Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Genesis 49:1 and 28

In chapter 49 we will see the death of Jacob. As the patriarch of his family, he called his sons to him to give them their final patriarchal blessing. This morning we are just going to look at two verses in this chapter of Genesis, which frame what Jacob spoke to his sons.

Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come...” (Genesis 49:1)

... All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him. (vs. 28)

While what is in between may, at first glance, seem as dry to you as reading genealogies, I hope you will get as excited as I did when I studied them! We will be planted here a while before finishing the final chapter. Looking at these two different verses, one given prior to the blessings and one after, we can note that, according to Jacob, what he said was prophetic. Also, he declared his words “blessings,”although some seem more like curses. We’ll see how even negative prophecy can be a “blessing.” These blessings are not only individual to the sons, they are also corporate, to the twelve tribes, involving not just these sons, but their descendants.

Finally, the blessings are appropriate to each son - perfectly fit to the person. Beth Moore points out that while many of our blessings in Christ are corporate, given to the Church, God does have a specific plan for each of our lives (Jer 29:11). He knows us intimately and has blessings for each us us individually.

Tomorrow we will get into the specific blessings for Jacob’s sons, but this morning I thought we’d look at one of the great passages that describes our corporate blessings as followers of Jesus Christ:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (Ephesians 1:3-10)

The wealth of blessings “lavished” on us that Paul details here is just the beginning! We have been given “every spiritual blessing in Christ!” I don’t think we can even wrap our brains around that! He chose us to be holy and blameless in His sight (note that He SEES us as blameless through Christ - not that we ARE blameless). He adopted us as His sons, and He’s freely given us His grace, redemption,and forgiveness! We have been granted the wisdom and understanding of the mystery of his will in His Word. To top it all off, verses 13 and 14 of Ephesians 1 tell us that we have been marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. WOW! We are blessed indeed!

Can’t wait to get into the “blessings” Jacob pronounces to his sons!


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