Today’s Reading: Genesis 47:29 – 50:26
Here we are again at the end of a special piece of history – the end of an era? – so to speak! The end of the history of three very foundational men – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and it seems that in the future days, God loved to be called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but I love to remember that I too, am very special to Him – “He is not ashamed to be called their (my) God”!
Interesting that Jacob reveres his hands in blessing and the greater blessing goes to Ephraim, the youngest, and Joseph is not happy about that but God is sovereign and does surprising unexpected things in our lives, especially when we actually have done nothing particularly outstanding to deserve it! (in the future, the ten tribes in the north of the land are called Ephraim and the two in the south Judah!).
In blessing the sons, Jacob seems to understand his sons and their characteristics fairly well, and there is blessing but I suspect it is also founded on whom they were – in the sense that God’s discipline because of whom we are is also present in our lives and in some way affects the amount of enjoyment in our blessing? Joseph is probably the longest portion in what is said in the blessings and Jacob says, “he (Joseph) is a fruitful vine… near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.” – perhaps a good prayer to pray to God and a good example to follow? – not only to have the source to be fruitful, but be able to be fruitful in a way that no one else can reach out to others?
So Jacob, the schemer, with the checkered patchwork of good and lots of bad, dies and is buried like some famous person (which he was in God’s sight and it seems to me God loved to call Himself, the God of Jacob in the Psalms – the book of prayers calling on God for help!?), and maybe what lasted longest in his life was the wish to be in the land God had promised to them – that is where they will lay him to rest after his turbulent life! So as I grow old, I long to keep a steady course to be where God wants me to be, but for those of you who are younger, set your course while you’re young to be a fruitful Joseph and not a deceitful Jacob! And although Joseph dies in Egypt, he also tells them that when God visits them to take them out of Egypt, not to forget to take his bones to the promised land! I think of David’s words, “O LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance.” – Psalms 16:5-6. What else can enrich life my life (in spite of life’s troubles (like Joseph’s life), but sensing that my life, in God’s hand and where He places me, is indeed “a cup of blessing!”