I've been reading Dr. Boice's sermons in Genesis and came across this quote today. The quote is a reflection on Genesis 48:21 - Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you..."
Finally, I speak to those who think of this in terms of contemporary leaders and their passing. Jacob was the last of the three great patriarchs. We witness his departure, and we wonder if God will have another to replace him. We see the passing of a Donald Grey Barnhouse, a C. S. Lewis, or a Francis A. Schaeffer, and we wonder if God will raise up others in their place. What will happen to that work when the minister is taken? What will happen when a person who has been greatly used in my life no longer has the strength or ability to carry on?
The answer is, God will be with you. Spurgeon wrote, “If Abraham dies, there is Isaac; and if Isaac dies, there is Jacob; and if Jacob dies, there is Joseph; and if Joseph dies, Ephraim and Manasseh survive. The Lord shall never lack a champion to bear his standard high among the sons of men. Only let us pray God to raise up more faithful ministers. That ought to be our prayer day and night. We have plenty of a sort, but, oh, for more that will weigh out sixteen ounces to the pound of gospel in such a way that people will receive it. We have too much of fine language, too much of florid eloquence, and too little full and plain gospel preaching; but God will keep up the apostolic succession, never fear of that. When Stephen is dying, Paul is not far off. When Elijah is taken up, he leaves his mantle behind him.”
The time is coming when each of us must pass to glory. But God is faithful. Jesus has promised to be with his church until the end of the age. His name is Emmanuel—“God with us.” He will never leave us until he has accomplished all that he has spoken.