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Genesis Chapter 49:1-33 - The Lion of the Tribe of Judah - Part 1
So, last week we left off with Jacob Blessing Joseph’s 2 kids, Ephraim and Manasseh, and we saw that Jacob was listed in the hall of faith for doing that. And IN doing that it was said that he was “worshiping,’ and we learned that just being obedient too and believing in God, through faith, is a form of worship in and of itself.
We ended with Jacob telling them that he was about to die and he reminded them that, although he would be gone, that God would always be with them and restated God’s promise that God would bring them to the land of their fathers.
Well, we only have 2 chapters left in Genesis and we’ve had a pretty good run, and Jacob’s had a pretty good run too, right? In the sense that he lived 147 years of age, and even in reaching that length of age he wasn’t really incapacitated physically to any degree. Relatively speaking it's been a good life for Jacob. But what we’re going to see this morning is that he’s also going to have a pretty good death... In the sense that: he’s going to die at home, he’s going to die in his own bed, and he’s going to be surrounded by the people that care for him and whom he cares the most for.
Because of the advances that we have with medical technology, guys that study these things tell us that roughly 80% of us are going to pass away in a medical institution hooked up to machines with hoses jammed in us.
My point is, if we had our choice we would want to experience what Jacob is experiencing - passing in the comfort of our own home with the fellowship of those that we love. Unfortunately technology has, and will rob many of us from that experience.
Now, before Jacob makes his curtain call, he is going to be giving a blessing, he’s going to be prophesying over his 12 sons. We understand that these prophecies were downloaded directly from the Lord because we are going to see these very things come to pass in the O.T., and to a larger degree in the N.T as well.
What I want us to understand before we get into this blessing of the 12 sons is that - this is a pretty big deal. This is a critical, pivotal point in the history of this people group that God is going to forge into His nation, Israel. There’s no doubt much more a formality and a majesty and a sense of anticipation going on with this blessing than we might pick up from black letters on white paper.
So I want you to get a feel for the significance of these prophecies over these kids, and it's all based upon - these prophecies assume - that these guys are going to make it back to the promised land one day. Don’t miss that!
Remember that they are going to be in Egypt for over 400 years. And I’m sure there are going to be very trying times during that period and they’ll probably be thinking: - “Man, are we ever gonna get out of here?” But they’ve got this this spectacular event to go back on: “Yeah, the prophecies over the 12 fathers - we ARE going to get out of here.”
So no doubt this was a great comfort to them as they are going to be here in the womb of Egypt for some time.
So let’s dig right in.
Vs. 1-2 - “Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.”
We’ve mentioned this many times in the past several weeks where these 2 names - Jacob and Israel - really represent the 2 natures that are within him. That Jacob is the old nature and Israel is the new nature that God had made him.
What we’re being told here in vs. 2 is that the children of NATURAL Jacob are gathered: the physical descendants of natural Jacob. But to listen to spiritual Israel. So Jacob is aware of these 2 natures within him. “Come my natural sons and listen to what God has made me - Israel.”
And I think that spiritual maturity is always that awareness of what God has made us, and yet at the same time, what it is that each of us must fight against.
Yes - because of Christ we are new creatures, (2 Cor. 5:17), yes - we are born again of the Spirit (John 3:5-6) and thank God we are not what we once were (Phil. 3:12-14).
However, there is within all of our hearts the capacity for great sin, is there not? So it’s always a mark of maturity to understand just where our personal battles lie. It's NOT the spiritually mature person that says - “Well, I’m a new creature in Christ and I’m a child of the King, I don’t have any problems or worries or any struggles...” (1 John 1:8). That’s a FOOL who’s probably going to be wiped out in whatever personal area of weakness that they have.
(Prov. 16:18) The word of God tells us that pride comes before the fall and a haughty spirit before destruction. We need to be careful with that. So a mark of maturity there being aware of those natures.
Join us next week as Jacob prophecies over his 12 boys. Blessings to you all.