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Cause of Death

Last Words
His last recorded words were spoken to his brothers: "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bons up from this place" (Genesis 50:25, NIV).

Stone-Cold Fact
"Character is what you do in the dark."
-- Dwight L. Moody

Related Link
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The Mummy's Return

By Lynn Lusby Pratt

CBN.comHere Lies Joseph, the boy slave who ruled Egypt.

Joseph was wrapped from head to toe.

In integrity.

Integrity means having the rules of right and wrong clearly in your head -- and living by them, no matter what. (On the vocab test, the synonym is rectitude and the antonym is turpitude.)

People without integrity try to excuse their bad behavior by saying they've had a rough life. Give me a break. Look what happened to Joseph.

When he was 17 his brothers sold him. Sold him!

He was taken to Egypt. That was a foreign country to him. Foreign language. People worshipping foreign gods. His integrity got him a position of honor in the house of the captain of Pharaoh's guard, Potiphar. His integrity made him say no when Potiphar's wife came on to him.

She had him thrown in prison.

Joseph's integrity got him put in charge of the prison, second to the warden. His integrity made him help another prisoner. "Hey," Joseph told him, "when you get out, put in a good word for me too ..."

But he forgot.

Integrity caused Joseph to help Pharaoh by interpreting his dream. And he gave God credit when he could have used his knowledge to bargain his way out of prison.

That integrity gave Joseph freedom and command of Pharaoh's palace. And it was Joseph who saved the whole land of Egypt when famine came.

Were the difficult times worth it? Absolutely.

Was Joseph's life easy? Absolutely not.

There was always a hole in Joseph's heart. He never really got over what his brothers had done. How could he? And he missed his dad. How could he not? Joseph was a normal guy.

When he finally met his brothers again, the pain came rushing back. Joseph was over 40 by that time -- but he cried so loudly he could be heard all over the place.

You can read the whole story in Genesis 37, 39-50.

I think the Lord had a soft spot for Joseph. He granted Joseph's last request. Joseph wanted to go home. Oh, he knew he'd die in Egypt but he wanted to be buried at home. That's another clue about his heartache, isn't it? He had missed home all those years. But God had given Joseph a very special and exciting life. Joseph died and was embalmed Egyptian style. Then ... 400 years later, when all the people were led out of Egypt, headed for home, Moses "took the bones of Joseph with him" (Exodus 13:19, NIV).

Joseph's integrity is what makes him memorable. If you read his story once, you won't forget it. God didn't forget Joseph, even 400 years after he had died.

Gotta have the newest CD?

Gotta have the latest style sweater?

You might manage without them.

But integrity? Now there's something you've really gotta have.

In Memory of Joseph
He told his brothers, "You meant to hurt me. But God turned your evil into good ... to save the lives of many people." Genesis 50:20, ICB

Excerpted from Devotions by Dead People © 2004 by Lynn Lusby Pratt, Standard Publishing. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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