Jacob knows his days are nearing an end, so he summons his sons and speaks a personal word to each one of them. Each word, spoken openly so all will hear, is part blessing, part prophecy and particularly, in the case of the oldest four, part judgment for character faults and wrongs committed.
I was impressed by the honesty with which he spoke.
Genesis chronicles some violent acts committed by the three oldest and I wondered, as the story unfolded, if they would ever be punished for their deeds. I wondered if Jacob knew and just chose to look the other way. Apparently he did not.
Here on his death bed, Jacob speaks to those wrongs…
Maybe he spoke to them earlier as well, we simply do not know, but he does during his final words.
Sin and deliberate wrong has consequences; here we see consequences being meted out. Traditional first born rights fall to
Stepping back I see honest blessing of his children. Honest in that Jacob recognized glaring character issues and built them into the blessing. Jacob didn’t gloss over faults, he gave them honest weight. And in the case of Levi, the curse of being scattered later became the blessing of priesthood. depriving them of a portion of the land but substituting blessing of the care of God’s tabernacle and temple.
Lord, as I sit and ponder Jacob, I pray that I might be able to honestly bless my children as he did his. I hope and pray I have provided well, a father’s love and correction. Now that my children are adults, I pray I can honestly bless and keep on blessing them until my dying day. Should there be character issues, I pray that I can speak into them in hope-filled, God-honoring ways, to build up and never to tear down so that they can become everything You desire of them.
Oh, Lord, I pray for my children… that Your blessing will be with them and that they will know the joy of a life lived with You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.