Lent 2022 Day 11

Lent 2022 Day 11

Mon 14 Mar

Gen 49:1-10 Jacob blesses his sons

49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: ‘Gather round so that I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. 2 ‘Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.

3 ‘Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honour, excelling in power. 4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it.

5 ‘Simeon and Levi are brothers – their swords are weapons of violence. 6 Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. 7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.

8 ‘Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness – who dares to rouse him? 10 The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Jacob, the father of twelve sons who became the tribes of Israel, is at his life’s end. His blessing to each son is partly a comment on that son’s nature and partly a prophecy about his destiny. Reuben, the firstborn, who should have inherited his father’s wealth, gets short shrift because of some shameful behaviour. You can look that up for yourself. Simeon and Levi appear to be thugs, and their prospects are not great.

This is not a great start to the glorious nation of Israel. Poor foundations will in time give way.

Next, we come to Judah. Judah had been the one who suggested selling Joseph (the one with the fancy jacket) into slavery – might as well get something for him, rather than kill him off. And now here they all are in Egypt, where the slave-boy is now a very important official. Judah is now the top son. Even though Joseph saw in visions his brothers bowing down to him, this was only for the present. The future of eternity is to be found in Judah. I wonder what the brothers thought about Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, the wife Jacob was tricked into marrying, thus hardly a love-child.

Read on in the chapter to find out the prospects of the other brothers. Young Benjamin, the one Joseph held back as ransom, beloved of his father, will turn out to be a ravenous wolf.

How did Jacob know what to say to his sons? I can only point to God’s prompting. Jacob was undoubtedly a wise and canny man, but I don’t think he would have seen how God would bring Judah to prominence for his purposes.

There’s a little twist in an earlier chapter (chapter 48). Joseph brought his sons to Jacob so that they might receive his blessing. There’s a Jacob and Esau moment there, too.

Can you see yet what God is doing?

Have you turned out to be the person God has decreed you to be?

Do you consider yourself carrying a blessing from God?

What do you hope to see in the destiny of your children?

What will you say to your family on your deathbed, if you have the chance? Write it down, now, just in case.

Father God, your blessing continues through generations. Similarly, the negative can pass through as well. For parents and grandparents who blessed me, I thank you. For parents who were negative I pray that you will lift that curse from my life and reveal your blessing. I pray that in my life I will pass on only the blessing and not any curse to my descendants. Amen.

Be blessed: