Genesis 49:1-33 – Goodbye Jacob

Read Genesis 49:1-33

Have you ever had anyone speak a prophecy over your life or give you a special blessing? Here we see Jacob’s sons gathered to bid their father farewell as death was close. Jacob appears to have had a surge of energy and alertness as he addresses each of his sons with a message and a blessing. We certainly learned a few things about these boys from Jacob’s departing words.

I remember one time someone was praying over me at a church conference. They told me afterward they saw a lot of wounds in my back and told me the life of a pastor’s family can often be a hard one. At first, I didn’t know what she meant but later realized that people have a habit of stabbing others in the back when they aren’t looking. Sadly, it was at a time of my life where I couldn’t say for sure who was doing the stabbing because to my face, everything was peachy.

After that experience, I began to stand a little straighter because I had the assurance that my wounds were healing and God was working in my life. I just didn’t realize he was working overtime! 

It’s also helpful when you can have a little clarity in life. Jacob may have been telling his sons what the future held for them, but how did the boys receive his words? Did they believe him? Did they want to argue? Did they feel remorse for how they had behaved previously? Don’t you wish someone could tell you what you’re destined to do so you can make sure you’re on the right track?

I think Asher had a great future. It involved rich food fit for kings. So many of life’s milestones involve food and eating. When you can share a meal with someone, it is a time of intimacy. Maybe Asher because a restauranteur serving up everyone’s favorite food, or became a caterer eager to please. Everyone loves the person who provides good food.

Jacob’s sons had now been blessed. Jacob’s job was done. He had made the request to return to his family plot to be buried with his parents, grandparents, and wife, Leah. If he had been able to bury Rachel there, too, I’m sure he would have. His time had come. He closed his eyes for the final time. His boys were there. All twelve of them.

Death will come to each one of us. Sometimes we have time to prepare and say our goodbyes, and other times in a blink of an eye it’s over and we can only wait until we meet again in eternity. Losing a loved one is never easy. There is a void left behind where their life had been. We all deal with grief differently. The important thing is to let yourself mourn, whatever that might mean for you.

Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for the life of Jacob. He may have been a bit of a troublemaker earlier on, but you knew he was destined for greatness. He was faithful to you even when he didn’t know exactly what that meant. May I be faithful as I wait for you to lead me. May I listen and be aware of what you are asking of me. I want to glorify you in all I say and do. Thank you for watching out for me when you knew I needed protection. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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