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Genesis 48:1-49:33

Jacob said to Joseph, "The Sovereign God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said to me, 'I am going to make you fruitful and will multiply you. I will make you into a group of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants as an everlasting possession.'
(Genesis 48:3-4 NET.)

I find the tenses used in this passage very interesting. Jacob states that God told him He was going to make him, not his descendents, not some group in the future, but him, Jacob/Israel, fruitful. For someone who had no knowledge of the resurrection, someone who the “Soon Coming King” would be way into the future, Jacob had an intense sense of eternity in his heart. Do we, those who come after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, see our off-spring, children, grandchildren and great-grand’s in the Big Picture of things as being an extension of ourselves, or do we think everything ends with us? How much of this do I truly understand? I say that I am part of something greater than myself, but do I act it and walk it? Are my actions speaking louder than my words?

I also find it interesting that Leah is buried in the land promised to Abraham, in the cave bought when the land was promised but not obtained fully. However, Rachael was buried on the road outside of Bethlehem. I’m not sure if there is any significance, I just find it interesting. Leah, the “booby” prize, the one not wanted, was the mother of both the priestly line and the kingly line, Levi and Judah. I’m not taking anything away from Joseph, but it seems that God always deals with the unwanted, the outcasts. I believe what we see in these twelve boys played out in this story is a strong reason why we are told to be careful how we judge. We, outside of the revelation of God, do not know how a story will end. It seems the ones with the “badest” reputations don’t end that way. What is that song, “It’s Not How You Start but How You Finish.” I think it is from a musical, but I can’t remember which one.

Grace and peace,

I started following this blog daily in the morning a year ago. Once I started getting to really know the Word of God, I felt I needed to do more. I took a paper and wrote a list of goals for the next five years and I prayed on it. I put it in my bible and I check it almost daily to remind myself that The Lord has missions and purpose for each and every one of us. Needless to say, the ultimate goal on that list is not to miss a morning without The Lord and re-reading the bible and the explanation on this blog every year. I think writing down my goals and putting all my hopes and dreams in Jesus' hands was the best thing I've ever done, knowing that I'm 37 and I haven't really achieved anything significant in my life until I met Jesus.

I have tried over and over again to set goals only to be disappointed. I find the best things in my life were not my own goals but the goals of the lord. In so many ways I am grateful for what I have. For those always striving for their goals only leads to frustration, as it did for me. Now my goal is to be thankful and content in Christ and thankful for what I have achieved in my life.

In Gen 49:28 it says "Jacob blessed his twelve sons. Each received a blessing that was appropriate to him." This is puzzling to me. I always think of blessings as acts of approval and appreciation. This definition would certainly apply to Jacob's comments about some of his sons (especially Joseph and Judah). But his comments about Reuben, Simeon, and Levi for example were certainly more condemning observations rather than complimentary. So, can a blessing also be a disapproval?

On a personal note: My mother is 92 years old and lives in a Memory Care Assisted Living Facility. Whenever someone (including myself) says or does something kind to her, she blesses them by saying "God Bless You" or sometimes simply "Bless You". I can see the immediate looks of pleasure in the faces of those she blesses. I am now seeking a purer heart so that I too will identify opportunities to treat others with the same love and grace that my mother shows -- that I will also verbally "bless" others when appropriate.

Jeff, Mike points out that perhaps Predictions or Prophecies might be the better term for Jacob's blessings in this chapter. It helps me understand of those not-sound-so-good blessings because it is prophecies.

When I'm driving and randomly giving a dollar to homeless people standing at crossroads of traffic light, I always say "God bless you", and they would say "God bless you" in return sincerely. I feel that I'm blessed when they say it to me. It makes me feel God's love among us, and it's a great feeling!

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