Today I want to talk about Joseph’s bones, amongst other things, but this seems to be a good starting point. I have the task of finishing our study of Joseph, so there are a variety of little vignettes that are present between Genesis chapter 46 and the end of Genesis chapter 50 that speak specifically of Joseph, Let us start in Hebrews with the one liner:
By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. (Hebrews 11:22)
Just to put this in context, we can go to the last chapter of the book of Joshua – yes, you heard correctly, Joshua, where in chapter 34:23 we read:
As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph (Joshua 34:23)
For completeness, Genesis 50:26 reads: ‘So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.’
Think Egypt, think sarcophagus, think forty years in the wilderness, then entering the land of Canaan, now Israel, then remember the time between the last verse and the Joshua verse. Joseph died at age 110 and being buried in Shechem at the time of Joshua’s death, you have something around 414 years. He was never buried in Egypt, he was carried on the great Wilderness journey; he crossed the Jordan, and was eventually buried with his Father’s. Why is this important? Partly, because this is all that is recorded in the list of faithful saints in Hebrews. Why would God want to record this? – Because it is important!
To assist with the context of these thoughts about Joseph’s bones we need to remember the verses in an earlier chapter of Genesis related to Abraham
And he [Yahweh ie God] said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess." … As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. (Genesis 15:7,12)
So we have God’s promise to Abraham, about 200 years before Joseph dies. God’s time frame is amazingly long for our impatient and super-fast paced world. We have this promise, and we also have the prophecy – 400 years the Israelites will live in Egypt before leaving to take the promise. God knew how long it would take to build a nation, and when the right time would be that was best for Israel. Israel needed cities to live in, farms with well-established olive groves, vineyards, water and other staples of the day. When Abraham went through it wasn’t like that; they had tents, they were nomadic, and could live wherever they chose.
So Joseph knew the promise; he knew how long it was and yet he had that element – faith - that allowed him to tell his people to leave him unburied until the Children of Israel went into the promised land of Israel and settled in the land. Joseph, even on his death-bed was willing to wait for the Lord’s timing, and enter the promised land himself, albeit bones, to show that he was not an Egyptian, he was an Israelite. This was somewhat different to his Dad who demanded he be taken up to Israel to be buried after he died – a different story for another day, but an interesting contrast. A commentator wrote the following of this faith that Joseph had:
Faith is gifted with long-distant sight, and therefore is it able to look beyond all the hills and mountains of difficulty unto the shining horizon of the Divine promises. Consequently, faith is blessed with patience, and calmly awaits the destined hour for God to intervene and act: therefore does it heed that word, "For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come" (Hab. 2:3). Though the Hebrews were to lie under Egyptian bondage for a long season, Joseph had not a doubt but that the Lord would, in His appointed time, bring them forth with a high hand. God’s delays, dear reader, are not to deny our prayers and mock our hopes, but are for the disciplining of our hearts–to subdue our impatience, which wants things in our own way and time; to quicken us to call more earnestly upon Him, and to fit us for receiving His mercies when they are given.
The story of the bones are so important in demonstrating true faith of a man who lived with just the familial story-telling of who God was, and through the knowledge that came with this, without Scripture, in a land that worshipped other gods, without a pastor, fellow congregants, or anyone else of the same beliefs; Joseph walked with God; obeyed God’s known precepts as handed down orally; listened to God and spoke the words God gave him to speak. He therefore decreed that his bones could wait until God took the people out of Egypt to Canaan where he would finally be buried. He knew that the people needed a sign that something more was out there, and his unburied sarcophagus was to be that ever present symbol of something the Children of Israel needed to have before them, to help them understand when the time came, as well as having a visible symbol that there is one true God with a promise. I am sure parents told their children the stories. How strong they were in their knowledge of God 400 years later is an interesting supposition, but we know when Moses came into town, telling the Israelites it was time to go, they all packed their bags and went (acknowledging that God did some amazing signs as well that jogged their memories); but they knew that something was different about themselves so followed Moses. This was the legacy left by Joseph, based on faith alone in his God, the one true God that reigns today, who offers the same promises and salvation to us, if we open our hearts.
We need to take these lessons on board. Joseph waited 17 years for his life to turn around, he waited another 9 before his family came to see him, so if you do the math, maybe 26 27 years from dream to fulfilment of that dream. He trusted God every step of the way. We get a job disruption and down in the dumps we go, we have a health scare, and down in the dumps we go – or is that just me? I mentioned last time that Enoch walked with God for 300 years – he was a person just like us, but he managed to do it. Joseph managed to do it, despite the circumstances that we have been studying these last few weeks. So why is it that there are just a few stories like these – Hebrews 11 is not a long chapter, but lists the main faith walkers, a remnant of all who are mentioned in the Bible – the few. Why does it surprise us that in today’s world, the number of true Christians is but a few? Nothing has changed.
With these facts we have learned about Joseph, comes the question - what is the relationship we have with God? Are we a friend of God’s as Moses was? Do we walk with God, that is an ongoing, non-stop walk as Joseph and Enoch did? Psalm 119 verse 116 says: ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ To walk with God, we need to follow His lamp, the light shining on the path He is taking – we need to take the same path. Sometimes I think that we think that God will shine His light on the pathway we choose, but no, we read His Word, we see His light, it shines on the pathway He wants us to walk. How do I know this? Deuteronomy 5:33 tells us: ‘You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.’ You may argue that this is Old Testament for the Israelite, for their reward was then, ours is later, in eternity. Then try Ephesians 2:10 – ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’ The pathway we take will have good works as part of the experience of walking that path, God has prepared that way, we need to walk in it. How do we know then, whether the pathway we are currently walking on is the one chosen by God? Joseph must have wondered, in going from the most loved son, to slave, to prisoner, whether this was the chosen path of God, or just bad luck, as the world puts it. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ That is a tough thought to digest!
Walking by faith is that of giving your life completely over to God, allow His Holy Spirit to guide and teach. The key word is complete – we give God all of our lives, every aspect, from the time we rise, to the work we do. We won’t see the path, for faith is an unknown walk, allowing God control in all aspects of our lives. In doing this, we know, for Scripture tells us many times with the same song from the same song sheet – God’s song sheet:
‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing… Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.’ James 1:2, 3, 4 & 12.
However, James also tells us in between these truths that we need to grasp, understand and accept as a gift from God:
‘If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.’ James 1:5,6.
Note the whole story here, in the beginning of James, undoubtedly learned in part from people like Joseph – “we walk by faith“ with God indicating that life is about following God’s pathway; walking with God, along which there will be trials, and after which is a crown for those who withstand. If the pathway cannot be understood; if we wonder why God is doing what he is doing; why the pain and suffering; James says that God gives wisdom generously to those who ask him, so long as you believe this - truly believe this. Do you believe that God provides wisdom? Do you believe that nothing you meet will be unendurable, God always provides the strength, and where needed the escape route, with His light, that is, His Word, showing the way?
What we need to also recognise and understand, Joseph had none of this insight. He did not have Scripture, nor the book of James, nor the Gospel, just the stories told to him by his father, and maybe his mother and others of the family as he grew up - and yet he met the faith challenge that we have just seen in the book of James. Joseph walked with God, without all the helps we have today. How much easier is the challenge of life today as compared to Joseph, Elijah, Moses, Daniel, or even David?
With that question lingering, let us hear one last word on faith in today’s world from a person from not too long ago: Many of you know of Elizabeth Elliott and have read her books. You know her story–hard years as missionary, first husband killed by Indians, second husband lost to cancer–listen to what she wrote:
“The experiences of my life are not such that I could infer from them that God is good, gracious, and merciful necessarily. To have one husband murdered and another one disintegrate, body, soul, and spirit through cancer is not what you would call a proof of the love of God. In fact, there are many times when it looks like just the opposite. My belief in the love of God is not by inference or instinct, it is by faith. To apprehend God’s sovereignty working in that love is–we must say it–the last and highest victory of the faith that overcomes the world.“ 
Shall we move to another interesting vignette on Joseph in these chapters, that have snippets of useful information for our edification, that of Jacob’s deathbed blessing for Joseph. Charles Spurgeon tells it like this:
There stood Joseph, with all his mother Rachel in his eyes–that dearly loved wife of his–there he stood, the boy for whom that mother had prayed with all the eagerness of an eastern wife. For a long 20 years she had tarried a barren woman and kept no house but then she was a joyful mother and she called her son “increase.“ Oh, how she loved the boy! And for that mother’s sake, though she had been buried for some years and hidden under the cold sod, old Jacob loved him, too. But more than that, he loved him for his troubles. He was parted from him to be sold into Egypt. His father recollected Joseph’s trials in the round house and the dungeon and remembered his royal dignity as prince of Egypt. And now with a full burst of harmony–as if the music of Heaven had united with his own, as when the widened river meets the sea and the tide coming up does amalgamate with the stream that comes down and swells into a broad expanse–so did the glory of Heaven meet the rapture of his earthly feelings! Giving vent to his soul, he sung, “Joseph is a fruitful bough even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, shot at him and hated him: But his bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob (from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel): Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of Heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb: The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brothers“ (Gen. 49:22-26). What a splendid stanza with which to close! He has only one more blessing to give. But surely this was the richest which he conferred on Joseph.
Joseph is a fruitful bough. Surely not? He only had two sons!! Is that fruitful compared to the blessee himself - Jacob/Israel? Maybe not, but this is prophecy that Jacob was providing. Did this blessing of Joseph prophecy come true? Sure, as we find in Joshua 17:17:
Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, "You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong." Joshua 17:17.
A numerous people, great power – as noted in the blessing we read in Joshua: But his bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. How does this work? Jacob pronounces a blessing yet God makes it come true, or God provides Jacob with the words that are true and prophetical? I think the latter. But we see that Joseph’s characteristics became the characteristics of his tribe, they grew and were literally fruitful.
So, we have Joseph as a ‘fruitful bough even a fruitful bough by a well’ – what does this say to us. What can you or I take away from reading such scripture? Have we other Scriptures that match and have we other words from God that link. We may think of Psalm 1 where David writes:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. … He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1: 1,3
Is David thinking of Joseph, or prophesying about the Lord, as well as writing of those who walk with God? All three is my guess. Walking with God is back with us as a theme, and the benefits of walking with God is that of yielding fruit, having water – Joseph at a well, here streams of water. Which of course takes us to the woman at the well – matching Joseph’s blessing words here, with the passage being set at the well his father had dug and may have been thinking of when giving the blessing:
Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock." Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:11-13)
This is our water, this is what we can take from the Joseph blessing to have it as our own blessing – we have Jesus the living water as well. Maybe, to convince us about the blessing of Joseph as being applicable to the Christian walk today we need to also have these verses from Isaiah:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, 'I am the Lord's' another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's' and name himself by the name of Israel." 44:4-5.
Promises of God are great in their nature. Note the language here in Isaiah - these verses provide a real blessing for us as well, in the layer of prophecy written for us. I am the Lord’s - He poured His Spirit out on me - I can tap into the living water!! The thread is unbroken to today’s world, and the Christian walking in this era.
Jesus Christ of course is the Living Water, but we also know that He is what we are grafted on. If we return to Joseph’s bough and fruitfulness, we cannot go past John 15:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. … Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:1,4-5)
So, we see the unbroken connection from Joseph’s blessing to Jesus Himself exclaiming that he is the true vine, and we, as with Joseph can be grafted in, and become fruitful. This is another key – being fruitful. Joseph’s life the whole way through was fruitful. He did what God needed him to do, to reach the point of feeding the nations for 7 long years, he was fruitful in his relationships, taking on the God given grace and giving the same level of grace that God provides us to his own family, and through this walk with God his children became a strength amongst the Israelites.
So as we can see from the blessing Israel gave to Joseph, that blessing, the very exact blessing is ours to grasp, ours to have today – we can be a fruitful branch, we can be strong and conquer all that comes before us – nothing that the Devil can throw at us can take us away from the Lord, we may have trials, we may hurt, but we can conquer. We have the Living Water, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have Jesus Christ on our side. We have Joseph’s blessing so let us reach out and grasp it and run with it.
Today I want to finish with grace. Grace is probably the most beautiful thing about God, as an expression of His love for us. Grace is what saves us, and allows us the free gift of salvation. Grace is given by God to us, though we do not deserve us. The Catholic’s (some at least) still cannot grasp the amazing grace of our Lord and Saviour, our God and Father, for they want a little purgatory before they get to heaven. They think a payment is still required to become acceptable to God. None is required of course, but the free gift of God’s is to some so overwhelming that they just can’t take it in and accept it.
How does grace fit with the closing passages related to our story of Joseph? Let’s read them and see – Genesis 50:15 – 21.
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him." So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father gave this command before he died: 'Say to Joseph, "Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
First we see the fear of the brothers, real fear, so much fear that someone, or as a group I think that a lie is told – ‘Your Father gave this command’. Did he? Perhaps I am misreading the context, but somehow, if Jacob was giving commands he would have spoken directly to the favourite son, so I am doubtful that this statement was actually true, however, I stand to be corrected. The other interesting point is that Joseph had given them land, ensured they were well settled in, paid for them to get back to Canaan for the funeral of their Father, lavished them with all sorts of gifts, and they came to him with a messenger, scared for their lives, and obviously not understanding the grace that can be found with one who walks with God, and their own brother to boot!
Matthew Henry writes: Judging of Joseph from the general temper of human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself on those who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able to resist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him by humbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants of Jacob's God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this complete fulfilment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, but to fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seek the Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness to them. See what an excellences spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.
What does Scripture tell us about grace? What we see in these verses is grace at work. How do we live the same level of holiness as Joseph, as this lesson in grace points to? Is this a relevance in our lives? Walking with the Lord, will incorporate the characteristics of He who cloaks us – including grace. Matthew 5:11-12 in the Beatitudes as they are known, sets the context for where grace may start: ‘“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’ The persecuted man is blessed. Joseph meets this context, as for seventeen years he lived a life where the circumstances were bad, his brothers had not only rejected him, but had sold him, and you know the rest of the story. Matthew is telling us that persecution with a joyful response is a good starting point, and has great rewards.
This Ephesian’s verse provides us with some of the characteristics of grace: ‘I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Ephesians 4:1-3) Grace is at work is here, as we saw in our Genesis verses, how we respond to others, how we react, these words are the characteristics to be sought after – lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, loving, upholding unity, peaceful!
The letter to the Hebrews tells us where grace resides: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). This verse tells us that to reach the dizzy heights of Paul’s list of character traits we need to go to the throne of grace in order to get the grace we need to show. Grace won’t be something that comes naturally, nor easily, but through prayer. We also need to recognize that today is the day I need to forgive someone for something they don’t deserve, and I won’t get an ounce of thanks back and I may even find myself behind the eight ball! That is the time that you head to the ‘throne of grace’ and God will give us mercy and grace, that we may share it. For we need forgiveness first from the Father, before we can forgive others. That is the step in the right order. Approach the throne of grace, get forgiveness for our own attitude that assisted in creating the ruckus – no disagreement is one sided only, we always play some part, even if we do it piously! Then God is merciful to us for our own sins and attitudes, and grace. We then do the same to the person who has wronged us, not expecting, hoping for, or even requiring a reciprocal apology; we act with grace, upholding unity. (eg Matthew 6:9-15, especially verse 14 and 15: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – it is a one way street – we are to forgive others, it says nothing about forgiveness that others may do to us…)
So we see for us, grace is not something we have naturally, but is a characteristic that God has naturally and overwhelmingly abundantly. It is not something we can hand out without being under grace ourselves. What do I mean by this? 1 Corinthians 15:10-11 tells us this most useful application: ‘But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.’
This Scripture should change the way you live, it should change how I live!! It shows us something incredible about living and walking with the Lord, as we know Paul did. What then you may ask, is Paul saying here in these verses just read? A commentator wrote this:
The grace of God produced something through Paul. Paul had the greatest missionary movement in the civilized world at this time. The word “labored“ carries the idea of heavy, exhausting toil. “More abundantly“ is comparative; Paul’s ministry was without parallel compared to other ministries. His ministry extended further than the other great missionary of that time – the apostle Peter. We watch this amazing ministry in the book of Acts and the epistles. Paul produced a powerful ministry for a quarter of a century, up to the writing of First Corinthians. yet not I, The word “yet“ is the same word translated “but“ earlier in this verse. It is a conjunction of strong contrast. Paul wanted to draw a strong contrast between his labor and the grace of God. Thus, we have two contrasts: (1) God’s grace proved to produce effective ministry and was not purposeless, and (2) God’s grace did the work, not Paul. The contrast has to do with a misconception that he brags about his “more abundantly“ ministry. 2 Co 3:5 ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, but the grace of God which was with me.’ Paul did not want the emphasis to shift away from God’s grace, so he repeats that “the grace of God“ extended to him was responsible for greatness in his ministry. Grace was so predominant to Paul that his personal contribution to ministry was secondary. Note that the word “grace“ occurs three times in this verse. There is only one way for people to minister for God – through grace. ‘Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.’ The gospel by the grace of God floored the Greeks. Grace was a foreign idea to them. It is not the messenger but the message that counts. Greeks believed in oratory and speaking ability to influence others. Paul’s great ministry was immaterial; what was important was the gospel in the form of the grace of God…. It is a terrible thing for God to give His grace for nothing. God’s unadulterated grace makes it incumbent upon us to offer back unusually great service. Some of us live our Christian lives “in vain“ and with superficiality. The grace of God sets aside all failure and folly, transforming us into people with conviction and commitment. Paul changed from a murderer to a catalytic missionary. Everyday believers change from purposelessness to people with a mission, all because of the grace of God. None of us should kid ourselves into thinking that we are something; it is only by the grace of God we accomplish anything. If God does the doing then God gets the credit; if we do the doing then we get the credit.
To finish — let us take this ordinary man’s life, the extraordinary way God used the life to show us many things in the 21st century, as well as show the Israelites the coming saviour, as well as saving the Israelites from certain death from famine, as well as showing us what is to come, and reach an understanding that this all about God. It is all about what happens when we walk with the Lord, when we follow the path He sets before us, when we learn to live in any circumstance, knowing that God is in control, that we work hard for the Lord in any task given to us, and most of all, give back to God all that He deserves for the love, forgiveness and grace He has given us.
Each time you hear Josephs name I hope and pray that you will remember the bondage of Egypt, signifying the bondage of the world we live in, the salvation brought by Joseph through feeding them bread, the salvation the Bread of Life brought to us, through His death on the cross, and the intricate pathway of God, to bring in the same passages both a man Joseph, and the man Christ Jesus, the Son of God. I want you to remember that Enoch walked 300 years with God, walking in faith, Joseph, as with Enoch, without text, Scripture, or pastor, walked in faith with God his whole life, and we too must walk with the Lord, under His grace, treating our brothers and sisters with the same forgiveness, spreading the Word to the whole world, whilst waiting for our bones to enter into the promised land, Paradise, Heaven, our home with our Lord as He has promised us.
 Arthur W Pink (1886 - 1952) An Exposition of Hebrews (also published in Baker House, Michigan, 19th printing 2003).http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Hebrews/hebrews_069.htm (Accessed 13 May 2013)
 Elizabeth Elliot as quoted by Andrew Siegenthalerhttp://www.christcovenantcullman.org/sermonnotes/notes-12-26-04.html
 Matthew Henry Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible by - Olive Tree Bible Software
 Grant C Richison (2003) 1 Corinthians 15 10-11 http://versebyversecommentary.com/1-corinthians/1-corinthians-1510-11/ (assessed 13 May 2013)