Genesis – First, God
We know our children better than we know ourselves. Why? Because we see glimpses of our rebellious selves in their behavior. We also see the good that God is honed in us. We love them with all that is in us for we gave them life. So imagine how much more God loves us who sent His Son to save us! As believers we hope that the love we have for Jesus is also passed on to them and to their children. We praise God for our children. We praise God for his relationships with our children.
We “bless” them daily in our prayers knowing God will relate to them individually. Don’t forget we are all unique to God, born to a family, yes, but with His uniquely designed purpose for each of us.
Jacob has called all the sons to his bedside. He sits up in bed, weak from old age, to give a review of their lives. Jacob announced what the Lord had in store for them in the future. He then blesses each son who will become the Twelve Tribes of Israel. He also speaks prophetic words about the coming of
“the ultimate ruler”;
“Until the ultimate ruler comes
and the nations obey him”.
Jacob hears from God and speaks out loud to God as the sons listen, “I wait in hope for your salvation, God”.
What will we tell our kids and grandkids in the last hour of our passing from this life to the next as believers?
What can we show and tell them before that occurs?
I always wonder if I have done enough, shown enough love, said enough and lived Christ well enough in front of our kids and their kids. Will it ever be enough?
I always pray they forget my mistakes and remember how God worked his salvation plan in and through me all the days of my life.
What do you think? How will you respond?
What did your parents tell you?
Genesis 49, The Message
Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around. I want to tell you what you can expect in the days to come.”
2 Come together, listen sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
3-4 Reuben, you’re my firstborn,
my strength, first proof of my manhood,
at the top in honor and at the top in power,
But like a bucket of water spilled,
you’ll be at the top no more,
Because you climbed into your father’s marriage bed,
mounting that couch, and you defiled it.
5-6 Simeon and Levi are two of a kind,
ready to fight at the drop of a hat.
I don’t want anything to do with their vendettas,
want no part in their bitter feuds;
They kill men in fits of temper,
slash oxen on a whim.
7 A curse on their uncontrolled anger,
on their indiscriminate wrath.
I’ll throw them out with the trash;
I’ll shred and scatter them like confetti throughout Israel.
8-12 You, Judah, your brothers will praise you:
Your fingers on your enemies’ throat,
while your brothers honor you.
You’re a lion’s cub, Judah,
home fresh from the kill, my son.
Look at him, crouched like a lion, king of beasts;
who dares mess with him?
The scepter shall not leave Judah;
he’ll keep a firm grip on the command staff
Until the ultimate ruler comes
and the nations obey him.
He’ll tie up his donkey to the grapevine,
his purebred prize to a sturdy branch.
He will wash his shirt in wine
and his cloak in the blood of grapes,
His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun settles down on the seashore;
he’s a safe harbor for ships,
right alongside Sidon.
14-15 Issachar is one tough donkey
crouching between the corrals;
When he saw how good the place was,
how pleasant the country,
He gave up his freedom
and went to work as a slave.
16-17 Dan will handle matters of justice for his people;
he will hold his own just fine among the tribes of Israel.
Dan is only a small snake in the grass,
a lethal serpent in ambush by the road
When he strikes a horse in the heel,
and brings its huge rider crashing down.
18 I wait in hope
for your salvation, God.
19 Gad will be attacked by bandits,
but he will trip them up.
20 Asher will become famous for rich foods,
candies and sweets fit for kings.
21-26 Naphtali is a deer running free
that gives birth to lovely fawns.
Joseph is a wild donkey,
a wild donkey by a spring,
spirited donkeys on a hill.
The archers with malice attacked,
shooting their hate-tipped arrows;
But he held steady under fire,
his bow firm, his arms limber,
With the backing of the Champion of Jacob,
the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
The God of your father—may he help you!
And may The Strong God—may he give you his blessings,
Blessings tumbling out of the skies,
blessings bursting up from the Earth—
blessings of breasts and womb.
May the blessings of your father
exceed the blessings of the ancient mountains,
surpass the delights of the eternal hills;
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the one consecrated among his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
all morning he gorges on his kill,
at evening divides up what’s left over.
28 All these are the tribes of Israel, the twelve tribes. And this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each one with his own special farewell blessing.
29-32 Then he instructed them: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah facing Mamre in the land of Canaan, the field Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial plot. Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there; Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried there; I also buried Leah there. The field and the cave were bought from the Hittites.”
33 Jacob finished instructing his sons, pulled his feet into bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
Jacob’s prophetic words must have given great encouragement to his descendants during their difficult time of suffering in Egypt, as well as during their unhappy years wandering in the wilderness. Jacob assured each tribe of a future place in the Promised Land, and that meant a great deal to them.
But even more, you find in Jacob’s “last witness and testimony” a beautiful revelation of the gracious Lord who had cared for His servant for so many years. There’s also a revelation of the Messiah, who had been promised to Jacob’s people.
Of Leah’s six sons, three lost God’s best blessings because of their sins: Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. They remind us that purity and self-control are essential to godly character. Zebulun and Isaachar were everyday people whose tribes served others but weren’t especially known for their exploits. We need farmers and merchants if the machinery of life is to run smoothly. Finally, only one son–Judah–was preeminent among his brothers, the royal tribe that conquered enemies and produced kings, including the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.
The exclamation, “I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!” (Gen. 49:18) suggests that Jacob was in communion with the Lord while he was speaking to his sons. Was he asking God for special strength to finish what he had to say? Or was he announcing that the Lord would soon call him into eternity? The word translated “salvation” is yeshua, which gives us the name Joshua, “Jehovah is salvation.” The Greek form is “Jesus.”
Jacob’s long and difficult life was over. He had made his last journey, given his last blessing, and shared his last request. His work was done, and he breathed his last and died. With only his staff, he had crossed over Jordan many years before, and now he had his staff with him (Heb. 11:21) as he crossed to the other side.
He was a pilgrim to the very end.
God continues to use a flawed people, just like me, to bring us to Him with love, mercy and grace. He loves us where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there. As we grow closer to God in our relationship with Him, we get to know him. We recognize His voice more quickly. We trust more deeply with each trial He brings us through.
When He see the trouble ahead, He is already at work in us to prepare us for it. Like Joseph, when we are falsely accused or belittled, His Holy Spirit comforts us and builds our character…the characteristics modeled for us by Jesus Christ, the One and Only flawless, perfect person of Truth.
Jesus, with God at the Genesis of creation, is with us now.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13
Lord and Savior,
In Jesus Name, and by Your Power working in us, Thank you.