Twelve men walk to Egypt.
I can't imagine what the brothers were thinking as they took their sheep back to report to their father, but I am certain they did not envision that one day they would be traveling the same dusty road to Egypt, begging the vice-Pharaoh for food! After all...they didn't believe Joseph's dreams!
Yet by the end of Genesis, the exact fulfillment of the dreams has happened in reality!
All twelve men have walked that road to Egypt and their families are there with them.
All of them die.
Time passes, and they die...in Egypt. For eleven of them, it is their final resting place. But one of them knows he will return to the land of Canaan to "claim" his inheritance.
One walks back.
Joseph had seen the fulfillment of the God-given dreams, worked out through the lowest valleys of distress. God's faithfulness had been proved through the darkest nights of his own life in Egypt.
The very last verse of Genesis ends with his solid faith in God's continued faithful care...no matter what low valleys or dark nights the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren would go through.
Joseph knew the outcome. The inheritance promised to Abraham was a sure thing. His death would not keep him from getting there, because it was dependent on God's faithful care to bring it about.
The Joseph who had waited...lifeless...helpless...now was "walking" out of Egypt! (with a little bit of assistance from Moses!) But then Moses dies before getting into the land...and there is Joseph, still in his boney, helpless, dead condition.
One of Joseph's great-grand-descendants, Joshua, comes into the land and receives his portion.
The final footnote is attached in Joshua 24:29-32: "Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem."
Maybe the faith Joshua displayed when he spied out the land and knew with certainty that "God will give it to us!" was a direct result of Joseph's faith that had been carried down for the generations before it got to him.
May I be living for the promises of God that will only be realized after my death, certain that God's faithful care will bring them about! May I not look at the situation in front of me and think for a second that it is a picture of reality, without viewing it in light of the end of the story that God has already revealed.