the tomb of a prince, whose name and titles are in hieroglyphic writing. The name is “”Eitsuph”, and from among his many titles we choose one, “Director of the King’s Graineries”. 2 Cor. 6:14; Jos. 4:4.


     B. Faith constrained him to have fellowship with the people of God.


     1. A true Christian may be known by his love for Zion (1 John 3:14).


     2. At the very time of his death Joseph’s heart was engaged with the future happiness of Israel (Psa. 137:5-6).


     a. How beautifully this unselfish faith was pictured in the dying daughter-in-law of Eli (1 Sam. 4:22).


     b. Much more was this unselfish love demonstrated by our Savior (John 13:1).


     NOTE: May God enable us by faith to lay hold of his promises for God’s people today (Isa. 59:19).


     C. Joseph’s faith gave him an eye to the spirituality of the covenant. His hope His hope was not in the earthly Canaan.


     D. Joseph’s faith gave him a willingness to wait God’s time for the promised blessing. (Here is Christianity - Resignation).


     NOTE: Joseph’s bones were not buried until Joshua had conquered and divided the land.


III. The profession of his faith. His death bed was active.


     A. He made an open avowal of his confidence in God’s promise. Faith cannot be dumb!


     B. He would encourage the faith of others.


     1. We should desire men’s salvation.


     2. We should encourage faith in others at all times.


IV. The pattern for our faith.


     Here we have an example for our faith to act upon when we come to the time of death.


     A. Let us in the hour of death take comfort in the covenant as Joseph did.


     B. We can be comforted knowing that Christ will yet visit his people.




     We cannot hope to die triumphantly unless we live obediently.