Last Words

Genesis 49

These blessings show the ongoing reality and consequences of sin in the lives of God’s people…but where sin abounds, grace superabounds (Levi) – God is able to redeem evil and bring good from it. All the brothers are incorporated into the line of promise. The twelve tribes of Israel are not necessarily made up of the best and brightest…only one Joseph. And we are reminded that God doesn’t often call the best and the brightest…no offense. He calls the broken, the discarded, the mess-ups, the failures… Jesus said, “I came to seek and save the lost.” It’s all of God from start to finish…the faithfulness of God in redeeming evil circumstances.

Last week I mentioned the power of a father’s words…words that can bless or curse, words that can uplift or squash down. And while that is especially true for father’s, it is also true for all of us who are influencers in another’s life. What kind of words are you speaking? It’s ok to speak words of warning…we are all on a trajectory…but what is the motivation behind your words? Is it to bless? Is it the other’s good? Or is it reactionary and mean-spirited?

For some of us, we long for words of blessing from our earthly fathers…but those words don’t come. But we have a heavenly Father who has and who longs to speak blessing over us (that’s why we have an event like Father’s Eyes). A God who wants to sing and dance over us, to rescue us and restore us, to take us in His arms. God speaks words of blessing over His creation in Genesis 1, blessing over the people He created, a blessing lost through the fall. The story of Genesis and Jacob’s blessing on his sons pictures the promise of God’s blessing being restored and partially received, the picture of a Conquering King who would crush His enemies, destroying sin and death, trampling the serpent under His feet, leading us back to the garden and restoring our relationship with our Heavenly Father, Creator God. Blessing is about hope. And we as believers in Jesus are beneficiaries of that blessing.

But maybe you don’t know this God who blesses today…the God who wants to redeem your evil, the Shepherd, the ever-present God…Today could be the day.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Weekend Passage – March 7

Genesis 49

Israel’s Prophecy concerning His Sons

49 Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come.

“Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob;
And listen to Israel your father.

“Reuben, you are my firstborn;
My might and the beginning of my strength,
Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
“Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence,
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.

“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Their swords are implements of violence.
“Let my soul not enter into their council;
Let not my glory be united with their assembly;
Because in their anger they slew men,
And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
“Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will disperse them in Jacob,
And scatter them in Israel.

“Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
“Judah is a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He couches, he lies down as a lion,
And as a lion, who dares rouse him up?
10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 “He ties his foal to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;
He washes his garments in wine,
And his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 “His eyes are dull from wine,
And his teeth white from milk.

13 “Zebulun will dwell at the seashore;
And he shall be a haven for ships,
And his flank shall be toward Sidon.

14 “Issachar is a strong donkey,
Lying down between the sheepfolds.
15 “When he saw that a resting place was good
And that the land was pleasant,
He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens,
And became a slave at forced labor.

16 “Dan shall judge his people,
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17 “Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
A horned snake in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
So that his rider falls backward.
18 “For Your salvation I wait, O Lord.

19 “As for Gad, raiders shall raid him,
But he will raid at their heels.

20 “As for Asher, his food shall be rich,
And he will yield royal dainties.

21 “Naphtali is a doe let loose,
He gives beautiful words.

22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a spring;
Its branches run over a wall.
23 “The archers bitterly attacked him,
And shot at him and harassed him;
24 But his bow remained firm,
And his arms were agile,
From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
25 From the God of your father who helps you,
And by the Almighty who blesses you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 “The blessings of your father
Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
In the morning he devours the prey,
And in the evening he divides the spoil.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one with the blessing appropriate to him. 29 Then he charged them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site. 31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33 When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)