Father God, I really want to know You. It is my purpose and passion, my greatest need and most urgent desire.
Read GENESIS 49:1-28
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life” (Psa. 23:6a). Thank God for evidences of this around you.
Jacob now provides glimpses of future outcomes for his sons. Eventually they would become tribes in the nation of Israel, each with its own territory in Canaan. There are many cultural allusions and historical portents; wordplays and uncertain meanings are common. We can consider only a few key elements. The sequence of sons is neither in birth order nor as related in the pre-Egypt genealogy (29,30,35; 46:8-25). Here, all six of Leah’s sons come first, followed by the four sons of the two handmaids, then Rachel’s two sons. The fortunes of some would be negative, however, even cursed: Reuben, Simeon and Levi would reap the rewards of their past immoral and violent behavior. Levi was the only son not to form a large, geographically-based tribe; however, the Levites’ eventual role as priests indicated that their initial curse was turned into blessing as they eventually scattered to serve across the nation.
Two sons were promised special prominence with long speeches. Joseph’s private blessing was supplemented by a public affirmation of the ongoing presence of God and his superior position among his brothers. His past fruitfulness and steadiness under the hand of God was a foretaste of even greater future blessing. Judah, likewise, would command praise from his family, victory over his foes, and the benefits of natural abundance. The territory of Judah would become home to the nation’s capital city, Jerusalem, the location of both the temple and the monarchy. There is a strong prophetic hint that from Judah’s line will emerge a ruler who will impact nations. King David and his royal offspring initially fulfilled this role, culminating in the eventual arrival of King Jesus, the triumphant Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5).
Imagine composing a blessing for your own children or for future generations. What words of encouragement and insight might you offer them?
Lord, I think of my own children or other younger relatives. May they acknowledge You and walk in Your ways all their days.
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