And when the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, [b]please put your hand under my thigh and [promise to] deal loyally and faithfully with me. Please do not bury me in Egypt, but when I lie down with my fathers [in death], you will carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place [at Hebron in the cave of Machpelah].” And Joseph said, “I will do as you have directed.” Then he said, “Swear to me [that you will do it].” So he swore to him. Then Israel (Jacob) bowed in worship at the head of the bed. – Genesis 47:29-31
From the tender affection of Joseph to his dying father, in the promise he made him, let me turn my eyes and contemplate Joseph’s LORD and Saviour in the promise he troth left to all his people. He saith to all the true spiritual seed of Israel now, as to the Patriarch himself; Fear not to go down to the grave, I will be with thee. And this thought is a sweet thought: the covenant holds good in death as in life. The grave cannot dissolve it. When we live, we live unto the LORD: and when we die, we die unto the Lord: so that living or dying we are the LORD’S. O thou that hast the keys of hell and death; sweetest Saviour! be thou my GOD, my guide and my companion, both in life and in death: then to live will be CHRIST, and to die will be gain. – Hawkers Poor Man Commentary
With the appointed time of death drawing near, it has a way of calling our attention to the things of God, determining more the important then the call of the urgent. Even my dad who did not see cause to apologize for much in his life made sure that things were right between himself, family and God while he drew near to his last few months on earth. One of my business relations called me to have lunch and asked if we could meet regularly because he wanted to make sure that before he died he knew whether there was a God or not that he needed to have a relationship with before it was too late.
The Spirit of God has an open door to enter our hearts and pull us to worship – may our times with loved ones during those moments before they leave this earth remind us personally of our own limitations that draw us to personal worship, but may we remember that the hurting family wants to engage with God in a personal way too as the Spirit of God wants to comfort and strengthen them.