“God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” Genesis 50:24 NIV
Joseph, on his deathbed, was encouraging his brothers to go back to the land of Canaan which God had promised to Abraham. He also made them take an oath that they would go back and bury him there. He must have known that their hearts were not inclined to leave Egypt. Perhaps they were prospering financially, maybe they had Egyptian wives, or maybe they liked the climate in Egypt better than Canaan. We don’t know. What we do know is that they embalmed Joseph and buried him in Egypt. They didn’t go back to Canaan; they didn’t go where God wanted them to be.
Joseph’s brothers and their descendants continued to prosper in Egypt to the point that the Egyptians began to feel threatened by the strength of their numbers and wealth. A new king came to power and decided to get control over the Israelites. Four hundred years of slavery lay ahead of them. What blessings they missed and how much needless suffering they endured by not following God’s guidance.