“And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.” (Gen. 49:33)
I’ve always thought this was an enviable deathbed scene. Simply lifting your feet off this earth one last time, closing your eyes, and opening them in the presence of those loved ones gone before. But it’s the last two words I want to dwell on for a little while…“his people.”
God uses the term, “my people” many times in His Word in an expression of kinship, fellowship…and in His case, ownership. There are men, women, boys and girls God claims for himself, and their connection to one another is based on their connection to Him. They share the same Father (Jno. 20:17). Earthly ties are severed at death, but the bond between brothers and sisters in Christ will last through all eternity. So those family members of mine who belong to God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, are bound to me by two cords of love, temporal and eternal.
The question is, if my people are God’s people, do I love all my people? One of the last times I was with my Kentucky Aunt Cinda, now with the Lord, she sat listening intently as some of us were telling about what was happening in the lives of our children and grandchildren, when suddenly she clasped her hands together and said, “I love all my people!” Some of them she might never see, and some might be proving a disappointment to others, but to her, they were “family,” so she loved them.
Do you and I feel that way about all God’s people? Does just the fact that we’re “related” mean that my first inclination will always be to love them, in whatever situation I find them? Reservation may be called for at some point, and the fellowship may be limited, but the assurance that we share the same Father will be reason enough to have and show love.
As Blood-bought believers in the family of God, you and I have the promise that one day, we, like Jacob, will be “gathered unto [our] people.” And in my case, there is beginning to be more of “my people” there instead of here! But I don’t want my sentiment to be that of the little verse: “To dwell above with saints we love, that will be grace and glory/ To live below with saints we know; now that’s a different story.”
I want to be able to truthfully say...
“I love all my people!”