Two weeks ago, in our look at the life of Jacob (through the book "Escaping with Jacob" by David Ramos), Jacob had been living in Egypt for 17 years. Jacob has blessed his sons and grandsons, and today we read his final words.
Week 28: Read Genesis 49:1-28 (Who Is Crafting Your Story)
"The man who began his story by stealing a blessing has now become the source of blessing for others. In this extended speech, Jacob blesses eight of his children and curses the remaining four (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Issachar). The blessings range from offspring to land and wealth, while the curses all come down to defeat in a military sense. These words are more than just for the sons themselves. They are, in fact, predictions of what will happen in their futures as tribes, once they have grown and moved into their own lands, after the period in Egypt comes to an end. Finally, with this grand conclusion, Jacob completes his journey, his escape, and his mission.
There is so much happening here that it's hard to wrap our minds around it all at once. Jacob has just predicted hundreds of years into the future what fates would befall his descendants. On top of that, he has also spoken a hint of a messianic hope: "The scepter will not depart from Judah ... until he to whom it belongs shall come."
These verses are a glimpse into the mind of God. Since Abraham, Jacob's grandfather, we have known that God's plans are always incomprehensibly larger than our own. We've seen this truth carry through as God has protected and blessed the small, but growing, family. But now, everything is about to change.
We are no longer dealing with families and decades, but with nations and centuries. God has just exploded the scale of what he is doing and used Jacob to reveal the slightest sliver of it. The man will become tribes, who will in turn become a nation, and thousands of years later, their great nation will bring
another man who will change everything again.
This is the same God who is crafting your story. The God who knows why you're here, not just in the big sense, but in the most intimate sense. The God who is not unaware of your struggles, your hopes, and who is not deaf to your prayers. No matter your age or situation, God has inconceivable blessings planned for you."
Jacob's life was nothing like he expected. But he served a God with no interest in allowing his children to be ordinary. The same is true for you and for me. How can we live ordinary lives when we have the promise of a future so extraordinary that we can't contemplate it all?
Takeaway from today's lesson: God already knows all about you and your past; and what God is planning is appropriate for the story he is writing for you.
Prayer: God, thank you that your plans are so big that I cannot understand them. Lead me, so that I can make this life count in the biggest way possible. Amen.