Monday, March 29, 2021

2021.03.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 49:1–28

Read Genesis 49:1–28

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom did Jacob call in Genesis 49:1-2? What did he say he would tell them? What does he call Reuben in Genesis 49:3? But what does he say will come of him (Genesis 49:4 a)? Why (verse 4b–d)? Whom does Jacob name together in Genesis 49:5 a? What does he say about them in verse 5b, Genesis 49:6 c-d? What does he warn against doing with such people (verse 6a–b)? What does he pronounce upon them in Genesis 49:7 a-b? What, specifically, is that curse (verse 7c–d)? Whom does he bless in Genesis 49:8-12? What will his brothers do to him (Genesis 49:8 a, c)? What will he do to his enemies (verse 8b)? What does Jacob call Judah in Genesis 49:9 a? How does he describe his strength and victory (verse 9b–d; cf. Revelation 5:5)? What will not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10 a)? What else (verse 10b)? Until what (verse 10c)? What will come to Him (verse 10d)? How is this King and Lawgiver from Judah described in Genesis 49:11-12)? What will happen to Zebulun (Genesis 49:13)? What does he call Issachar in Genesis 49:14 a? But what is this strong donkey doing (verse 14b)? Why (Genesis 49:15 a-b)? What will come of this (verse 15c–d)? What will Dan do (Genesis 49:16)? What do Genesis 49:17 a-b call him? What does he do with what effect (verse 17c–d)? What does prophesying this cause Jacob to exclaim (Genesis 49:18)? What will happen to Gad at first (Genesis 49:19 a)? But with what outcome (verse 19b)? Whom does Genesis 49:20 bless and how? And whom Genesis 49:21? Who receives five verses of blessing in Genesis 49:22-26? How is he described in verse 22? Who has done what to him in verse Genesis 49:23? How does he survive this (Genesis 49:24 a-c)? What else comes from the Mighty One of Jacob (verse 24d)? What four blessings is Joseph to receive from God Almighty (Genesis 49:25)? What does Jacob say about the strength of these blessings (Genesis 49:26 a-c)? Upon whom did he save such strong blessings (verse 26d)? What does he call him (verse 26e)? Whom does he bless in Genesis 49:27? What does he call him? What will he do, morning and night (verse 27b–c)? What does Genesis 49:28 call them? What does it point out about the blessings?

As Jacob is about to die, he calls in all his sons to prophecy over them. Clearly, he is speaking under inspiration here; in the second half of Genesis 49:7 he even slips into speaking in the first person on behalf of the Lord. Marvelously (considering what we have seen of this family!), the bulk of these prophecies are blessings. Even the summary verse (Genesis 49:28) refers to them in general as blessings. 

So when several of the sons’ prophecies are negative, we see that blessings come by grace and mercy. Reuben brought a curse upon his descendants (Genesis 49:3-4) as did Simeon and Levi (Genesis 49:5-7). We do not know what Issachar has done, but his tribe is cursed with laziness (Genesis 49:14-15). How then did the other tribes earn their better blessings? The answer is that they didn’t. God has given it by way of grace. 

Even when blessing comes as a consequence of godly living, that godliness itself is given by grace. But with whatever godliness the Lord gives us, there is more than enough sin in our lives to bring misery down upon us and all our descendants. The fact that we enjoy anything else now, or can hope for anything else for our children in the future, is a testimony to amazing grace!

So, indeed, it is marvelous that we may enjoy so much of so many different kinds of blessing in this life. Several of these prophecies show the greatness of earthly blessing in its possible variety and intensity. Though eternal blessing outshines it, and our sin can misuse it, yet earthly blessing is true blessing! 

Consider the wealth of Zebulun (Genesis 49:13); the heroism (Genesis 49:16) and tactical superiority (Genesis 49:17) of Dan; the persistence and triumph of Gad (Genesis 49:19); the affluence of Asher (Genesis 49:20); the beauty of Naphtali (Genesis 49:21); and the zeal of Benjamin (Genesis 49:27). This is not an exhaustive list of earthly blessing, but you are probably able already to identify several that the Lord has given to others, and to you yourself. And how great this blessing can be, as the prophecy upon Joseph shows, with blessing that corresponds to God’s almightiness and faithfulness (Genesis 49:24-25) in every part of life (verse 25). Jacob himself is quite impressed with his own blessing (Genesis 49:26)!

Finally, the greatest blessing in this passage is that of the king (Genesis 49:11-12) who would fulfill Judah’s praise and prominence (Genesis 49:8-9) in the arrival of Him to Whom all tribute and obedience belongs. Christ’s kingdom will be for all the peoples, in not only all of the earth but all of a new heavens and new earth (cf. Hebrews 1:8–13), forever and ever. Whatever good we see in this chapter or in this life is just the smallest taste of what belongs to Christ, and what His people will have forever!

What do you deserve for yourself and your children? What earthly blessings are you enjoying instead? In Whom are you looking forward to eternal blessings? How can you tell which blessings are a priority to you?

Suggested songs: ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH421 “Christ Shall Have Dominion”

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