January 28, 2008 – Morning devotion

I am sorry for not being able to post the Bible reading schedule for the past few days. I was dealing with God last week about something, so my focus was mostly on that one.

For those who have missed the schedule, fret no more for I will post them again!
Today, I read up on the remaining chapters of Genesis and got so interested in the last days of Jacob and Joseph. Blessing certainly meant so much during those days. Now in modern times, we fail to think how much power there is to bless someone.

When Jacob was younger, the blessing meant so much, that he had to get it from his brother Esau who was older than him. Go forward decades later, and Jacob is on his death bed being met by Joseph’s two sons–Ephraim and Manasseh. The blessing of the two boys kind of reminded me of Jacob’s own blessing by Isaac. In this case, there was no stealing of the blessing for Jacob blessed them both. Ephraim, although he was younger was blessed by Jacon using his right hand. Manasseh, who was the older, was blessed by Jacob’s left hand. Ephraim was to be greater than his brother, for his descendants would become a group of nations.

It was also very interesting too see how the 12 sons of Jacob were told of what would become of them.
Reuben the first born, would no longer excel for he committed incest by sleeping with Bilhah, the mother of his half-brothers Dan and Naphtali.
Simeon and Levi were characterized by anger and ferocity. Their descendants will be scattered.
Judah, will be praised by his brothers. His hand would be on the neck of his enemies and his father’s sons would bow down to him. The scepter was said to not depart from him and he will be greatly blessed.
Zebulun, the sixth son of Leah and Jacob was to live by the seashore and become a haven for ships. I did a little research on the Tribe of Zebulun and found that their territory did cover bodies of water: the Sea of Galilee on the east and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. Would it be safe to assume that this was what Jacob referred to? Hear hear, my pastor friends and correct me if I am wrong.
As for Issachar, he was to submit to forced labor and bend his shoulder to the burden upon seeing that his resting place is good and his land is pleasant. While reading this, I thought of the Israelites in Egypt during the time of Moses, who were put into forced labor. I would need to read more on this though.
Dan was to provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel. His being likened to a serpent/viper has drawn a lot of speculations such as the anti-Christ originating from his clan.
Just like Dan, Gad‘s mother was a maid (Zilpah, Leah’s servant). He was to be attacked by raiders, but he would attack them at their heels. Very sadly, the Tribe of Gad was among those who were exiled and fell into the hands of the Assyrians.
Asher was said to provide delicacies fit for a king. I researched on this and found that the Tribe of Asher did settle on the most fertile part of Canaan, which is essential for producing crops and caring for livestock. The tribe was said to be prosperous and known for its olive oil.
Naphtali was said to be a doe set free that would bear beautiful fawns. I don’t know the proper interpretation for this, but some texts suggest that the Tribe of Naphtali was known for its beautiful women, while there are those that suggest that beautiful fawns meant good words.
Joseph, the first-born of Rachel and the eleventh son of Jacob. Over all his brothers, he was the one who was greatly blessed (this being another confirmation of the dreams he had in his youth), the brow of the prince among his brothers. All the blessings of Jacob came to rest upon him.
Benjamin, the youngest and the blood-brother of Joseph was called a ravenous wolf who devours prey and divides plunder. Again, more reading has to be done on my part but if anyone of you knows why Benjamin was blessed this way by Jacob, please feel free to leave a comment for the enlightenment of everyone.

That’s it for this morning! Let’s continue to learn more about God through His Word.

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