Love in Death
Genesis 49:29
And he charged them, and said to them, I am to be gathered to my people…

The patriarch Jacob, in his last request, says, "Bury me with my fathers"; and this feeling has illustration all along the ages in different races and climes. What is it but the outward symbol of that which is deepest in the heart? What is it but an expression of the preciousness of these earthly relationships? Bury me with my fathers. Of course in the grave, with silence and darkness, there is no device or knowledge. So far as the perishing bodies are concerned, it cannot matter essentially where they repose when the spirit has fled. And yet they are the tenements of thought and will. They are associated with all that is most expressive in our being. With them are grouped the activities, the endearments, the acquirements, the possessions, that make up our estimate of life. When the patriarch said, "Bury me with my fathers," he thought of those whom he revered and loved, whose remains were lying in the sepulchre of Machpelah; he thought of the holy friendships that had consecrated and sweetened his years; and those forms of parent and wife and kindred seemed endued with life and feeling in the strong ardour of his soul. He wished to continue the relationship, and would sleep with those from whom he descended and loved. How natural is this sentiment, and how largely is the custom observed throughout the world l When we think of death and our place of burial, it is with thoughts of others who have gone before us. A lonely grave, a burial away from friends and kindred — remote, unvisited, neglected — brings sad thoughts. We cannot help shrinking from the picture that we make of it. To die alone, to be buried by strangers, to lie afar from any dust that once was dear, is not what we would prefer. But there where our ancestors repose, where parents are entombed, where sleeps the companion of our journey, or child, or sister, or brother, or beloved friend — there, too, we would be borne by tender hands, when we can tell none how kind they are. It is the same feeling that prefers those who love us to minister to us in our last hours, and perform the last offices that friendship can render. The human cries out of the darkness of death for the beloved presence, the heart that was true and kind. And if we can feel that when we are gone there will be any to follow us with sorrow to the grave, and there to plant some symbol of affection, and, as the days and years pass, ¢o go aside sometimes and think of us as we were, with our friendship and faith, there comes a grateful emotion. There is something sweetly tranquilizing in the thought that we shall lie down with the family around us, the revered and good who closed their eyes long ago, and those who follow us out of the doors where we followed others who have gone; and that they shall bring the children one by one to sleep by our side. All this is grateful to our thought, I say; and why? What could it mean if the heart did not reach onward to everlasting attachments, to life with the beloved beyond the grave I And oh! how dark would it be, when we come to face the dread necessity of death, were it not for the light that comes from the broken sepulchre of Christi What would be our hope without this victorious and mighty Saviour, who has put death under His feet? Dear friends, here is an assurance, glorious and indubitable, that is given for everlasting comfort and strength. He who consecrated home while on earth, with all that could sanctify and sweeten it, prepares the heavenly home.

(H. N. Powers.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

WEB: He instructed them, and said to them, "I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

Jacob's Dying Charge
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